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bonnyprincecharlie April 11th, 2012 12:53 PM

Flying rats
While on a recent cruise I saw a pigeon walking on the deck. Where I come from they are called " flying rats." The reason was the diseases that they carried. But possibly this was a disease free racing pigeon or even a messenger pigeon that had decided to hitch a ride on the ship to the next port. We were passing by Puerto Rico at the time and I have seen pigeons at that port so I figured Puerto Rico was its embarkation point. I didn't see a tag on its leg which may have helped to determine where it had originated. But as I watched it walk around I remembered an old story I had heard about how the US Post Office would ship pigeons for pigeon racing organizations. I figure that there are some retired US Postal employes cruisemates who could give me an answer concerning this question. I know that at one time the Postal Service did ship the bricks for an entire house and supposedly they still may continue to ship baby chicks.

Mike M April 11th, 2012 09:45 PM

My Dad was a "pigeon" person and would do races with other people in his circle. They would release pigeons from different locations and then clock the time before they returned to their roost. We released a pigeon 120 miles from home and the bird was sitting on top of the coop when we got home.

I'm not sure if USPS ships live animals.

BTW: I've had pigeon in Europe and Egypt and it can be one tasty bird. Especially stuffed with rice and seasoned with cardamom and cinnamon.

Take care,

belgique April 11th, 2012 11:52 PM

Wow, Mike, you read my mind. On the east side of Detroit, many Belgians settled there in the 20's and 30's, including my parents and grandparents.

Racing pigeons were everywhere and each garage had a "pigeon coop" over it. They would take the pigeons as far away as Indianapolis (from Detroit). Sunday's were spent watching the skies for our birds to come home. We would "clock" them, registering the band on their leg on the "time clock", then report to the Cadieux Cafe to find out who won. Lots of money was involved in the betting on these birds.

You're right - Sunday night dinner was usually the "losers" sister and I were told it was chicken. When we finally ate chicken at age 15 or so, we were amazed that there was actually white meat!

I still have my father and grandfather's pigeon racing trophies on a shelf - my friends think I'm nuts until I explain the meaning of those trophies.

To the Original Poster: I have a soft spot in my heart for pigeons - they get a bad rap in cities all over the world. I consider them some of my very first pets! Life is all about what you learn as a child!

I doubt that a "Save the Pigeons" march would garner much of a crowd.

Manuel April 12th, 2012 05:13 AM

I like pigeons. When I was a kid in Portugal, my parents rised them for food and I thought that tasted pretty good.


ToddDH April 12th, 2012 07:33 AM

Years ago up in Hyde Park, NY there was always Squab (the French fancy word for the breast of pigeon) in the frozen meat section along with the Turkeys. Don't know any reason why it still wouldn't be stocked in meat markets in or near major markets.

KellyKayden April 12th, 2012 08:35 AM

I can honestly say I have never tried pigeon....although I work in a downtown area so there are lots of them always milling around. I am not a big fan of birds....I have a lot of hair so im always paranoid they are going to get stuck in my hair as they fly

Lakers Fan April 12th, 2012 11:10 AM

The idea of eating pigeon nauseates me .

Manuel April 12th, 2012 02:40 PM


Originally Posted by Henry43 (Post 1424656)
The idea of eating pigeon nauseates me .

When you don't have too many choices you can eat anything.


Lakers Fan April 12th, 2012 02:56 PM

That is true ,Manuel.

Mike M April 12th, 2012 07:38 PM

I would put money that almost anyone, who did not know they were eating pigeon, would take a bite of the bird in the picture above, and say it was delicious.

It's interesting what the mind can do.

Take care,
Mike (A firm believer in "If it's good it's good.)

Manuel April 12th, 2012 09:58 PM

The pigeons that people eat are properly fed. The ones you see in the city parks and squaree would be scrawny and dry.


ToddDH April 13th, 2012 08:12 PM


Though 80 miles North of Manhattan, Hyde Park is still is a "bedroom community" for the City, especially the "upper crust" (who in most cases are nothing but collapsed crust with a lot of hot hair pumped into it. Now think of the upscale New Yorkers. Think........why do they call it squab? 'Cause few but the nouveau riche would ever eat pigeon, but something with the intriguig name of "squab?" LOL

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