Animals Wildlife Phenomenal Murals Highlight Extraordinary Lives of Humble Pigeons By Kimberley Mok Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who covered architecture and the arts for Treehugger since 2007. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Kimberley Mok Updated October 19, 2018 ©. Adele Renault Share Twitter Pinterest Email Animals Wildlife Pets Animal Rights Endangered Species Pigeons often get a bad rap. The abundance of their numbers in urban centres has earned them the nickname "flying rats" and they are often viewed as nuisances, despite their fascinating history and their valuable roles as messengers, carriers of deliveries and collectors of pollution data. But Belgian-born, Netherlands-based artist Adele Renault has tuned into the inherent beauty of these oft-maligned birds, painting them in larger-than-life murals in cities around the world. © Adele Renault © Martha CooperRenault's realistic painting style captures the "everyday beauty" of not only pigeons, but also the elderly and homeless, saying that she "observes closely those and that not considered worthy of a second look," painting them in such a way that "suddenly, a scruffy pigeon and a woman in the last days of her life emanate a quiet grace and irresistible force of life." © Adele Renault © Ari Sturm © Ari Sturm © Maury Page To bring out that quiet grace, Renault's images enlarge and emphasize some of the pigeon's natural beauty, found in the huge, iridescent feathers, the fiery eyes, the delicate beak. And more pretty feathers, lots of them, decorating various walls around the world, from Europe to North America and beyond. © Adele Renault © PAC Not surprisingly, in addition to focusing on the ordinary, Renault also aims to bring out the extraordinary stories behind some of these birds, like this mural depicting "Baby Girl," a Jersey City pigeon that apparently won a 366 mile bird race by a whopping 19 minutes. This remarkable bird lives in a loft, inside this building which now sports her image. © Martha Cooper Who would've thought that pigeons were such high-achieving and dignified creatures? To see more, visit Adele Renault, Facebook and Instagram.