Here Are Some Notes About Pigeons And How People Collect And Fly Them In New York City | Exploring Markets

Here Are Some Notes About Pigeons And How People Collect And Fly Them In New York City


After reading about Mike Tyson and his love for pigeons we figured we would further investigate the New York pigeon scene. It turns out that pigeons are famous in the city of New York. People love to raise, breed, and train them. Apparently, some people make livings by catching pigeons and selling them back to pigeon enthusiasts. Leo the pigeon, for example, is the king amongst pigeon heads. He's been catching birds for 55 years. When a pigeon-head like Leo gets a bird, either by netting or trapping it, he then stores them in a coop (primarily on a rooftop) for a month before letting it out. This process allows the pigeon to become familiar with its "home" and will then return once it is let out again.


Some pigeon enthusiasts have up to 300 pigeons living on their roofs. Neighboring coops also have pigeon wars. If one coop captures another coop's bird they'll snip off its current tag, and add their turf colors to it. These pigeons wars get pretty intense. Coops name their pigeons, and organize them into gangs that will fight neighboring coops. 

The pigeon game in New York City is really no joke. Some pigeon heads have youtube channels dedicated to the welfare of their New York City pigeon coops. No wonder the NIKE NYC Pigeon shoe cost $2,600.00. It's a real underground, yet symbolic hobby that exists on the millions of rooftops in New York City.

"Tito takes care of these birds for Joey and Mikey, who own the building. He lives there as a superintendent and comes up every day to fly his birds. Their birds are known as the Pet Shop Birds, tagged with a light green leg band. Other coops have bands of all sorts of colors. Tito shows me a jar filled to the brim with the colorful bands clipped off of captured birds."
If you are a scholar, or someone simply aspiring to find scientific studies on pigeons, I urge you follow this link to Cornell University's pigeon research center, and their short documentary on pigeon-birds.