Here's what I know about pigeon racing:
So when I learned that the national convention of the American Pigeon Racing Union was being held nearby, well, dang, how could I NOT go, right?
AND - there was going to be a Junior race (for kids who race pigeons). Oh, yeah!
It was totally fascinating.
I talked to lots of kids about raising and training their pigeons.
For this race, the pigeons flew 217 miles!!! From Ilion, NY to Somerset, MA.
Five hours straight.
Isn't that amazing??
And they find their way back to their loft!!??
Here is the loft:
These are breeders (as opposed to racers):
A fancy schmancy fantail pigeon:
Here they come!! This part was SO exciting!! They literally made a huge shadow over the ground and circled around and around in a big flock - having just flown FIVE HOURS and 217 miles:
Swooping down to the loft:
Landing on the loft. (They just flew in from New York and, boy, are their wings tired.)
When they enter the loft, they walk over a pad that scans their band and sends their time to a computer.
The kids I talked to were awesome. They told me about building their lofts out of scrap wood from the dump...and which pigeons were their favorites....and how sometimes they lose them, etc. etc.
Okay, now all I need is a story.