News and Updates
PICKUPS, MAY 9, 2020

   We will not be at the Toronto airport this week. We will be on the road on Saturday and can meet you anywhere along the HWY 401. We will be at Baden Feed at 10:00 AM. We will be in Woodstock at Tim Hortons/Wendy's parking lot at 12:00 noon. Then we will work our way back Home. We already have a pickup at HWY 6 and 401. Call if you want to meet. 


















   Things have been rather hectic. Five trips to the airport this week plus one trip north , one trip east, loads meeting at Burger King, seeing Dale at the border and then those that come to the house.  On top of that, Arlis and I are changing the layout of the loft a bit. We've adding more perches in odd places such as over windows over doors and along the tops of every wall that doesn't have perches on it. More places for them to call their own. So far we have added oodles of little spots which gives us a total of 1688 actual perches. Still, when I go in after dark to tuck them into bed, all the front sun wall wall has birds sitting on the cross sills. They just have to find a different spot to snooze. at present, more than a thousand birds are in the loft. Each night I try to update the list [ some nights I just stare at the screen pretending I am awake].

    The birds are out everyday for at least six hours. With us in the loft so much, most find their way out. Group two has been out for three days and they are also starting to fly with group one. Baths are a daily ritual as is picking in the grass. With us inside so much, the hawk has managed to pick a couple of the roof. When he hits, we can hear the birds scramble and take to the air. Lift off sounds like an elephant landed on the roof. Must be their wings slapping on the metal. 

   All this driving has worn out my driver. Sunday AM saw us at the airport at 6 and in the evening at 9.  The drive back and forth takes 5 hours. Our truck is being rebuilt and the rental can only be driven by her. Last time she'll go to rent a vehicle. She is adamant I keep my hands off it. When she recoups and when Arlis and I complete our adjustments in the loft, Linda will take videos of the birds in and outside the loft and you can see what we have accomplished.

    Actually had a cup of coffee with friends this week, six feet apart of course and out on the deck in the sun. Sooo nice to sit and chat or in my case [deaf] sit and shout.



   Got my first tick. I follow the rules. High topped boots, no shorts, long sleeves, hat. There are times though when you have to stop and step out back behind the loft and walk to the edge of the field. I wasn't anywhere near the tall grass. How these little buggers can jump so far and be so accurate and land on a target so small is beyond me. Now it's total check up every night. Just one more thing to do before I can go to bed.

   Wednesday was a perfect day in the loft. Birds were actually lined up to go out. Our valley runs north from the shore of Lake Ontario for about 2 KM. At best, it is a half KM wide. The birds have been using the airspace around the loft which sits on the west side of the hill, facing south east. A hundred or so have moved on to circling the valley above the hill tops. That's where I like them to be. Up there, they can see for miles and they quickly learn where home is. My Red Tailed neighbour provided them with the motivation needed to fly for most of the afternoon. I walk the landing board when they have their bath's and fly and now they aren't the least bit worried by my presence. Baths were on the landing board all day and when I emptied them at 4 PM, I had to tip a couple out. At 7 PM, I managed to walk 50 birds into the trap without any flying up. A perfect day.

   Thursday is pick up day at Toronto airport/Burger King. Saturday it's Bradford and Sunday its deliveries to our house.

   Keep healthy, stay safe.





   The birds are doing much better now. More and more go out each day. We provide baths on a daily basis and I believe  the splashing water draws the slower to leave birds outside. A small group has started flying around the valley and others do their lap around the loft. Lots enjoy some time in the grass. 

    Linda and I will be at the airport on Thursday night and at our spot at Burger King on Dixie at Britannia at 7 PM. We will be there for awhile, our last flight is at 12:15 AM. Don't forget, we will be in Bradford on Saturday at 11 AM and remember Bill Shannon's is coming to our place on Sunday.

Keep on trucking and good health to you.



