IN PICTURES: Pigeons, thoroughbred racers of the sky | Bartell's Backroads
Dave Endress, a pigeon racier from Wilton, holds a 16-day-old chick. Endress says that, while there are records of some pigeons living 19 years or more, most racers average about 10 years.
A 16-day-old baby pigeon sits in the hand of owner, Dave Endress. By 45 days, the chick's yellow down will be replaced by feathers. At four months, Endress will start training it to race.
You can tell how healthy a pigeon is by looking at the color of its beak. A white band is a good sign. Other colors could indicate illness.
Owner Dave Endress shows the leg band that identifies each of his racing pigeons. It also contains a chip that notifies Endress and race officials when his pigeons have crossed the antenna in the coop that functions as the finish line.
Racing pigeons relax and catch a bite to eat between training sessions. Owner Dave Eldress has about 70 birds.
Pigeons take flight from racing enthusiast Dave Endress' coop. Some racing pigeons can travel 600 miles in a day.