White Pigeons on Clements Road

July 10, 2014
By
My dad and I in front of his white bird loft.

My dad and I in front of his white bird loft.

I grew up in the wilds of Montana, not far from the confluences of the Bitterroot and Clark Fork Rivers where Lewis and Clark made the decision and rightly so that they should cross the mountains rather than continue to follow the river to the Pacific Northwest.

My home town, Missoula, is known as the Garden City for obvious reasons and also as the “Hub of Five Valleys” which include the Upper Clark Fork, Lower Clark Fork, Mission, Blackfoot and the Bitterroot valleys.

In 1994, after graduating from High School, I thought it would be fun to have some white pigeons to play with and my dad thought they would add to the accoutrements of his award winning English style garden.  So I contacted Jay Alexander from Texas who advertised kits at reasonable prices.

These birds drip with health and vigor!

These birds drip with health and vigor!

We made the deal and two kits, 24 birds in total, arrived 8 weeks later. They were beautiful, pedigreed, and had the most beautiful red eyes, different than the typical “bull” eye you see in many white pigeons today. Jay said that his whites descended from some of the best Sions to ever come to the country and that they had 500 and 600 winning genes in them. That was good to know but I wasn’t really interested in them winning races, I thought they would be fun to have and maybe make some money doing a few wedding releases. Thus, Glacier Dove’s was born and my dad still does releases on a regular basis.

The bloodline that Jay sent in 1994 is virtually still intact today, expect for one introduction of a blue bar hen in the early 2000’s named “Bell.” She was acquired to add to my racing loft and was a daughter to a national winner in Belgium. She refused to live the life as a prisoner in my breeding loft and took up residency in the white bird loft where she lived out her life as a free a bird. Other than “Bell”, no other bird has been introduced.

The only additive that the birds get is access to a large livestock salt block.

The only additive that the birds get is access to a large livestock salt block.

I moved away after getting married and my dad kept the whites and 20 years later they look and feel exactly like the originals; beautiful white coloring, cherry red feet and fiery red eyes. My dad gives them open loft 365 days a year, feeds them a good pigeon mix, and he gives them fresh water every day. The birds have access to a livestock salt block; this being their only additive. No medicine is given and their loft is cleaned maybe and I mean maybe ever couple of years. Natural health is abundant and I’m always impressed with their condition and health when I see them.

Old widowhood loft that now houses only white birds used for ceremonial releases around the state of Montana.

Old widowhood loft that now houses only white birds used for ceremonial releases around the state of Montana.

My dad houses them in my old widowhood loft which is 6 x 12 feet and has tiled gable roof. There are two large windows that slide open or shut as desired; they are always open it seems. He has a small aviary on one side where their waterer and feed hopper is. The birds sit in the old widowhood boxes; the nest fronts have been removed and there stick perches on the walls.

Box perch

He trains the birds not very regularly usually but when he does their first toss is usually around 5-10 miles. Everything that flies regularly outside is goes.

Do they race? I’ve sent some to Dusan Smetana and he tells me they’ve flown competitive for him. I’ve sent some to other friends too and they all report the same, they are tough as nails!

He doesn’t sell birds nor are any for sale.

Drew Lesofski

 

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