Fact Check: Old Picture Of Pigeon Sitting On A Patient Viral With False Claim

A picture of a pigeon sitting on a patient is being shared on social media with a claim that it was clicked by one of the nurses at a hospital and no visitors had called on the elderly patient though this pigeon, who he used to feed in the park, used to visit him everyday.

The Facebook post read: जिस नर्स ने ये फोटो खींची है उसने बताया कि इस बूढ़े मरीज़ को 3 दिन हो गए अस्पताल में इलाज के लिए भर्ती हुए और इन 3 दिनों में इनकी फैमिली का कोई भी सदस्य हालचाल लेने नहीं आया लेकिन एक कबूतर 2 दिन से आकर उनके बेड पर थोड़ी देर बैठकर चला जाता है । बाद में पता चला कि वो अस्पताल के बगल वाले पार्क की बेन्च पर बैठकर इस कबूतर को दाना डालते थे । बेज़ुबान फ़रिश्ता साभार

(Translation: The nurse who took this photo told that this old patient has been admitted to the hospital for 3 days and during these 3 days, none of his family members visited him, but this pigeon has been coming for 2 days. He sits there for a while and then goes away.  Later, it was discovered that the man used to feed the pigeon at the park next to the hospital.)

Here’s the link to the above post.

More posts can be seen here, here, here and here.


NewsMobile fact-checked the post and found the claim to be misleading.

We put the picture through Reverse Image Search and found the same image on Flickr. The picture was uploaded by Ioannis Protonotarios on October 19, 2013.

In the comment section, Protonotarios wrote,”…In loving memory of my father who used to occupy the bed next to this one untill just 5 days ago.”


Talking to Lead Stories, Protonotarios said that he is a photographer and clicked this picture in a cardiology ward at a hospital in Athens, Greece.

“So when I saw this pigeon on top of a sleeping patient in the cardiology ward the only thing that crossed my mind was “Do I have enough time to take the picture before it flies away?”. Luckily the bird took its time so here we are!” he said.

In a 2020 article, The Quint reported that Protonotarios mentioned to the media house that he didn’t see the man or the bird after that one time.

“This photo was taken on 19 October 2013 at the Cardiology Ward of Red Cross Hospital of Athens, Greece. My father was a patient there and he was sharing the room with this man in the photo. As I was sitting next to my father’s bed I noticed this bird that was sitting atop of this man who was asleep. It was sitting there for quite a while so I took a picture,” Quint quoted him as saying.

Hence, from the above information, it is clear that the viral post is false and misleading.

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