Look how much our racing pigeons have grown in just one week! Birdie #2 (above) is 10 days old, and Birdie #1 (below) is 11 days days old. They’ve doubled in size since last week, and their feathers have sprouted. There’s hardly any adorable yellow fuzz left. At this point, it’s difficult to tell what color they’ll be, but we should have a better idea next time we visit.
Jim fitted the birds with their official race bands today. A race bands is colored cuff that a racing pigeon wears on its leg. Each race band has a unique identification code on it that indicates the national racing organization the bird is registered with, the year the bird was banded, the club it belongs to, and a number unique to the pigeon itself. Here’s what a race band looks like up close:
Race bands are used to identify birds that are entered into races. They also come in handy when someone finds a lost racing pigeon because it helps them track down the bird’s owner. Since racing pigeons wear their race bands for their entire lives, you have to put them on while their claws are small enough to slip through the hole (usually around 7-10 days old).