More than 500 pigeons living in central Shanghai’s People’s Square are an attraction to both residents and tourists in the city — but how are they faring during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Bai Wei, the man in charge of the pigeon station at the square, said this week that there’s a shortage of food for the birds, but kind-hearted residents have stepped in to help.

The pigeons are usually fed 50 kilograms of food — maize grains, sorghum and peas — every day.

But due to the shortage, their daily intake has been reduced to 5 to 10kg, Bai revealed.

“We stocked some before the current pandemic episode, but we have very little left now since it’s been hard to buy pigeon food,” he pointed out.

The situation worried Bai a lot as he considers the birds his own children. But fortunately, he is not short of help.

Police officers and members of urban management teams are among those who have started to feed the birds with what they have.

One is Liu Jianwei, an officer at Nanjing Road E. Police Station in Huangpu District.

“I fed the pigeons once five days ago during lunchtime, and the birds seemed to be rather hungry,” he said.

After talking to Bai, Liu understood the situation and mobilized his colleagues to feed the birds with their leftover food.

“We soften the leftover rice from our lunch and dinner with water to feed them,” Liu stated.

Bai expressed thanks to people like Liu who kindly helped the birds.

Downtown People’s Square has been home to pigeons for more than 20 years, and people can buy food packs there to feed the birds.

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