News and Updates

All the birds finally have their electronic bands. All the birds were outside this afternoon and as I was getting ready to test the system{meaning my ability to set things up} a storm came out of nowhere that scared the dickens out of me and I opened all the windows and traps that I could to allow the birds to come in as fast as they could. Terrific winds, pounding rain and in four minutes it was over. Tomorrow will be the test.



How anyone so young can store so much information in their noggin is beyond me. Every once in awhile I like to play a slot machine and when Kevin the Techy was working on our Tauris program, thats what it looked like to me. Things flew by so fast and every once in a while, he hit jackpot. Hopefully, I can hit jackpot to.

Unfortunately, in the process leading up to Kevin's miracle, I managed to replace all the data we collected yesterday with a copy of the file we were in the process of updating. Today, we get to do it again. We will man handle all the birds again and feed them through the traps and provide inventory.

Please don't worry about sending in the activation fee untill this is working 100%. I am on the right track, I am just a little slower than what I would have liked. A week later won't matter at all.

Keep checking the trainer results and when the whole list is on, I want to hear you cheer.



  Unfortunately, we're still without access to our computor. We are told Thursday will be the day.



     Life, as I once knew it, might return now that all the birds have arrived. There are a few that are not on the bird list, but they will be done this week as we complete the electronic banding process. Our computor specialist will be here on Monday to revamp the program. Hopefully, by Tuesday, we are able to show a basket list and use the trap to keep you informed of the status of your birds. By weeks end, I hope all is complete and I ask that you please check for any mistakes. I have been known to make a few. The week after, it will be time to activate your 6th bird.

     The health is great, very little surprises in the morning when I return to the loft and that makes me very happy. The flock flies well now stretching out in all directions. We are prepping the trailer and soon will start the training schedule. They are maturing very quickly and already I see them mating and trying to find a secluded spot to nest. Lots of outside time keeps them in check.



    Life at the Empire Loft has been somewhat frantic these last few days. I've seen all of Ontario meeting folks and receiving birds. A couple more days of replacements and one more shipment from out west and hopefully that will be it.  All but the last newbies are flying very well. They soon will be ready to start up the road. Don't forget, at the end of June you have to activate any of the extra birds on your 5 bird teams.

    We have a problem with the computor that won't be fixed untill next week. We can run the birds through the trap and scan their numbers, but we can't bring live clocking to the web site. Hopefully by Tuesday we will be able to do just that. Meantime, we will complete the electronic banding and have the rest of the birds settled for the main test next week.

Thanks, till next week, Rick


Hi to all

Our pickups are coming to an end. This week and maybe a bit of next and that will be it. I will miss travelling around the world in 80 days. We extended the pickups into June because so many were having trouble breeding youngsters in the beginning of the season. Must be the wet weather I guess. This week we are all over the place with two days of pickups at the airport, Tuesday and Friday. Call if you wish to meet somewhere. 

The birds are healthy and active. Every morning, a cloud of down feathers greet me when I enter the loft. They eat well, drink well and it shows when they exercise.There are about 520 birds flying in the main flock. They are outside about 6 hours a day. Already they are starting to ramble a bit. I believe that fresh air and exercise is the best thing that I can provide for them. I realise that the hawk takes the odd bird but the sacrifice of one is what we have to pay for the benefit of the whole.

The birds I picked up in the last 10 days or so and the ones coming this week are seperated from the main flock. They will not join together untill they have had their booster shot and their electronic bands activated. It would be impossible to pick out who has been vacinated and who has not had their booster if they were all together. They will have their time out in the morning.

When all have settled in and are roaming well, I will begin training. I expect that to begin at the end of June. I will devide them into four groups in the beginning and train one group at a time. This means less waiting time in a hot trailer and I hope it will lessen the amount of losses. 

At this time, I would like to thank all of you who have entrusted me with your young pigeons. I will do all I can to prepare your road warriors. I want your birds to be as fit as your neighbours to give everyone a shot at winning the gold.

Hope to see you all in September at shipping, the loft auction and for the barbeque on race day. Don't forget to check weekly for an update on your birds.

Rick and Linda

PS.  I have been asked to put up some photos and I will. At the moment, I am trying to get a handle on the computor program to show inventory, training races and the eventual races. In a week or so, I'll tackle this new smart phone I have. All I have managed to do so far is butt dial about forty people everytime I sit down. Last week I reached a woman in I think she said Iceland or it could have been Hamilton, I don't know, but she didn't know anything about racing pigeons, nor did she want to learn. 


All birds on hand were vacinated for the second time {not this weeks arrivals} and were given their chip ring. Of the 575 that we took in, 546 birds survived settling and the hawks. All were in excellent shape. We managed to crash the computer and I managed to make enough mistakes to make life miserable for those around me. Not all the electronic bands were correct so tomorrow I will get the rest done. 

The list of those who are missing birds, I'll do by hand and I will try to contact you by phone on Saturday and Sunday.

