Farewell to the Birdman of Afton Oaks

Pigeons on Roof of 4404 Richmond Ave., Houston

What are all those pigeons doing in the parking lot by the original Ragin Cajun restaurant? Tech radio answerman Jay Lee discovers the secret of their survival — plus an interesting detail about a neighboring property — during his encounter with a man who’s spent more than 22 years working at Jarinee’s Dressmaking & Alterations shop, just a few doors down (at 4404 Richmond):

He’s been feeding the pigeons for 10 years.

He expressed some sadness as he told me the property had recently been sold to developers and he worried about the fate of his “friends.” Vichien told me how he tried to watch over the pigeons and how much money he’s spent on feed over the years.

As we talked I saw a Red-tail Hawk circling above the parking lot. Vichien clapped his hands and the birds all flew into the sky. This caused the hawk to retreat a bit, but he stayed close. Vichien confided that he’s lost to the hawk on many occasions.

After we were done chatting he went to his truck and pulled out a bag of bird seed and began to pour it onto the pavement. That was a sight to see…

After the jump: That sight!


Pigeons Swarming at Jarinee’s Dressmaking and Alterations, 4404 Richmond Ave., Houston

Photos: Jay Lee