“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

Report from Oklahoma City: Pigeon Capital of the World
Friday, January 22, 2010

Now, I can find interesting things just about every place I go, and Oklahoma City is no exception.
After perusing the map, my writer friend and I decided that the World of Wings Pigeon Museum was a definite must-see. Apparently, OKC is the world headquarters and hotbed of homing pigeon activity.

We drove out to a run-down old mansion on the edge of town and helped ourselves into the building, which didn't hold much more than some pigeon cages and a curious collection of porcelain pigeons. Disappointed, we headed out to snoop around the pigeon coops. That's when Duane, whom I'm calling Crazy Pigeon Guy (related to Crazy Cat Lady), started talking with us and telling us fascinating things about pigeons.
1. They mate for life.
2. Male sits on the eggs during the day while mom takes a break.
3. When pigeons en route to their home encounter fierce headwinds, they fly just a few feet from the ground. (Unfortunately, this means they sometimes smack into semi-trucks on the highways.)
4. Also when flying, they normally use the sun as their navigational aid, but if there are clouds, they fly close to the ground and navigate using the magnetic pulls emanating from the earth.
5. There's a dedicated group of people who race these pigeons. They send the pigeons to a starting point, hundreds of miles away, where someone releases them at the same time. The pigeons have a computer chip on their foot. When they finally return home, they know to land and hop back into their home coop, and a computer notes their arrival. One time the winner won a brand new pickup truck. (For those of you too young to know: pigeons were used extensively to send clandestine messages during World War I. There's even a roster of pigeon war heroes in the museum.)

The other very cool thing about Oklahoma City is the airport's official name: Will Rogers World Airport. The logo is a drawing of the famous cowboy lassoing the globe.


Blogger Susan Cushman said...

anyone who can get excited about pidgeons will go far:-)

January 22, 2010 at 10:40 PM  

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