Slow News Day

You’d think with the war in Ukraine, price increases and so on there would be plenty to report on. Sometimes admittedly it can be difficult to find a local angle on current affairs. There’s really no excuse however for the Lancashire Evening Post suggesting that an endangered Mauritius Pink Pigeon had probably been spotted in Nelson.

For starters a Pink Pigeon isn’t Pink Panther pink. It’s a much more delicate peach colour with a darker back. What is in the pictures is clearly a domestic dove that has been dyed pink, perhaps for a gender reveal party or a wedding.

Not so Pink Pigeon, image by Dick Daniels used under Wikipedia Commons licence

It’s not great that birds are used in this fashion. There are other ways to celebrate a happy event. Has anyone ever been to a gender reveal party or a wedding and said ‘it was ok but there was a disappointing lack of pigeons’? Spraying the birds in colouring is probably not good for them or for the environment either.

Above all though it’s just shockingly bad journalism. An endangered bird endemic to Mauritius isn’t going to make it to East Lancashire under its’ own steam, so even if it was one it would be an escape from a zoo that would be sadly likely to die. It’s the laziness of it that gets me. If I contacted the LEP and told them I’d seen Lionel Messi in Blackpool I’d expect them to want more than a picture of a completely different looking bloke with a beard to run a story on it.

It’s all fairly trivial in one sense, but in another sense it’s not. In the last few years several species of bird in the catchment area of the Lancashire Evening Post have largely or entirely disappeared. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is teetering on the edge of extinction in the county. Willow Tits have declined by an astonishing 90% nationally, and parts of the county still hold a handful. Wood Warblers are hanging on. If the LEP want to run stories about endangered birds they have plenty to go at without printing nonsense.

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