Pigeon takes an unaccountable interest in Boston gym teacher’s head; perches there for hours

It’s a mystery why the bird picked Ivan DaSilva for its perch.
It’s a mystery why the bird picked Ivan DaSilva for its perch.Credit: Boston Public Schools

An unusual visitor flew into gym class at O’Donnell Elementary School in East Boston this morning.

DaSilva said the bird was “determined to do what it wanted to do.” (Boston Public Schools)

Ivan DaSilva was sitting in a circle with his students for their 10 a.m. outdoor class. They were in the middle of stretching when a pigeon swooped in for what they thought would be an ordinary visit.

The bird startled the kids, and flew close to DaSilva. To the children’s and DaSilva’’s surprise, the bird perched itself on his head — and wouldn’t leave.

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“This pigeon was not scared,” DaSilva said. “It was determined to do what it wanted to do.”

DaSilva put on his hoodie to guard his head from the animal, and felt its claws as it tried to get comfortable on his crown.

Other teachers were convinced it was a sign. DaSilva, who isn’t normally superstitious, can’t think of another reason this pigeon was so enamored with him.

Meanwhile, his students were laughing and taking photos of him and his new winged friend. They called him “the bird man.” Some of them imagined it was a girl pigeon that had a crush on him, DaSilva said.

The bird sat atop DaSilva on and off through the day, at one point for two hours straight. It was a good thing DaSilva had the hoodie of his sweatshirt on, because it saved him from the pigeon’s droppings.

DaSilva said it was the craziest thing that has ever happened to him, and he hopes the pigeon will have flown elsewhere when he returns to gym class Tuesday.

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