Wednesday, May 21, 2014

June Events Planned for New Pigeon Museum


Nation’s Only Museum Devoted to the 5,000 Year History of Humans Raising Pigeons
Celebrates with Special Events - June 13 & 14

Oklahoma City, OK – May 20, 2014 – More than twenty years in the making, the world’s first public museum dedicated to domestic pigeons is slated to open in mid-June in Oklahoma City.  The American Pigeon Museum ( is housed in a new 6,000 square foot building overlooking the Remington Park Race track.  The site was acquired for the museum and national headquarters for pigeon organizations in 1993.  Over the years, existing buildings on the site have been converted to house artifacts chronicling humans’ 5,000 year relationship with the bird. The museum will host two days of special events to celebrate its opening on June 13 & 14. The new museum, managed by curator Lorrie Monteiro, is the result of combined efforts by different North American pigeon groups to create a showcase for the many breeds of pigeons and doves that are kept as pets worldwide.  “We’re delighted to be opening for the 2014 tourist season,” said Monteiro.  “The array of exhibits will give visitors a clear picture of the breathtaking scope of varieties and uses pigeons have been put to over the centuries.”

According to Monteiro a central component of the museum is the fascinating history of the thousands of homing pigeons that served American forces from the First World War through Korea.  “To this day there is still no more secret message system than these silent, undetectable birds carrying information from the battlefield back to headquarters,” said Monteiro.  Other exhibits show the hundreds of varieties of breeds developed by humans and the many famous people including Roy Rogers, Yul Brenner, Walt Disney and Queen Elizabeth who have kept the birds.
Some of the fascinating artifacts and exhibits relating to this little-known hobby and art include:
  • Chinese Pigeon Whistles – not meant to call the birds but to make music in flight, these amazingly complex devices date back 1,000 years.
  •  WWI and WWII memorabilia from the US Army pigeon service and pigeoneers including an actual army mobile pigeon loft
  • Large collection for pigeon race clocks dating from 1904 to the 1980’s
  • Large collection of photographs of clubs and birds. (New collection from George De La Nuez and Layne Gardner.)
 The special opening, the museum’s Kick-Off Summer event, will be on June 13th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. as well.  Special events include the showing of several films by international award-winning filmmaker Jim Jenner (often referred to as “Lord of the Wings”).  One of the original Board members who selected Oklahoma as the site of this unusual museum, Jenner will be premiering a film entitled “Young Wings.”  Produced over four years, the short production traces Jenner’s own involvement with pigeons as a young boy and his subsequent quest to see if pigeons could be effective in combating what psychologists call “Nature Deficit Disorder” in children.  He will also be showing his one hour “The Queen’s Wings,” a highly acclaimed documentary that traces the more than 125-year history of England’s Royal Family in the pigeon sport and the special race that honored the Queen’s 60th Jubilee in 2012.  “The Queen’s Wings” will have two free showings both Friday and Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. followed by the 20-minute “Young Wings.”  Jenner will be on hand to discuss the making of these films and his work with helping young people enjoy pigeon keeping.

Additional events during the opening include:
  • 1:00 p.m. both days - a presentation the centennial anniversary of WWI of the vital role pigeons played in wartime communication.  Rare 16 mm footage from the war will be screened.
  • Local food trucks will be on the grounds to offer a range of tasty treats
 The museum is located at 2300 NE 63rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73111.  Complete details on the museum and the opening events can be found at

For more information, contact:

Lorrie Monteiro
The American Pigeon Museum
(405) 478-5155 /

Matt Kalinowski
Noctilucent Arts
(503) 333-2049 /

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Making of a Champion - Steve Putman

An article submitted by Mark Karges. 

Steve and I have been friends for many years. I first came to the 395 Concourse in 2004. At that time I hadn't met Steve yet. I had a great year in 2005, but little did I know what was coming. In 2004, Tony Melucci, Crazy Al, and Frank McLaughlin had an auction in Oregon. For Steve's birthday his family purchased him a BBC McLofts-4201/04. In 2001, Crazy Al had sent pigeons to Huck Reese's Late Hatch Classic here in Hemet, California.  No pigeons were to be shipped back to their owners at that time. Crazy Al's two pigeons Crazy-297/01 RCH (Granddaughter of the Paula 5000) and Crazy-269/01 BBC(Casaert, Grondelear, Figo, Remi Demay) which were both equal 1st, were purchased by some young man and later repurchased by Steve Putman from him.

