My grandfather had told me when I was a kid that at his time the pigeons would not approach humans closer than about 15 meters. At the time he said it the pigeons were approaching us not closer than approximately 1.5-2 meters. And now I often have to make efforts so not to step on a pigeon who hinders my movement along a street.

This is in Europe.

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    $\begingroup$ I think it is possible that populations can change their behaviour rather fast, but "Europe" is too big to make a statement about. For example I did an image search for "city pigeon 1950s" and got pictures like this one: s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/3a/38/34/… $\endgroup$ – picapica Sep 4 '16 at 11:15
  • $\begingroup$ If it happens, it is very normal. Just like taming the animals, due to continuous presence of human-beings they could shift from their known behavior or may go through desensitization. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…. $\endgroup$ – Always Confused Sep 7 '16 at 6:51
  • $\begingroup$ I've seen this phenomenon in some populations of sparrows and squirrels in certain places of India. Especially shockingly in some tourist-spots, temples and crowded areas. Some of the populations are even easy to touch or capture!!! probably they are nearly 100% desensitized $\endgroup$ – Always Confused Sep 7 '16 at 6:58

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