Birds. I have had a lifelong fascination for birds- both wild and domesticated.
Many of us take them for granted, never noticing them. But, they are always there- outside our homes- our ever present inhabitants of the skies, the forests, the moorlands and our cities and towns.
I’ve been keeping chickens for years and wanted to get more birds, but I wanted to get different birds.
My great-uncle was a railwayman and, as such, kept pigeons in his back green (a shared tenement back garden in Scotland). His back green was massive and it was always sunny (as seen through my young eyes). It was also filled with raspberries and gooseberries he had grown. In the middle of all his fruit bushes was his pigeon loft. These beloved racers were one of his prized possessions and were even brought into the house every night in a special overnight-pigeon-bed-box type thing. The childhood memories of these birds never quite left me, so I decided upon pigeons.
Most people dismiss pigeons as either vermin, or as an old-fashioned hobby of men in flat caps with whippets by their sides.
However, pigeons are actually extremely clever birds. They can;
-tell the direction and strength of the earths magnetic field (by a mechanism we still don’t understand).
– detect infrasound as low as 0.1 Hz.
– use roads to navigate (so much so, that they even fly around roundabouts).
After reading and researching, I set about to build this- a ‘roller kit box’.
A ‘kit’ is a small flock of roller pigeons who form very close bonds and usually fly together in one formation or other.
And ‘roller pigeons’ are? Well, birds which essentially do mid-air backward somersaults.
I drew up my own plans for this merely by looking at pictures of various kit boxes on the web. Built in sections in my old garage, this was put together using marine plywood and pressure treated timber (along with various recycled bits I had).
It now houses my Birmingham rollers- a great wee aerial display team.