Steve Putman

Steve made a trip to Colorado to visit Crazy Al. The man he was with purchased pigeons from Crazy Al, but to Steve's surprise Al sent in a loft manager to pick out a pigeon for Steve and gifted it to him. He was told to never let it out. Steve was crating up pigeons in the dark to take them out for a 100 mile toss. He had a few pigeons, put them in the crate and drove them out for release.

One pigeon came out of the crate and didn't know where to go. It was his gift from Al that had never been off the property. Steve was sick about making that mistake. That cock was the father to his PAIR A foundation Hen Crazy-3127/03. She had come home one day from a toss with both of her legs broken. She healed up and bred AVC-1409/05 BBH "Miss America" overall winner and 1st AU National Middle DistanceAce pigeon in 2006 crossed with McLoft-4201/04 BBC.

Her nestmate AVC-1408/05 BBC was also an overall winner and 9th AU National Hall of Fame 61-100 lofts. Their full sister was 17th OA AU National Middle Distance Ace pigeon and 2nd OA AU National Hall of Fame 61-100 lofts. Steve's race team in 2006, was approximately 30 pigeons. Nine of them placed in the AU National Middle Distance Ace Pigeon Awards top 100. He was 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 9th AU National Hall of Fame 61-100 lofts.

Soon after all of Steve's success, Troy Riley drove out from Texas, worked out a deal with Steve to purchase the pigeons and drove them home. I met Troy through my good friend James Bodiford and we've been friends ever since.

Troy took almost every pigeon but a few lucky flyers were smart enough to purchase pigeons from Steve before they were all gone. With the pigeons that were left, Steve continued on in 2007, where he had left off in 2006, winning races.

AVC-3449/05 BBH, an AU Elite Champion, finished 7th AU National Hall of Fame 61-100 lofts in 2007. Sisters AVC-3446/05 and AVC-3447/05 were both overall winners and #3446 won 2x OA and #3447 was 2x 2nd and 1x 1st OA. They actually finished 1st and 2nd OA on one race.

Troy came back in 2007, and again picked up almost the rest of what Steve had left. Leonard Lee was 1st Drop at the CSRPO one loft race with a pigeon bred out of Steve's pigeons; David Jones won in a one loft race in Apple Valley, California with the same pigeons.

The first year Troy had Steve's family of pigeons he won the GDF Greater Dallas Futurity, NTF North Texas Futurity and the next year was 1st drop at the Texas Gusher 300 mile station. In speaking to Mr. Tony Melucci by phone, he told me how the Casaert pigeons had won the New England Open 300 and 400 mile races.

After Steve sold the pigeons, it took him a while to recover but in 2010, AVC-397 BBsplH was the 395 Concourse Bird of the Year. In 2013, AVC-397 BBsplH won 1st AU National Hall of Fame Middle Distance Award. In 2012, 2013, and 2014, his latest Super Star was emerging, AVC- 0639/11 BBsplC. This pigeon won an overall each year, being resettled and flying to different locations.

AU 2011 AVC 0639

Steve moved and lives in a golf course community with a man-made lake area that doesn't allow pigeons. So this year, with the help of his wife Donna, AVC-0639/11 did something I've never heard of in my life time. Steve shipped six regular races and three sprint races. He ONLY shipped ONE pigeon. The pigeon won six diplomas in nine races. It was never loft flown during the week. He couldn't let it out for fear of his neighbors complaining. So he trained it a couple times a week by taking it to work with him. Steve has only four pigeons on his property and here is what his pigeon did for him; 3/23/2014 170 miles 2nd 2219 pigeons 104 lofts, losing 1st by three seconds; 4/26/2014 96 miles 1st 683 pigeons 45 lofts; 5-3/2014 130 miles 1st 947 pigeons 51 lofts; 5-9/2014 170 miles 1st 400+ pigeons; 4-13/2014 209 miles 18th 1766 pigeons 95 lofts; 3-16/2014 130 miles 8th 392 pigeons 19 lofts.

