Looking down from the top of the Basilica in Piazza San Marco in Venice, you see that the ground is transformed into a black sea of swarming pigeons. When you get closer, it looks like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. With the birds flying at eye level, tourists look like pigeons themselves, ducking and bobbing their heads to avoid feathery collisions. You quickly come to the conclusion that these winged city dwellers are everywhere. In a city of about 270,000 people, it is estimated that the pigeon population has reached approximately 40,000. Pigeons are so prevalent in Venice they could indeed be considered the city’s mascot. But why do they all seem to be living in Piazza San Marco?