A photo was tweeted by Michelle Davey, #Vancouver Police Superintendent, last week. It depicted a heap of used hypodermic syringes and three pigeon eggs, nestled in a filthy sink. Davey captioned the image to say this was a symbol of the opioid crisis. While she added the hashtag #notstaged, many people doubt the nest is, in fact, the real deal.

Vancouver Police Sergeant Randy Fincham told CKNW the image had been snapped by a homeless outreach coordinator who used to work for the department. Fincham said the person found the “pigeon’s nest” in a room in an empty single-occupant housing unit. Fincham said the reason for Davey sharing the image was to raise awareness about the problem of drug use in Vancouver.

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He also said it was shared to start people talking about the work of first responders in the city and the urgent need for treatment options for substance abusers.

The image is genuine according to Vancouver Police

Fincham told the Huffington Post in an email that the photo is genuine. He added there were pigeons inside the room when police officers arrived in the vacant area and the birds reportedly flew out the window when disturbed.

While the concept of posting the image is a good one and it has gone viral on social media, some doubt that the photo is real. Despite the hashtag #notstaged on the Twitter post, bird experts believe it most likely was.

Wild Bird Fund says the nest is unlikely

The Huffington Post spoke to the director of the Wild Bird Fund, Rita McMahon, who said it could be real, but she doesn’t think it is.

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McMahon noted that for one thing, pigeons normally only lay two eggs, whereas the photo depicts three. She also said pigeons do collect unusual objects when creating their nests but she would expect to see other items in there, not just the hypodermic syringes. While the sink is filthy, McMahon said there didn’t appear to be any pigeon droppings in the image, which is unusual.

National Audubon Society believe the nest might be real

However, spokesman for the National Audubon Society thought it might be genuine. The spokesman said they couldn’t be 100 percent sure, but they do resemble pigeon eggs and according to the spokesman, pigeons will pick pretty much anywhere to make their nests. Saying they often use a pile of sticks to make their nest, the spokesperson said it is possible the female pigeon used a bunch of hypodermic syringes instead and that the abandoned sink was the ideal place to make a nest. Reportedly the Audubon Society is investigating to find out if the photo is the real deal, or just a hoax to promote the cause. #opioid crisis #WeirdWorldNews