The pigeon who thinks he’s a human
OSCAR the pigeon has been hand-raised by humans ... and now thinks he is one.
Barry Ion from Maroubra says Oscar was found as a baby after he had fallen out of his nest and despite needing to be fed with a dropper, the bird thrived.
Now Oscar likes to go on walks with his humans and best mate Pipi the dog, even playfighting with the much bigger pooch.
"Oscar was just tiny and had to be fed with a dropper," Mr Ion, a documentary filmmaker, said.
"He thinks he is a human, not a pigeon at all. He has only really known people.
"He will watch other pigeons and ignore them or treat them with disdain. Occasionally another pigeon will waltz into his cage and Oscar will fly in there and dunk their head in his water bowl and throw them out the door."
The pigeon has already attracted a reputation as a big of a larrikin around Maroubra, mainly for his antics with his inseparable mate Pipi.
"Even with Pipi, who is nine-years old, Oscar will challenge him to a fight. His wings will be flapping and Pipi will be growling, but they never hurt each other," Mr Ion said.
"Every morning and every night we go for a walk and Oscar will walk alongside Pipi. "Bystanders can't believe it - they'll do a double take. They are thinking 'is that bird going for a walk with a dog?' Oscar and Pipi just love hanging out with each other."
Oscar's favourite pastime is jumping on the rooftops of parked cars and using the windscreens as a slide.
Often derided as "rats of the sky", Oscar is one pigeon who is happy to play with humans and other animals alike.
"He'll try to ride on other animal's backs and he'll try to stand on people's feet. He's not afraid of anything - not dogs or cats or humans," Mr Ion said.