Belgrade Senior Center Visit - Lorca Smetana

Home into the aviary! Free loft for the afternoon

This Wednesday I took a basket of birds to talk at the Senior Center in Belgrade. I especially enjoy talking at senior centers and retirement homes because there are often people who personally remember the bravery and the feats of the military homing pigeons in the two World Wars. Or sometimes someone had relatives in the old country who had a family loft. We had both of these this time. In a special twist this time we combined the talk and release at the end with a field trip to visit our loft. Five birds were hand released by members of the audience along with the main flock from the basket and then everyone piled into cars like clowns and carpooled out to our home and loft on the river and had a tour of the loft. They saw the the birds they had released home safe (and home well before us.) We visited the racing team lofts and gave the white birds a bath as a reward. It’s always funny to see how many birds try to fit into a bath pan at the same time. I had made sure to pen up the flock of seven Bourbon Red turkeys before everyone arrived. They’re enormous teen-agers now and just a little too interested in making chests at anything moving for comfort. The presentation and field trip were much enjoyed all around but I’d like to work on smoother footing before we have many more visits like that. The lofts are built on slopes and a few more steps and paths would make moving around them more comfortable for older visitors.

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