After winning three Sprint Races in a row and only shipping one pigeon, we named AVC-0639/11 "Once in a Life Time". He doesn't meet the AU National requirements of four races averaging 200 miles for a total 800 miles, for Champion Loft, but there is not a better race record by a pigeon or loft in 2014, anywhere in the USA. Over his career this pigeon has nine races with a UPR% under 1.019. Steve flies in one of the most competitive clubs in the 395 Concourse, the Apple Valley Club. Legends like Brian Crossen and Leonard Lee are serious ompetitors. Also there is no limit to how many pigeons a flyer can ship.

Congratulations to Steve and his one pigeon for an outstanding performance in 2014. "Once in a Life Time" is the real deal and truly a GREAT Champion.

About the author; Mark Karges is a pigeon fancier in Riverside, California and competes in the Inland Empire Invitational Racing Pigeon Club and previously served on the AU Awards Committee.


David Quinn Contreras decided to do a project on pigeons for his school science class.  He contacted area California racing homing pigeon fanciers and found Frank Camuso to work with.  He won first place with his project!  So, we wanted to know how the project came about and his process.  David shared his process with us:

"I had a few pairs of show pigeons (jacobins, double crested trumpeters, tumblers, fantains and a few others) as pets.

I originally was going to do my project on pigeon genetics (color combinations) because I had read about Charles Darwin and his scientific experiments with pigeons.  Darwin bred different show pigeons and the babies eventually looked like the wild Rock pigeons.  Pigeons helped him prove that all pigeons, even though they look different came from one original breed.  He proved the same thing with finches and other animals.  He also said that people may look different, but we are all humans.

I needed more time to do a project on genetics because the deadline was 4 weeks away, so I decided to do it on racing pigeons.  I owned two racing pigeons, but they were not trained.  I didn't know how I was going to do my project without racing pigeons, so my mom contacted the AU and they gave her some numbers to call.  The nearest to us was Mr. Camuso and the Palos Verdes 4-H Club.  Mr Camuso was out of town, but he told my mom we were welcome to use his pigeons for my experiment and his loft manager Juan Aguilar would help us. We drove with Juan a few times to release the pigeons. We had to wake up at 5 in the morning! Dee Keese and Ed Fuller from the 4-H club also taught me about pigeons and I met other kids who are involved in pigeon racing.  Two weeks ago at the 4-H, I competed in Showmanship with my Racing pigeons and won first place; my Jacobin won Best of Show.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

I did a school Science Project on which is faster a car or a Racing Pigeon.  My hypothesis was that a pigeon is faster and I had to prove it using the scientific process (hypothesis, experimentation procedure, conclusion) My procedure was to time how long it took a pigeon to fly to it's loft and compare to how long it would take to drive. Out of four trials the pigeon won one, because there was traffic. One was a tie.  As we arrived at Mr. Camuso's loft we saw the pigeons flying in.  The other two the car was faster, but not by much of a difference.

In the process of completing the project, I learned a math formula for calculating time (speed = distance divided by time) This was hard for me because I have trouble with reading time and I'm not a big fan of math.  I learned how to band a pigeon before the race. How to clock a pigeon.  How to load pigeons on the truck that takes them to the race. The names of the colors (blue bar, blue check, pied, red, grizzle, splash, white flight etc.) I learned to make sure the pigeon is healthy and has all his flight feathers before sending him on a race. That pigeons are fast and amazing because they can fly for many miles and find their way home without a map!

I won a prize for first place.  The first through third place winners were announced for each grade at the school assembly and I received a medal. Then the winning projects from the other schools in Torrance were placed on display at the High School and all first place winners received a trophy at a ceremony.

After my experience, I think of Mr. Camuso and other club members as family because we all have pigeons and we have a love for pigeon racing and pigeons.  Mr Camuso is very giving. If you have an emergency he is the person to turn to."
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make your own free slideshow

Monday, May 12, 2014


What a fun idea!  This is yet another way to spread the good news about your racing hobby.  
Use your car's back window.  These are neat decals that you can see through.  There are probably lots of services that do this sort of work, but this is what we found . . .

Here is an image that would look great!

 It's crisp, it's clear, and the message is simple.   Or use your own image!