Racing pigeons

Thursday, August 4th 2005, 11:49 am
By: News On 6

They don't wear tiny little helmets or silk scarves that fly in the breeze but they do fly like the wind for hundreds of miles to get home. They are racing pigeons. Pedigreed birds worth thousands of dollars.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells went to west Tulsa to the Top Gun Loft to learn more.

“These are not common pigeons." Bill Kinyon keeps racing pigeons, he's been at this about 17 years, and he’s got about 250 pigeons in his Top Gun Loft in west Tulsa. As he said these are not common birds, the kind that roost in downtown buildings, these are pedigreed pigeons. Bill Kinyon: "You can trace the pedigree on these birds back to Belgium and Europe, almost every one of them."

He says some breeders sell young birds with good blood lines for thousands of dollars. Here's another fine featured fact, pigeons mate for life, when a pair has eggs to mind they split the time, she sits on them all night he takes his turn all day. “They share in everything."

One baby is about 5 days old; in a couple of days he'll get a green band on this leg, like the adults. It contains a microchip, with all the important data, like a name tag.

Here's how this racing works. All the birds in a race are taken to a specific spot and released, to fly home and they do. "It's a God given instinct they have to always try to come home." When they get home that chip in the leg band is automatically scanned. The speed is computed and that determines the winner.

There are good racing pigeons and there are great ones. "This is my champion." He is like a champion race horse is already producing champion offspring. "They call these the thoroughbreds of the air, the sky." And I guess they are.

To find out more check out Bill Kinyon's web site.