Memes are a curious thing. They seemingly spring out of nowhere, dominant social media and often just as quickly and without warning, go away.

However, the latest meme to dominant Facebook is truly baffling. At least with past memes like Rick Roll’d, Pepe the Frog, Crying Jordan, or Super Bowl riffs, it’s pretty easy to figure out their origin stories.

So, what exactly is that head-banging bird you’ve probably been seeing all over your favorite Facebook pages?

World, meet Trash Dove.

The animated GIF was created by artist Syd Weiler and offered as a digital sticker pack. The Daily Dot reports that it really first took off as a meme in Thailand, though it’s unclear exactly why. In an interview, Weiler didn’t exactly clear things up, saying:

“Pigeons are such strange birds, they have very beautiful mottled, shimmery feathers, but they waddle around and bob their heads and beg for crumbs. They’re like beautiful doves, except they eat trash.”

Um, ok?

One Reddit user offered a theory:

“As for how it is popular, it is because some people somehow found the sticker (this one in particular) very annoying (well including me). Many other people think the sticker is cool and/or it’s funny how someone got annoyed over this and began spamming with it in comments section. This went viral when popular Facebook pages joined the spamming festival and soon enough it’s all over Facebook.”

And there’s no denying the Trash Dove has become near omnipresent and therefore quite annoying to lots and lots of people. So annoying that someone named Adam Lockwood started a petition to have it banned from Facebook – one that already has more than 10,000 digital signatures. As the petition language explains:

Remove the purple bird from Facebook, it’s constantly spammed in the comments and must be stopped, if you only sign one petition today, make it this one! #MakeFacebookGreatAgain !

Until then, you might have to start getting used to the annoying little purple bird head banging through the comments section of all your favorite sites and message boards.


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