Feathered Friend Fuels Facebook Feud

24 September 2019

Baillieu Library’s resident albino pigeon has become the source of a heated Facebook debate between students attempting to name the bird.

Over semester break, the Facebook page Pigeon at the Baillieu Library ran an online competition to determine its name.

The competition consisted of multiple polls. The winner of each round was decided based on how many “reactions” each name received. After 13 rounds, it was decided that the pigeon would be named ‘Fernando’.

However, many students were unhappy with the competition’s outcome and took to the comments section to express their anger.

“Greatest tragedy of the 21st century,” wrote one student. Another said, “Fernando voters cheated and I hope they fail [their] exams”. Others said they will refuse to acknowledge the pigeon’s name. “I will never accept this result,” commented another student.

Fernando made the library’s entrance its home towards the end of Semester 1 after injuring its leg.

The bird’s presence in the library was incredibly popular amongst students, particularly during the SWOTVAC and exam period.

Iris Shuttleworth, a huge Fernando fan, said “I love the albino pigeon! His commitment to the library inspires me every time I see him. Seeing the pigeon at the library every day honestly gives me a small sense of wonder throughout a mundane routine.”

The pigeon became so popular that a Facebook page in its honour was created on 6 June 2019. The page was created by first year student Sharna Goulding.

“I created the page because I had noticed the pigeon a few days prior,” she said. “Then all of a sudden there were heaps of Unimelb Love Letters that started blowing up. I instantly knew the pigeon they were talking about. People seemed really interested in it so I thought it might be funny to give it a fame boost.”

The pigeon’s current whereabouts is unknown. Fernando has allegedly not been sighted in the library since the start of Semester 2.

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