What’s the most Londony of animals — a jellied eel? A Crack fox? How about the good old common columbidae (that’s pigeon to you and me)?
Birds in Hats illustrator Alice Tams likes to depict famous Londoners as pigeons — from nature-loving David Attenborough, to be-plumed suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.
“I’ve always had a soft spot for the much-maligned feral Pigeon,” says Tams. “I had a solo exhibition coming up at We Built This City on Carnaby Street in 2019 and I couldn’t think of a better bird to represent London’s famous folk!
“I think pigeons are brimming with personality and London wouldn’t be the same without them.”
And who’s Tams’ personal favourite?
“A very tricky one but if I had to choose it would be David Bowie. I think, initially, I imagined him as an elaborate bird of paradise or macaw but he was famously down to earth when not in Ziggy Stardust attire so painting him as a pigeon in his best threads ended up working perfectly.
“I also think there are plenty of pigeons swaggering around London that have a rockstar vibe to them.”
Tams has even created a map, linking up the pigeons to the London area they’re associated with:
You can purchase a range of pigeon merch — including socks, pin badges and prints — from Alice’s website.
All images © Alice Tams