Meet Author Erika Liodice and Her Racing Pigeons
We all have hidden talents. The same is true of racing pigeons. At first glance, racing pigeons might look like ordinary birds, but they possess a special skill that helps them find their way home from far-away places. This homing instinct, combined with their extraordinary ability to fly at speeds of up to 65 miles per hour for several hours without stopping, has earned these incredible athletes the nickname “thoroughbreds of the sky.”
Pigeon racing is a 200-year-old sport in which specially-trained racing pigeons are released from distant locations and then race back to their home lofts. Races can span several hundred miles and are often won or lost by seconds. This fascinating sport originated in Belgium and quickly became an international sensation. Not long ago, many American families spent their free time raising and racing pigeons. But today, with screen time dominating our free time, most people have forgotten about the sport and few kids even know it exists. For the first time in its history, the sport of pigeon racing is in danger of dying out.
Erika Liodice’s interest in the sport inspired her to write the High Flyers children’s book series about an elite team of racing pigeons. During her research, she started a team of her own to learn firsthand about the birds’ care and training. Today, Erika and her feathered friends are on a mission to save the sport and help people rediscover the joy of pigeon racing … and maybe even uncover a few hidden talents of their own.
With Special Guests Cosmo & Zuzu
During Erika’s presentation, children will get out of their seats and participate in movement-based activities to learn how birds fly. They’ll also have the opportunity to observe and interact with Erika’s pet racing pigeons, Cosmo and Zuzu, while learning about:
History of pigeon racing Homing instinct
Flight physics Wild pigeons vs. racing pigeons Care & training Famous pigeon fanciers
Perfect for elementary schools, home school groups, libraries, youth organizations, and clubs.
Event Photos & Testimonials
Schnecksville Elementary School, PA
“Schnecksville staff, families, and students LOVED having Erika Liodice visit our school for Family Night. Erika’s diligence, planning, and preparation were seamless. Her presentation and interaction with the children demonstrated her knowledge and passion about her racing pigeons and career. The children (and adults!) left the evening with new knowledge and a blossomed interest in pigeon racing. I would highly recommend Erika. She radiates positivity and has a great way to get students excited about literacy!”Taryn Gergar, Reading Specialist, Schnecksville Elementary School, PA
Kernsville Elementary School, PA
“We had the pleasure of hosting Ms. Liodice at our school in Oct 2018. We loved learning all about racing pigeons! Ms. Liodice was full of fun facts and history along with interesting images and even a love story. For our older students she went into wonderful detail of how paragraphs become and inspire illustrations to further enhance a story and how all of that is accomplished. The weather spoiled our chance to see the pigeons in action but it did allow us more time with them up close and personal with a meet and greet and lots of time for students’ questions and curiosity to be answered. I highly recommend this wonderful and entertaining author.” Faith Ryan, Kernsville Elementary School PTO
Fogelsville Elementary School, PA
“The students and staff of Fogelsville Elementary were thrilled to have Erika and her feathered friends visit our school. Erika’s presentation was unique and engaging. The children hung on her every word and were genuinely interested to learn more about racing pigeons. Erika was able to establish a positive rapport with the children, which allowed her to have great conversations about her work as an author, the writing process, and, of course, racing pigeons! Her content was an excellent connection into our curriculum. Teachers and students thoroughly enjoyed their visit with Erika, Zuzu, and Rocket. I highly recommend Erika and her amazing racing team!”Jessica Holben, Reading Specialist, Fogelsville Elementary School, PA
Central Elementary School, PA
“Erika brought great energy and information to Central Elementary School. Her passion for what she does is contagious and the students were really drawn into her presentation. She did a great job of tailoring her lessons to meet the needs of the different grade levels while still keeping the material relevant and engaging. Erika was an absolute pleasure to work with and she creates a unique, multifaceted experience.”Laura Worman, Project Coordinator, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Allentown School District, PA
Cetronia Elementary School, PA
“The kids and teachers are still talking about your visit…one teacher told me it was the best author visit she has ever seen!”Dr. Ruth Tice, Reading Specialist, Cetronia Elementary School, PA
“It was a pleasure to welcome Erika (and her pigeons!) to our elementary school. We have hosted many authors in the past, and Erika was the most prepared, professional, and fascinating presenter ever. The students immediately connected with Erika’s warm personality and captivating program. She tailored her presentations for each of our three different grade-level assemblies and was well-received by each audience. ALL of the students were engaged, energized, and excited, not only about her books, but also about the intriguing sport of pigeon racing. At the end of each session, Erika took questions, and the students were so excited to interact with her. Erika responded to each question with positivity, patience, and enthusiasm. I highly recommend Erika Liodice as an amazing author to visit your school!”Donna Reinert, Library Media Specialist, Cetronia Elementary School, PA
Catasauqua Public Library, PA
“If you are looking for a program that will appeal to all ages, you will find it in Erika Liodice’s ‘High Flyers,’ a refreshingly original experience!”Sandra Arden, Library Director, Catasauqua Public Library, PA
Central PA Educational Co-op
“Erika Liodice’s racing pigeon program was thrilling for the kids. They loved seeing the beautiful birds and hearing Erika’s well-prepared presentation of her experience. She was so good with the kids, answering all their questions and letting them interact with the birds. It was really educational and fun.” Central PA Education Co-op
Community Educational Centers, PA
“Erika Liodice of Team High Flyers came to our school, Community Educational Centers. She bought her racing pigeons and did an entertaining presentation for our students ages 6-10. She did a question-provoking slide presentation. She stopped several times to allow questions and provide complete age-appropriate answers. Her slide presentation kept both the children and teachers’ attention from start to finish. After that, she joined the class in the field playground and let her pigeons go to fly home. The children had guessed which one would arrive home first. The next day she let us know which one won the race. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed Erika and her pigeons’ visit. We will have her back again.”Jeffra Nandan, Director, Community Educational Centers, PA
The Malvern School of Montgomeryville
“Erika Liodice’s ‘Lifecycle of a Racing Pigeon’ presentation is perfect and exciting for early childhood education.”Rebecca Fiss, Director of Education, Malvern School of Montgomeryville, PA
The Malvern School of Oaks, PA
“Our students found Erika Liodice’s ‘Lifecycle of a Racing Pigeon’ program to be very informative. She shared a lot of information about the racing pigeons and related it to our curriculum theme of ‘lifecycles.’ The children loved seeing the birds up close and learning about their development.”Allison Gray, Director of Education, Malvern School of Oaks, PA
Erika Liodice Speaker Biography
Erika Liodice is the author of the High Flyers children’s book series for readers ages 7-10. She is a proud member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI), Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), and Toastmasters International. Erika is also the author of Empty Arms: A Novel (Dreamspire Press), a contributor to Author in Progress (Writer’s Digest), and a regular columnist on the popular fiction writing website Writer Unboxed. She has more than a decade of experience speaking to audiences of all ages on a variety of writing, reading, and racing topics.
Clearances available upon request:
- FBI Federal Criminal Background Check
- PA State Police Criminal Record Check
- PA Child Abuse History Clearance
Contact Erika Liodice directly to discuss your event, speaking fees, and availability.