  On Saturday, we had a pickup in Eastern Ontario and also met with our friends from Quebec. The birds at home had a short time out later in the afternoon. On Sunday, the birds were out for the afternoon and early evening. The gentle rain was perfect for lifting a leg and washing their underside. In fact, they were enjoying the rain so much we filled the tubs and they had a bath. The splashing of the water brought a large number of birds out. In the late afternoon some discovered the grass and that brought the flock down to the ground. Flying was limited to laps around the loft. Health, for the most part, is good but, no matter what precautions we have taken and how great our health program looks on paper, some just haven't got what it takes to live in a large flock. We have lost a small number.

   This week, we will again be in Toronto but we haven't yet set the day. There are several flights coming in and when they are booked, we will set the times we are in. On Saturday, we will be in Bradford at the Tims nearest to highway 400. We'll be there at 11 AM. On Sunday, Bill Shannon, Kitchener, ON, is coming to our place and he will gladly bring your entries along. Please call him to make arrangements. His number is 519 362 7902. Thanks, Bill.



   In our neighbourhood we have 5 fanciers that race and another 6 or so that keep them around for their enjoyment. Two lofts, one of which is my personal loft, are within an eighth of a mile. My neighbour has open lofts and his birds are often picking on the roadway and fields around our locations. It is enevitable that a youngster lands on his loft and stays there. If your bird is reported to the Canadian Racing Pigeon Union, please call me immediately. The time they are there, being fed and given a drink, makes it difficult to stop the bird from going back there again. You loose a chance to win and that is not nice. Bagging it and making it feel not wanted is not my neighbours thing. Being gentle and making it feel like its home is. While that makes him an excellent fancier, it doesn't help you at all.



   On Thursday, April 23 we will be picking up birds. At 4 PM we will be at the 401/Brock Rd exit at Tim Hortons, just north of the 401. At 4:30 PM we will be at Mcdonalds on Markham Rd just South of the 401. At 5 PM we will be at Victoria Park and 401 at Tim Horton, just north of the 401 on Victoria Park. At about 6:30 we will be at Burger King on Dixie Rd at Britania Ave. We will be here about an hour. Please let us know if you are coming to meet us.



   Today, 150 birds were locked in the hallway and about 100 took advantage of the open trap. Some only wanted to lay in the sun but almost half flew around the loft and stayed on the roof for the afternoon. A few found the grass and picked away. With both Arlis and I enjoying the sun while we sat on the landing board, the hawk made a couple of feeble passes east of the loft. His memory is better than mine and the few times I shot at him was still on his mind. The birds watched him carefully but no one made any stupid moves to run.

   This Saturday, April 25, we will be in Cornwall at 11 AM for a pickup. If you live between Brighton and Cornwall and you need me to meet with you, call and we'll make arangements.



SUNDAY, APRIL 19, 2020

     This afternoon, the sun appeared, the wind disappeared, the rain dried up and I opened the trap and let a few of the birds enjoy their first taste of freedom. They didn't go far. It was as usual, helicopter spins, fly from one end of the landing board to the other and the odd brave bird that reached the roof and then quickly found its way back down. It was a start. Each day, if the weather will allow it, the traps will be open in the afternoon and the brave can go exploring. It usually  takes a month or so before the gang gets the hang of it and start anticipating their daily fly about.  

    We will be in Toronto on Thursday, April 23 in the early afternoon on into the evening. If you need a pickup, please call the house [ 905 355 1804] or email [rickmbroere@gmail.com].



   The birds in our loft are in good health. We will be letting the early birds out this weekend. 

   On Saturday, we are heading to Woodstock for pickups. We  are stopping at 9 AM, 401 and Dixie at the Canadian Tire gas station on Dixie, north of the 401 that's at 9 AM. At 11 AM we will be at Tims on 59 just north of the 401 and at 1 PM we will stop at 401 and 6 Guelph area at Tim Hortons on 6 just north of 401. Any other requests, just phone me 905 269 2348 while I am on the road or call the house tonight, 905 355 1804. 


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