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Pigeon Wars

Friday, January 28, 2011 - 01:21 PM

Pigeons roosting Pigeons roosting (Yorkaholic/flickr)

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.

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Comments [3]

meh from new yawk

kinda weak. heard more noise from pigeons flapping than learning much.

Feb. 05 2011 10:22 AM
Ben Millstein from Kodiak, AK

Is this an equation for karma? That's not so bad. Fractal equations render the universe no less beautiful.

Feb. 04 2011 05:10 PM
Yorkaholic from Bushwick

Thanks for using my picture. I have seen these guys train their pigeons, they are very serious about the whole thing.

Jan. 29 2011 07:18 PM

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