Fly Away Home
More than just park companions, pigeons are athletes, expert navigators and even war heroes
As the CEO of Vero Beach Magazine, Beth Moulton is always looking for new stories. In the case of this story, it came looking for her.
“I was pulling out of our street onto A1A one Saturday morning,” she says, “and there was this bird standing on the edge of the road. I rolled down the window and said to it, ‘You’d better move. You’re going to get run over.’ And it just stood there looking at me.”
Later that afternoon, after she’d returned home, her husband told her there was a pigeon in their driveway. “I went downstairs and, sure enough, it was the same bird standing right by our garage door,” she says. And it wasn’t about to move. “So I brought it some water and it immediately starting drinking. It plunged its whole head into the water.”
After a bit of Googling, Moulton determined from the band on its leg that it was a racing pigeon. She also found some advice on what to feed it, since racers rely on a more refined diet than their street-dwelling brethren. This bird, for example, wouldn’t touch the piece of bread she first offered it.
A fortuitous break came when a friend of hers mentioned that Chris Jacobi, a job supervisor for J.C. Welton, working on a new house just two doors down from the Moultons, had grown up racing pigeons. His father, Paul, now deceased, was a founding member and president of the Indian River Racing Pigeon Club.