News and Updates

   On Tuesday, the birds had a 62 KM toss. They were released in 16 groups, starting at 12:45 with all birds released by 1:20.  The sky was clear at the release point, dark clouds half way home and clear at home. The winds were gusty, pushing them to the west. Leaving the area was not as quick as before. Several groups came back and joined forces. At home, the late arrivals all came from the south west and by the end of the day, 12 birds were still missing. I'll set up the race today so that you can see the arrival time of the late comers.

   The birds out of sick bay had a short toss {1/2 KM} and while they felt good and looked great, four didn't come home and are part of the 12 that are missing.

   Today, play in the sun, have a shower, and a little loft flying. Tomorrow will be a toss of 90 KM.



     Good Morning. As of nine oclock last night, 592 birds went through the trap. That brings them all back home. The last team released on Sunday returned from all directions. What ever they hit, sure split them up. All but two arrived before nine AM. Both of the late comers have hit wires on the way home. On Monday, the birds had open loft and a short forced excercize period. They look great with no health issues for the last 2 weeks, only injuries from wires.

     Today, they will go 62 KM and the clock will be on.



   The birds were released starting at 11;15 and the last group at 11:45. Today was somewhat tougher with a headwind and a higher temperature. The birds arrived in small groups with an awfull lot of single and doubles between the groups. While some groups came from the north or north east, a lot came from the west, pushed over by the wind. The injured and recovering birds were released near the farm and had their exercize around the loft a couple of hours before the main groups arrival. They all trapped during the arrival of the main flock.




   The birds were released approximately 50 KM from the loft with the first group leaving at 11:30 and the last group shortly after 12:00 noon. Most came home in the small groups they were released in. The first bird in the clock was a late return from yesterday's toss. Several of the last few birds are just released from sick bay and are training on their own from a very short distance.



  I messed up. I didn't have my instructions with me and I thought I could set it all up. I did except I started to second guess and then I shut the damn thing off. There were six hundred and five birds clocked. I will do it again Saturday afternoon and it will work for sure.Rick


     I should explain, to those who care, the readout of the latest 20KM toss. The first bird managed to hide out untill all birds were loaded into the trailer and it was all locked up and ready to go. I decided to use him as a test for the clock. The next eleven birds are in sick bay. The have a number of bangs and bruises and some have had the dreaded duck pond flu. Eight are almost ready to go and will get pretty bright marker bands and they will be trained seperately untill they are fit enough to join the main flock.

    The birds are training very well. They will get another toss or two at the twenty KM spot and then they will move on up the line. Only thirty more days untill the first race so I don't have time to dilly dally. I release the birds in sixteen different groups so please do not concern yourself with the clocking order. The birds leave the release site very quickly and very seldom do they come home in larger groups. I am lucky because it reduces the time needed to release the birds and shortens the wait time dramaticly. Clocking is also going very well. The birds drop right at the trap and go in very quickly. Locking them out has taught them that when the board is up, it's time to get in.

    Every morning the birds go for a toss and every afternoon, all go out and loft fly. I set the traps to clock the late arrivals, got to know who's doing what. Everything that goes out flies for a minimum of an hour. Most fly much more. Small groups break off and fly out of sight and come back later, usually from a different direction.  

    It surprises me, the number of birds that mate and lay eggs. It doesn't happen in my loft at home. It must be the enviroment. It's a bit like a high school dance, soo many bodies dancing around and and too much electricity in the air. I think I am going to start an egg route. Old folks like a small breakfast and Brighton is filled with them. I should make a killing.

   I have collected all the money for the extra birds that I can and this week I will post the pay out for the 2017 races. 

   Enjoy watching the training of your birds and good luck with their progress.

   Rick and Linda


     The birds are training very well. The training of Rick and Linda also goes well. We can now load a trailer in 95 minutes. They are out every day and are now at the 10 K station. Health is fine though we did have some issues with the dirty duck ponds. Hope the rain falls on the plains of Spain and stays away from here.

     Cheques are coming in the Post every day and I hope all will be here by the weekend. I have to draw this to a close so that the prize list can be posted. There were a couple of days where I thouight of laying down in front of Jim's tractor as he so carefully cut his grass, but I didn't do it. So much to do and just not enough hours in the day. Linda and I will be taking turns releasing the birds. It is enjoyable watching the birds leave the trailer but also satisfying to watch them drop from the sky and into the loft. Now I can do both.

      We will post the trainers as soon as all the cheques have arrived and the prize list is on line. If you haven't mailed your 6th bird cheque, please call me and let me know that it is coming. 

Thanks, Rick













     Life at Empire Classic Triple Crown is bouncing right along. The birds don't like me as much as they use to. Not many pigeons or people enjoy being forced to participate. It may make you healthy and strong or give you a pay check but there's this thing about it being your decision. The birds fly a minimum of one hour now and most fly much more than that. We are starting to train the birds this week and I will post an inventory after a few tosses. Please send in your sixth bird activation fee as soon as possible so that we can print this years pay out schedule. I have contacted most of you  and will try the rest again over the next couple of days.

