Rescue Group Says Pigeon Was Likely Dyed Pink for Gender Reveal Party

A gender reveal party is believed to have been responsible for a pigeon that was discovered dyed pink all over its body, according to one rescue group.

The animal was first spotted in New York City's Madison Square Park on Monday when a good Samaritan noticed its brightly colored body and reported it in, according to ABC 7 NY. The Wild Bird Fund, an Upper West Side-based nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation group, ultimately received the animal.

The group determined that the bird was a king pigeon, a type bred to be kept in captivity for various reasons including exhibition and consumption. Wild Bird believes that the animal had never flown before and was most likely purchased from a poultry market. Because of this, and its pink coloring, it is thought that the animal will not be able to enter the wild, as it would not be able to find food and evade predators.

pigeon dyed pink gender reveal
Above, a photo of a common pigeon with an inset image of a balloon for a gender reveal party. An animal rescue group believes that a flightless pigeon found in NYC was deliberately dyed pink for use in a gender reveal party. Johnny Nunez; Tim Graham/WireImage; Getty Images

As for why the pigeon is pink, the group believes that it was bought and deliberately dyed pink to be used as part of a gender reveal party and was then released into the city without concern for its ability to survive. Another possibility floated was that it was used as part of some sort of unknown experiment. Given that king pigeons are naturally white in color, it was perhaps an ideal candidate to be dyed another color.

"PSA: Please never release domestic birds to the wild," the Wild Bird Fund wrote in a social media post. "Not for weddings, funerals, celebrations, art projects, anything. (We'd hope that 'don't dye them' goes without saying, but...) They will starve or be preyed on. If you see an all-white pigeon in the wild, or any tame bird standing around looking lost, it needs your help. Please catch the bird and bring it to a pigeon rescue or animal sanctuary near you."

Pigeons come in many different colors and plumages, but pink isn't one of them. This is a domestic king pigeon who was deliberately dyed this color and released. This poor bird has it bad enough as a...

Newsweek reached out to the Wild Bird Fund for comment.

Gender reveal parties are a trend that gained popularity in North America over the last decade, in which expecting couples gather friends and family in order to reveal the sex of their unborn child, usually through extravagant and theatrical means involving the color blue or pink. The trend gained a measure of notoriety due to viral instances of the reveals going haywire in sad or comedic ways, with some parties having more disastrous consequences.

A week ago, an expert said one "story of a 'ruined' gender reveal is a perfect example of the importance of boundaries."

In May 2021, a gender reveal party in Alberta was believed to have set off a wildfire the size of a football field through its use of explosives.

A year earlier, a couple's party in Southern California also set off a wildfire, this one growing to 22,000 acres in size and killing a firefighter. The pair were ultimately charged with involuntary manslaughter.