The New York Pigeon (2024)

Andrew Garn
Introduction by Emily Rueb
Essays by Rita McMahon and Catherine Quayle

$ 39.95

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Trim Size: 8.5 x 11
Page Count: 176
ISBN: 9781648230745

Humans have always bred, farmed, raced, and lived alongside pigeons. Some of us shoo them away and others care for them as the city’s most famous wildlife. The New York Pigeon, now in its second edition with spectacular new images, is a one-of-a-kind, intimate study of this worldwide neighbor.

The New York Pigeon reveals the unexpected beauty of the omnipresent pigeon as if Vogue devoted its pages to birds, not fashion models. In spite of pigeons’ ubiquity in New York and other cities, we never really see them closely and know very little about their function in the urban ecosystem. This book brings to light the intriguing history, behavior, and splendor of a bird so often overlooked.

While The New York Pigeon is primarily a photography book, it also tells the five-thousand-year story of the feral pigeon. Why are pigeons so successful in cities and not in the countryside? Why do they have such diverse plumage? How have pigeons adapted to survive on almost any food? Why are pigeons able to fly up to 500 miles per day but rarely do? How did Harvard psychologist B.F. Skinner teach pigeons to do complicated tasks, from tracking missile targets to recognizing individual human faces? Why can pigeons see in the ultraviolet light spectrum, and why is half of their brain used for visual perception?

The second edition of The New York Pigeon, with its fresh portraiture and new essay from Catherine Quayle of the Wild Bird Fund, presents dramatic, hyper-real studio portraits capturing the personalities, expressiveness, glorious feather iridescence, and deeply hued eyes of the New York pigeon.


Andrew Garn is a native New Yorker who grew up surrounded by pigeons and has photographed, rehabilitated, and observed Columba Livia since 2008, when he first exhibited photographs, video installations, and sculptures of pigeons at A.M. Richard Fine Art in Brooklyn, NY. Documenting the entire spectrum of development, including full-grown pigeons, newborns, babies and “squeakers,” he has grown to love these birds.

Garn is a fine art and editorial photographer whose work has been widely exhibited and appeared in the pages of numerous magazines including the New York Times magazine, FortuneForbesInterviewVogueVibeTimeNewsweekDerSpiegelFrenchPhotoElleDécorNewYork, and Bloomberg. He is also the recipient of grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Graham Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the J.M. Kaplan Fund, among others.

His previous books include Exit to Tomorrow: The History of the FutureSubway Style: Architecture and Design of the NYC Subway (winner of the New York Society Book Award) The Houseboat Book, and Bethlehem Steel.

Emily Rueb pioneered interactive storytelling for The New York Times beginning in 2006, often integrating text, photos, illustrations, audio and video for stories that appeared in print, online and emerging platforms. Her work has been recognized by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Emmy), Knight-Batten Awards for Innovation in Journalism, the National Press Photographers Association, the Online News Association and the Ohio Press Club.

She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 2018 and a Women in Power fellow at the 92Y in 2019.

Before joining The Times, Ms. Rueb contributed to The Financial Times in London, BBC Radio and Television in Scotland, Time Out Paris and Cleveland Magazine.

Catherine Quayle Is a pigeon caregiver, and the Communications Director at the Wild Bird Fund


Rita MacMahon is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Wild Bird Fund, NYC’s only rehabilitation facility for wild animals. The Wild Bird Fund was founded by Rita McMahon in 2001 after she found an injured Canada goose on the side of Interstate 684. She tried to find a veterinarian to treat the bird, but none would accept wildlife.