The intriguing hobby of racing pigeons is explained in a short film called “For the Love of Home” featuring Jim Gabler (America’s Dream Lofts), Randy Enburg (Speed Pigeons Loft) and Don Kelsey (Kelsey Family Loft)—three members of the Rock River Racing Pigeon Club in Western Illinois.
Video Link: https://vimeo.com/
Jim Gabler highlights the historical importance of homing pigeons during times of peace and war, “the birds were originally used before modern communication technology purposes particular military messages….during WWI and WWII.” While homing pigeons are no longer necessary for communication, keeping and racing homing pigeons is a hobby enjoyed around the world by individuals, families and animal lovers alike. “This is a fun [hobby] for me,” says Don Kesley, “watching them come home is the greatest thing.”
Randy Enburg, a lifelong pigeon fancier, describes how a pigeon race works. “Races are figured in yards-per-minute to make it as fair as possible,” says Enburg, “on a typical race shipping night, we go to the clubhouse, and you can’t handle your own birds, somebody [else] has to read the band number off it and then they’re put into a shipping crate and once that’s done they [pigeon shipping crates] are sealed and put on the trailer and the driver takes them out.”