While I was working on the pigeon piece for the Lost & Found show, fellow Radiolab contributor Douglas Q. Smith took me out to Bushwick to meet George Martin, a man who flies pigeons from a factory roof. This is brief look into his world.
George lives for the dying art of “pigeon wars.” The way it works is you release your pigeons, and your neighbors release theirs. On a good day--back in the heyday--thousands of birds would flock overhead, a huge pigeon convention in the sky. Then, if all went well, your pigeons would sweet-talk other pigeons into coming back to your rooftop to join your flock. To me, it’s a bit like a game of marbles in the sky.