Oct. 9, 2015 By Michael Florio
A man threw down a large fishing net over dozens of pigeons outside a Jackson Heights barbershop Tuesday in what witnesses described as cruel.
The man walked up to the shop and scattered bird seeds on the sidewalk to lure the pigeons. He then swooped down with a giant fishing net, captured about a dozen birds and walked off with them on 76th Street near 37th Ave.
The owner of Sal’s Barber Shop, located at 35-64 76th Street, witnessed the episode outside of his shop on Tuesday at roughly 1 pm.
“He threw the food down in one spot to get them [the pigeons] all close together,” the owner said. He then caught them and carried them off in the net.
“He threw them over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and walked away,” the owner said.
The barber said that he and a customer were the only two to witness the act.
The two men did not attempt to stop the perpetrator or call the police because they initially thought he was from Animal Control.
“I thought maybe someone complained that there were too many pigeons,” he said.
The barber said there was one pigeon that he grew fond of that he nicknamed Moby Dick, because he was large and only had one leg.
“I miss that pigeon,” he said. “Naturally I feel bad for the birds. It’s not a nice thing to do.”
The barber has owned a shop in the neighborhood for more than 50 years and has operated at this location since 1999.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” he said.
He said he couldn’t describe the perpetrator in detail, since he did not get a close look at the man.
He said he had no idea what the man would do with the birds, but speculated that they might be eaten.
The topic was brought up on Jackson Heights Life, an online neighborhood forum, where people also thought that they would be consumed.
Others had different views as to their fate.
One user posted: “I’m pretty sure a while back people were reporting on this and claiming the pigeons were being used at shooting ranges out of state for target practice.”