About Silver Wings Racing Loft
Silver Wings Racing Loft is owned and managed by Jerry Michielli.
Jerry joined the Spokane Racing Pigeon Club in 1986 and has been racing doves/pigeons competitively since 1986.
It’s been his goal for many years to bring the sport of racing doves/pigeons live in real time to the general public. With today’s technology it’s now do able.
Pigeon: Are of the dove family. Also known as Rock Doves
Trapping: Is when the pigeon lands and walks over the timer pad which times them in. Timer pads are usually placed where birds enter loft.
American Racing Pigeon Union: All pigeons need to be banded with American Racing Pigeon Union bands and abide by all rules to be eligible to compete in races. See link http://www.pigeon.org/history.htm
About Jerry and his Pigeons
His loft is a converted trailer that’s been hauled over from the West Side where a pigeon racing club used it. On its side is a painted commemoration of Geronimo – a famous World War II carrier pigeon who carried 81 messages on 30 combat missions – perhaps giving Michielli’s pigeons something to live up to.
“Homing pigeons were used in the war, before radio communications got real good,” Michielli said. “And not just any old dove can do what these guys do. They are bred to come home.”
So how exactly do they find their way home? Michielli said some believe the pigeons can smell their way, or that they use magnetic lines in the earth for navigation.
“None of it is proven,” Michielli said. “I think they have photographic memories. I think they see something they recognize and that’s the way they go.”
But think about this: For the longest races, 600 miles, the doves – all from different lofts – spend the night before in a truck being driven to a location such as, say, northern Oregon. They may never have been there before. The next morning, the doves will be released together, then circle in big, beautiful swoops, wings flapping, as they gain height. First they fly together and then, suddenly, they begin to split off in smaller groups headed home to their individual lofts. They have a day to complete the race.