People Are Now Dyeing Birds For Gender Reveal Parties

Dyeing birds blue or pink is a new gender reveal trend that is harmful to the animal.

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

swarm of birds

Gender reveal parties are one of the worst trends to hit social media since the salt and ice challenge. Futurism reported on the horrifying case of pigeons being dyed for gender reveals. Dyeing birds is dangerous, and as the Wild Bird Fund shared on Twitter, pigeons have a hard enough life without being needlessly tortured for five seconds of entertainment.

The pink pigeon found in New York City’s Madison Square Park was not a wild bird and instead likely bought at a local poultry vendor. Once purchased from the vendor, a parent-to-be dyed the bird pink in what had to have been a traumatic process. Coating the animal in dye could not have been easy and likely involved restraining the bird against its will.

Adding more horrific details to the selfish incident, the Wild Bird Fund explained that the pink dyed bird was “barely more than a fledgling.” As a young, domestic bird that never lived in the wild, the pigeon would have likely died if not rescued by an actual caring human. Though pigeons are not a protected species in the United States, that doesn’t give anyone the right to color them and condemn them to death for a stupid social media stunt.

Dyeing birds isn’t the worst result from a gender reveal but it’s still not acceptable. Prior gender reveals have resulted in massive wildfires, killing an innocent bystander, and in one truly tragic situation, resulting in the father blowing himself up with a homemade explosive. Jenna Karvunidis started the concept of gender reveal parties, and in an interview with The Guardian. admits that she regrets it.

In Karvunidis defense her gender reveal was cutting into a cake to reveal pink icing on the inside. That type of surprise does not involve explosives, fireworks, pole dancers, shooting anything, or backyard wrestling. All of those are things involved in gender reveals and now we can add “dyeing innocent birds and then leaving them to die in the wild” to the list.

A homing pigeon

Pigeons have been the unfortunate target of other social media trends and playground urban legends for generations. At one point it was common to hear about how if you feed a pigeon a mentos then they would explode in a puff of feathers. Dyeing a bird doesn’t have the same immediate impact as exploding their intestines with a breath mint, but the end result is the same.

Gender reveal parties, like harmful urban legends, are likely to be with us for a very long time to come. Hopefully the Wild Bird Fund is able to educate enough people about the harm of dyeing birds to ensure that no more gender reveals try to use a pink or blue avian. It would be too much to hope that gender reveals stop altogether, but with criminal charges being filed against the short-sighted parents responsible when something goes wrong, societal pressure will continue to push against them.

As the Wild Bird Fund explained, if you see a pigeon of one solid color, even white, alert a local rescue organization. Human have dyed birds, or raised them in captivity, to get the solid color. Wild birds are very rarely one solid color which means those pigeons are domesticated and need humans to survive.