I Always Say Hello To Birds

Daniel Spenser Levine
3 min readJul 2, 2020


I don’t know when I became “that guy.” You know, the guy who says “hello” to birds.

Hello, Starling.

How’s it going, Sparrow?

Blessed morning, Cardinal.

Why am I so desperate for a bird’s — ANY bird’s — approval? Speculate with me, won’t you? Thanks!

As a resident of The City, perhaps I long for a connection to nature. Another possibility could be that I am simply OBNOXIOUS!!1! Come to think of it, the reason I say hello to birds may stem from my intense fear of being swarmed by hundreds of birds and then, when the birds un-swarm, I am a skeleton. I think this is called beakaboneophobia. By saying hello to the birds, maybe I am showing the birds that, hey, I am on their side and they need not do the swarm thing. Whatever the reason may be, I do not plan on stopping my saying-hello-to-birds anytime soon. I only plan on stopping TO say hello to birds. So put that in your fucking article, me.

People are always full-speed running up to me on all fours and saying “first of all, huge fan. Second of all, we here at corporate love what you are doing with the saying-hello-to-birds and all but, third and lastly of all, do you say hello to pigeons?”

To these imaginary people, I answer with a question of my own. Well, moreso I answer by repeating their question back to them but more incredulously.

Do I say hello to pigeons? Yes I do.

The people who exist only in my mind start utterly grilling me:

“Would you say hello to a cigarette butt? Would you say hello to a plastic rock? Would you say hello to these wires?” the mind-people ask, lifting their shirts to reveal to me that they are robots. “If you said hello to any of these things, you would appear (at this point the mind-robots adopt a British accent for dramatic effect) quite foolish.”

Most people don’t seem to like pigeons. Other people (Larry) like them a little too much. Some people call pigeons “rats with wings.” At this I scoff a booming scoff and present to you some hypothetical bullshit: if you saw a flock of winged rats, you would feel a LITERAL cornucopia of negative emotions: disgust, fear, anger, mega-disgust, a strange happiness that your birthday wish had come true followed by intense regret, super-disgust, etc. Rats are extremely smart. If rats could fly, they would be Swooping-and-Pooping™ at passerby non-stop, grabbing onto our poke bowls, ice cream bars and children in calculated heists and taking to the skies. Pigeons do not do this. They want for nothing.

Here is an experiment you can do that proves how little pigeons have going on. Walk in the direction of a pigeon. I know, it is tough, but please do it for science and also for exercise. Walk towards that pigeon. What does it do? It RUNS away. RUNS. Pigeon, my dude, you can go places I can’t! You can go UP! I can go in four directions and you can go in five. Pick the fifth one! If you are not using those wings, give them to me. I will use them to make one of my fun outfits.

Yes, ever since August 2nd 1998, I have stopped to say hello to any bird I may pass by. All of the Bird Scientists (birdatricians) and Human Scientists (peopleocologists) and psychotherapists I have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars may never know the reason why. Maybe I should try going to a therapist who isn’t a psycho? I only remember the precise date my bird-greeting addiction began because, coincidentally, it was the day after my parents were swarmed by hundreds of birds and turned into skeletons. Truly mysterious, indeed. Now, if you will please let go of me, I am late to meet my skeleton parents at the boneyard, which is what I call their house in Seaford, Long Island where they still happily live and eat and rattle their bones at each other.

Hello, Robin.

Hey, Pigeon.

What’s up, Bluebird?

Hello, Pigeon.

Hello, Pigeon.

Hello, Pigeon.