Those mising birds are:  3 legged Loft-1, Adirondack-1, Baracuda La Chance - !, Battlefield 1- 2

Battlefield 3-1, Bob Swanson -1, Bonneterre -1, Chicady -!, Crystal Creek -1, Dave Naylor -1,

Destiny- 1, Dorothy Newson -2, F&D Lofts- 2, Jason Mihalec- 1, Joe and Celia Visscher-1,

Langley Syndicate-1 Luis Silvestre -1, Manitoulin Estates- 1, Mohammed-1, Sunshine Loft-1

Team Bennett-1, Tom Spring-1, Wayne Lochbaum-1 Twins Loft-1, Van Heerden-Kruger-2 and

Villa Du Sud 1. 

Please send your replacements when you can.  



     During the winter months, I was offered advice on what to do with the birds after the races were completed. I must admit, I thought it was a wonderful idea and decided to go ahead and make that happen.It sounded so simple, pigeon fanciers helping those that wanted to be pigeon fanciers. Fact of the matter is, people want their birds back and they donot want to have to bid against the world to get them back. I can cut off three fingers on one hand and I would still have enough fingers left to count up the number of people who thought it was a great idea. Not so for those who want nothing to do with it. You have no idea how many have signed on under duress, only because they were my friends and they know how hard I want for this race to be a success. 

     What I want is for this race to be the best I can make it and for that I need lots of participation. The numbers against far outweigh those for so therefore, there will not be an auction after all is done. Your birds will be returned to you. I will extend the pickups for birds to the race an extra week.

Thank you, Rick



Sunday night, my blood pressure went out of sight and if I smoked weed, I would have used a lot of it. Thirty five birds, mostly the last to be released got the scare of their life and simple found it impossible to land on the landing board. I assume a hawk took a swipe at them and they wanted no part of landing there any more. It took until dark to bring them down and my two droppers wore them selves out. All came back in except two who decided life on top of the silo might be better. Hopefully they'll come back in the morning.

We will be picking up at the airport in Toronto on Thursday and we will also be in Kitchener on Thursday morning for feed pick up. Tuesday we are in Kingston for a border pick up with Dale Zehr.

We are giving them their second PMV shot and hopefully will complete banding very soon. We are doing a hand inventory on Tuesday and Wednesday and will post a list of those who are missing in action asap. This will give us a week or so to get replacements.

We will be excepting birds into the first of June. We understand aome have had a tough time breeding, thanks to mother nature.

Thanks, Rick 


      Hi to all and happy mother's day to all you mama's.

      I'll try to fill you in with all that has been happening here on the Ponderosa. Grab a glass of wine, a beer or a cocktail, sit back and relax even if is's only for just a short while.

      There's a pigeon here who is trying to drive me nuts. It's a blood red bird, very nice in the hand, and extremely strong willed. l won't give you the name of the breeder but I will give you their initials. It's V&V Lofts. This bird flies with the group but when everyone comes down from their spin in the air, he heads for the top of the silo. Off I go, hands full with tennis balls and using my one good arm, I try to bean him. Yesterday, I swear he had a tennis racket behind his back cause the last ball was served right back at me. I got a large rubber beach/soccer ball and with my one good leg, I got a great shot at him. He can't do a header! Fact is, he won't go back up there at all now. I just have to lean against the silo and while he'll come and have a look, he goes right back and lands on the runway.

      Yesterday, five birds with French Canadian accents, tried to take down a Canada goose. After the pate`I presume. 

      I want to confirm with the gentleman in the Guelph area that, number one, your bird wasn't on it's third flight, it was it's fourth. and yes you were right, I did manage to break it. I think he fell in love with happy hour at the loft. Small seeds and fresh vitaminized mineral water at five is a joy to behold at the Classic.

      The birds usually leave the loft for the afternoon at eleven or so. All I have to do is set the exit door and switch on the exit light and there is a mad dash for freedom. Doesn't take them very long to get the hang of things, as long as the rythm is not disturbed. Most fly for a bit and then they like to pick in the grass or at the gravel surounding the building. At two oclock I am usually sitting on the landing deck of the "SS Empire" reading a book and with one eye checking the sky. I started reading out loud and have discovered that the monotone sound draws them closer to me and they lay on one wing and fall aslleep. I feel like a kindergarten teacher at nap time. Next week I plan on upping the culture level a bit and read them War and Peace.

       As you can probably tell, it was an uneventfull week. The birds are flying well, go out easily and most now come in when they are called, even with full feed in front of them. The small seeds really work. The health for 96% of the birds is fantastic, and those in sick bay are coming along. Jim was right, a little older is much better than too young. 

      Things for me are hectic. I have yet to learn to relax and take things in stride. But that will come, hopefully before I'm 80.

      Pick ups this week will be at the Toronto airport on Thursday, May 18 and at the US border in the middle of the week. I will also be in the Guelph area and Hamilton in the evening later this week. I'll post the times on the Message board. 

Thanks for looking in and call if you have any questions. Rick

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