Clinic Stories

The Birds

It was not a typical call. Kim from Animal Actors was working on a movie shoot in New York City and needed 200 pigeons. New York pigeons, rats with wings, would not do. They wanted star quality pigeons and had located a loft in Wayne, NJ that would provide the flock. Would I be able to provide an interstate health certificate?

I first called the New York State Veterinarian’s Office to determine what was needed. They were familiar with Animal Actors who frequently bring animals into New York for movies but even they thought it was ironic to bring pigeons into New York. The paperwork was straight forward and I drove to the loft.

Billy, a Bulgarian guy, keeps an impressive flock of pigeons, healthy and rippling beneath their feathers, this loft was Baywatch for birds, very much ready for prime time. Fortunately there were no paparazzi or autograph seekers to interfere with the inspection. The birds had already completed two 150 mile races this season and were racing 200 miles the next day. The remarkable thing about using racing pigeons off site is that when they are finished they can just fly home.

I don’t know the name of the movie being filmed but from now on I will look for animal credits at the end of movies. Check out the website for Animal Actors International. You can even hire celebrity ants, always a crowd pleaser. I wonder where Alfred Hitchcock got the birds his move, “The Birds”?

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