     I handle the birds as much as possible and have found that there are three types of birds in the loft. The first type is the strong and powerfull, the second type are the meek. The third are the very quiet types. These won't pick a fight but they don't back down.

     The strong spend an awfull lot of energy pushing their neighbours around and trying to hustle the girls. The females of this type also spend their energy keeping other ladies away from their rowdy boyfriends. In the evening, they sleep well cause their dead tired. Their backgrounds must all come from the hot climates of Europe. 

      The meek, I don't know if they'll inherit the world or not. They miss the steak and potatoes at dinner and hardly ever are the first to get a drink. I do know that great things have happened to those who were polite and waited their turn. I think their background must be from the refined areas of Vancouver or New Jersey. 

      The very quiet ones are Dutch. They do what's needed to be done and never a word is said. There's never a complaint, no shouting out" look at me", just steady Edies quietly going about their business stealing food, right beside the bulies getting a drink and then, when you least expect it, there they are on the top level of the podium. 

      Seriously, I find myself picking out the same birds time after time. Will what I feel in the hand tell me which one will win the race or am I out to lunch on that account?  I cannot wait to see which one will be the first through the trap on race day. 

Again, please send the sixth bird activation fee asap.

Thanks, Rick


    I am becoming an export on all things clocking, but only in my own mind. The people helping me think I have sawdust for brains. The system is working well, and, on my own, I fixed the band problem. Seems machines can't read long numbers. 

    I took the time to test the traps. I took a baket with ten birds and let them walk through the traps at their own pace and all ten bands were read. I then forced groups of birds at a faster pace into the holes. Depending on how many I managed to stuff in, four times one band was not read. the clocks are super fast but the odd bird can sneak by without being recorded.

   Friday evening I decided to sit in front of the traps to slow the troops down. It worked. Enough of them said "what the heck is this" and stood back to watch the brave ones go first. It went at a steady pace untill I moved, at which time the not so brave decided to take advantage of my absence. This is as good as it might get for an acurate reading. I wll do this again Saturday, Sunday and Monday and I will compare the clock list to our hard copy from the hand inventory of last week. Mondays list will be the list used for activating your sixth bird. 

   I have changed my schedule somewhat. I now open the loft early and give them an open hole. A large number of them, and it increases daily, have their morning feed and then go for a morning toot around the countryside. I leave food in the loft for a couple of hours and most come back in for a mid morning snack. At two oclock, everyone has to vacate the loft and gets locked out till four or five. During this time, I like to sit on the landing deck, read my paper, snooze and with one eye, watch the birds.

   When the birds leave the landing board, it's like the last day of school for the kid's in grade eight. Poof, and their gone! The noise level is about the same. Hardly ever do they fly in large flocks. Mostly they split into groups of fifty to a hundred and fly in every direction. Some enjoy the lake and fly up and down the shore line. Others have been spotted heading to Brighton and Colborne, following highway two in both directions. Hawks still come by for a free meal and this week, I believe we had a falcon. It came out of the blue, smack into the group as they were flying over the field, creating mayhem and keeping them up for a very long time. I didn't get a very good look at it but I did notice it had an extra long tail.

   Some of the birds have taken to bathing in standing water and so have a number of ducks and geese. This combo doesn't bode well and I have taken to shooting over their heads to force them out of the pond. To damn far to walk to every fiteen minutes. Enough with all this rain! I let the birds out rain or shine bringing them in earlier when it rains to give them time to dry off before lights out.

  This week we cleaned the coop and sprayed with Virkon again. We also added Y2K racing feed to their mix. A little extra boost before their journey up the road. The birds look fantastic and I am amazed at the quality that we have in our care.

   Please check each day as we clock your birds and compare lists to make sure what shows up on Mondays list is the right number. Any problems, please call or email. 

Enjoy your long weekend and don't worry about me working.




I thought all was well with the clocking system, but it is not, For some reason, some of the bands register on Tauris but wont load on wincompanion. We have discovered a dozen or so ebands that seem to have stopped working. The last seven birds through the trap,at dark, did not register. Tomorrow I'll play detective with Terry and hopefully will solve that problem. The problems seem minor, compared to the ones that we have solved in the past couple of weeks.

Another problem are the extra birds showing up now that the clock is working. Some are because of partnerships, wiith one bringing extra birds. Also, some of the birds scared off by the hawk attacks are finding their way back home. Most mornings, we find a bird or two waiting by the trap to be let back in.

At the end of this week, hopefully all will be straightened out and we can give a proper accounting of the extra birds that have to be activated. On monday, the long weekend we'll set the clock up again for another check of inventory. Meanwhile, we'll work hard at fixing the few bugs left. 

As near as I can tell, there are about seven hundred and fifteen birds in the loft at this time.


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