Monday, May 9, 2016

Adventures with Pigeons! Exploring The American Pigeon Museum

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope that you all are doing well. Mondays can be daunting sometimes, so let's start off the week with some adorable photos of pigeons! See, over the weekend my husband was in Texas for DreamHack Austin (he plays competitive Super Smash Bros. Melee, and he made it into the top 64 at the tournament, which was awesome!), so I decided to have some very random adventures. One of my friends had heard about The American Pigeon Museum, so we decided to go exploring! 

Apparently, Oklahoma City is the nation's headquarters for pigeon racing,  and there are also quite a few pigeon breeders around as well. Who knew that pigeons were such a big deal here? I love finding quirky museums and places and discovering random facts about history, so I really enjoyed our trip. 

The American Pigeon Museum is small, comprised of three main rooms. When we entered, the curator showed us a short movie that explained the history of pigeons (where I discovered that pigeons are descendants from the rock dove, columba livia). Then, the curator brought a pigeon out for us to hold. As I held Elvis (the pigeon), I marveled at how calming this experience was. Some people like to keep dogs, cats, or fish as pets to help them achieve a calm state, but honestly, what about  pigeons? There are people who own pigeons as pets, and the curator said that sometimes, they take the pigeons to nursing homes. These creatures are gentle enough that small children can hold them, too. As I held Elvis, I started to see why pigeons are a big deal for some folks. Petting the smooth feathers and listening to the gentle cooing was so peaceful-I could have held that pigeon for a great length of time. It was wonderful! 

Such a fancy pigeon! But where is your face?
Ah, there it is!
This pigeon was looking quite dapper. 
A pigeon with curly feathers!
After holding our pigeon friend, we looked around the remaining parts of the museum. The first main room, where we watched the movie, was filled with photographs and paintings of pigeons. The second main room depicted the story of pigeons throughout history, and the third main room discussed pigeon racing and featured an assortment of pigeon racing clocks. There was also a small room to the side with some children's books about pigeons and some scholarly resources. As we explored the museum, the curator was incredibly kind and helpful as we asked her a variety of questions about pigeons, pigeon racing clocks, and the exhibits. When we were done looking at the exhibits, my friend asked if we could hold more pigeons, and to our great surprise, the curator said "yes"! 
The row of pigeons!

Author Flanner O'Connor owned
peacocks, but I think it would be
so, so epic to own fantail pigeons.
Seriously, those tails are the best!
So, we proceeded to spend the next several minutes holding, petting, and gazing at the fancy pigeons that had greeted us when we first walked up to the museum. I highly recommend visiting this museum if you wind up in the Oklahoma City area! It is free (donations are accepted) and makes a very nice Saturday morning outing (it is typically open on Fridays and Saturdays and by appointment). When I called the curator before we came, she recommended that we allow an hour for our trip, but since we took time to read all of the displays and hold different pigeons, we spent a little over two hours there. It was a great opportunity to learn about pigeons, who always seem so ordinary. They are actually fascinating creatures and have done so many important things in history! They really are under-appreciated birds.  
Plus, who doesn't want to hold pigeons? 

Baby, meet the pigeon.
Pigeon, meet Baby. 


  1. This is awesome! So fun. I love going to odd museums as well. If you ever make it to Houtson, we have one of the two Natural Funeral Muesums. It is amazing. They have a huge display all about when the Pope dies and the process. I highly recommend it.

    1. Wow, that sounds so cool! I will keep it in mind if I ever get down there. And, one of my good friends from college moved to Houston last fall, so I'll have to tell her about it :) Thanks for letting me know!

  2. I've never really thought about how there are such different kinds of pigeons. I think "pigeon", I think gray...but white and brown? Interesting.

    1. I know what you mean-I had a similar reaction. According to the curator, there are actually "fancy pigeon shows," where people bring the most outrageous looking birds!

  3. Never knew there were different sorts of pigeons. I suppose there's a whole world of pigeon hobbyists that I know nothing about!

    1. Isn't it interesting? This whole subculture exists that so many of us don't know about. The museum curator told us that there are even "fancy pigeon" shows where these birds compete!