Andy Warclaw – and His Famous Pigeon “Miss America”

July 28, 2017
Andy Warclaw

Andy and his beautiful wife, Christmas 2016.

I was born in a small town in Poland.  Grew up on a small farm where everything we ate was grown.  I took interest in pigeons after my brother got a few fancy pigeons from my uncle.  I soon got some homers from a neighbor and was hooked.  In 1992 at the age of 11 we moved to Chicago and after a few years I built my first coop in my parent’s garage.  I started racing with Chicago Combine in 1998 as a Junior at the age of 16.  I’ll never forget my first 100 mile race.  I took 27th place and filled every hole in the manual clock, leaving no room for master time.  I have held just about every job at the club and combine level. I was elected president of the Greater Chicago Combine, Inc. at the age of 32 and still hold this position.

About my birds:

I started out like most guys do with birds I collected from various handles.  The 1st group of birds I bought was from Laszlo Szentendrei (who now races in GHC).  He was really nice to me and set me up with 10 quality youngsters off his race team for a $100.  That was really a gift.  I flew those birds for about 12 years and did well with them. But, I was always looking to improve and kept looking at other handlers and bloodlines.  One name that kept on popping up in the one loft races was LK Corral.  So I contacted them and in 2010 I received 4 birds that I entered in the Windy City Classic futurity. Right off the start the 4 birds were different and very alert.  None were lost at settling and I raced them on a few regular races.  One ended up winning a regular race for me.  I was very impressed. Then I sent the 4 LK birds and my 8 to the Windy Classic race.  I won 2nd place on a very windy day and took in a nice chunk of change.  Actually the first 3 birds I clocked were all LK birds.  So in 2011 I sold all of my birds and bought all LK birds.  Since than everything has changed; I won many races, Convention, OLR and have had HOF and National Ace pigeons.  I learned a lot from Lolo (Lolo and his wife Kristin are LK Corral), and realized his birds had generations of champions in their pedigrees.  I am now partners with LK Corral.  We work extremely hard throughout the year with our family of pigeons but we are also always on the lookout for that one special pigeon to our family.  Both LK Corral and I have very small breeding lofts.  He bred from 6 pair of birds this year and I from 9 pair.  But our selection is so strict that only 1 or 2 birds are added to the breeding program per year.  Selection is very simple in one way… performance mated to performance.  But, performance can’t be one or two good races.  It has to be super performance to get a spot in the breeding loft.

Loft of Andy Warclaw.

Loft of Andy Warclaw.

2013 was the 1st year I had a team of only LK/Waclaw birds.  There were a total of 12 birds on my team and 11 races ahead of them.  I ended up winning several races that year as well as 1st Average Speed, Champion Loft in our club, the Greater Chicago Combine and Chicago Federation with over 100 lofts competing.  Only 1 bird was lost over 11 races during that year and I had 12th AU HOF with a nest sister to 2829; mother to “Miss America.”  I also found my #1 breeding pair that year, LK-664 BB C and OAK-899 BB H; grandparents to “Miss America.”

Foundation pair for Andy Warclaw and grandpartents of "Miss America."

Foundation pair for Andy Warclaw and grandparents of “Miss America.”

In 2014 I bought a GFL banded male, directly off imports from Houben and top performers in South Africa Million Dollar Pigeon Race (SAMDPR).  I crossed him with a daughter off my #1 pair 13-OL-2829 and in 2015 I bred just one round.  I liked the youngsters and raced one with good results but, only a few times because of the bird flu that year.  So in 2016 I bred 2 more babies, Chicago-8803 BB C and Chicago-8804.  “8803” was entered in our club auction and bought by a friend who raced him.  He turned out to be one of his best racers but unfortunately was lost in the middle of the season. “8804” stayed in my loft and turned out to be a 1 in a billion and by far the best bird I ever had.

16-Chicago-8804 BB H “Miss America”

Miss America

“Miss America” – Bred and raced by Andy Warclaw.


My intention in 2016 was to race the birds for half of our racing season, than stop and concentrate on my Windy City Classic birds.  So I had about 20 regular birds which were kept on the natural system and not given a lot of attention.  After a few races “8804” started to get my attention.  She was always healthy, always alert, never tired and always there on race day.  So I had to keep going the entire season.  The longer the distance got the better she clocked and she was my pick bird every weekend.  She had no motivation, just flew for the love of home.  She was special.

She flew 9 races back to back, week after week.  I held her back on the last race because she dropped her 7th flight and we had tail winds upwards of 30mph.  She was already 1st American Racing Pigeon Union (AU) Hall of Fame and 1st AU National Ace so I wasn’t going to chance it.

Sire and Dam of "Miss America."

Sire and Dame of “Miss America.”

After our season was over, she finished her molt and quickly started getting attention from various fanciers.  She is going to be advertised in a Belgian calendar.  I think this may be a first for a US bred and raced pigeon.

I recently studied her pedigree and realized that her grandfather “Carlton” is in her pedigree twice and he is a top breeder for the Houben family and is a son of their 1st & 5th place winners at the final SAMDR in 2011.  On the other side her grandfather is “Mr. East Coast” who was 1st in all races except the 2nd race and went on to become champion bird at that year’s East Coast Challenge. So this family has an excellent record in the One Loft Races (OLR) too.

Currently “Miss America” is in my breeding loft and has already bred three rounds of babies.  She raised them all with her mate.  The thing that impresses me the most about her is that she looks like she could fly a race tomorrow.  You can tell the health and strength of “Miss America” is absolutely incredible.  I will soon find out how her babies perform and as you can expect, I have a very high hopes for them.  In 2017, I’ll be putting a few of “Miss America” babies on my 22 bird young bird team and so far, not one has been got lost at settling.  I hope this is just the beginning to what I will call my “American Family.”



2 Responses to Andy Warclaw – and His Famous Pigeon “Miss America”

  1. Jim gabler,,adl on August 16, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Andy has in my opinion something very special in this family, I personally handled these birds and made offer to purchase several, they were of quality, and was politely told not for sale…. go andy

  2. Jeff Jicinsky on December 18, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    8613 Fairway Place, Middleton, WI. I read your article and am interested in learning more about lofts. I custom build chicken coops and have have made some lofts for people but am getting more interest from the Chicago area. I build as good quality product and am interest in proper sizes for fly pens, doors, space requirements per bird. Thank you for any information you might share. I can send photos of lofts I have made. They are attractive and normally match the customers house color, etc., to keep neighbors happy!My facebook page is Red Rooster Coops.

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