Champion Flyer of Champion Birds
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- 2005 Young Bird Champion Loft 151-300
Flying with the CJC Combine.
Tell us a little about yourself?
When you were born? Did your family have
birds? When did you first start with pigeons?
When did you first race? What was the name
of the first club you flew in?
My father introduced me to racing pigeons.
He had them on a three story tenement rooftop
in Hoboken, NJ. My father worked as a longshoreman
on the Hoboken docks, just like in On The
Waterfront, with Marlon Brando.
I won my first race in 1954 in the Hudson
County pigeon club in Hoboken. It was a
250 mile race and my father had to go to
work that day. He allowed me to enter the
birds in the race, but, being so young I
had to get a ride to the club after clocking.
There were two cocks fighting over a hen,
the looser of the fight was my first bird
home and won the race. Has anything changed
in fifty years? My father took a lot of
teasing from his friends because the bird
was not pooled.
Where do you fly today?
Have you ever flown as a partnership, if
so who was your partner and when?
I fly in the greater Elizabeth pigeon club,
the OLC club and the Perth Amboy pigeon
club. My father was my only real partner,
although, I did have a lot of fun and a
couple of good seasons racing with Harry
Witt. We won the North Hudson Futurity race,
and we did celebrate.
Do you think your position is a
good one as far as combine races are concerned?
How big is Combine / Club?
I am in a good position for the GE club,
because I am south of most flyers. In the
combine, I am in the middle probably, an
equal number north and south of me. The
Central Jersey Combine averages around two
Do you have an original family of pigeons?
Yes, almost all my birds have some of the
blood lines from Leo Gavron from Sayreville,
NJ. I only have two birds in my breeding
coop that I did not breed, and only one
that is not trained to my loft. I could
probably give you the pedigree of most of
my birds going back over fifty years.
What type of birds do you now fly?
Big, med, small?
Big to medium. Can you give us a little
history on your champion bird?
Please list your bird's record that enabled
you to enter into the champion bird competition.
Also for Champion loft if you qualified
for this. Please list your flying results.
100 did not fly, as the birds were getting
over Adeno Virus
Second 100, 2nd Club, 26th Combine, 2,824
birds, 217 lofts
First 150, 1st Club, 3rd, 9th, 18th Combine,
2,585 birds, 216 lofts
Second 150, 1st Club, 12th, 45th, 60th,
79th Combine, 2,885 birds, 230 lofts
First 200, 1st Club, 1st, 21st, 25th, 52nd,
54th, Combine, 2,885 birds, 230 lofts
Second 200, 2nd Club, 21st, 22nd, 23rd,
29th, 49th, 57th, 58th, Combine, 3,239 birds
First 250, brought back to 150, 2nd Club,
14th Combine, 2,197 birds, 175 lofts
Second 250, 4th Club, 29th, 37th, 38th,
40th, 49th, 2,614 birds, 196 lofts
First 300, 2nd Club, 3rd, 16th, Combine,
2,425 birds, 178 lofts
Second 300, 3rd Club, 23rd, 52nd, 54th,
Combine, 2,142 birds, 163 lofts
325 mile Garden State Open Race, 1st, 9th,
14th, 27th, 38th, 43rd, 756 birds, 58 lofts
300 mile Perth Amboy Open Futurity Race,
1st, 12th, 59th, 75th, 623 birds, 73 lofts
350 mile Garden State Open Challenge Race,
6th, 261 birds, 23 lofts
250 mile GE Club Futurity, 2nd, 4th
Do you race imports?
I have one Meuleman in my breeding loft
and he has produced winners with five different
When you select birds, do you go
to auction, or the internet and buy a bird
or do you scout out other champions and
obtain birds from them?
I haven't purchased any birds recently,
only some young birds at auctions for special
How many birds do you fly on your
old bird team and young bird teams?
For Old birds I fly 50 to 60, and for Young
Birds I fly 60 to 70.
Do you prefer old bird or young
I prefer old birds. The longer races are
more fair because location is not a factor
as much as in the short races. All the bigger
prizes are in the Young Bird races, so it
makes young bird racing more exciting.
Do you use a system? For young birds?
I like to fly separated sexes for Young
For Old Birds?
I try to do both separated and natural for
Please explain your system day by day from
preparing for the first training toss to
the last race.
I think the Sampson Bros. tape explains
the light system much better than I can.
How do you feel about people using different
systems that compete with you?
I don't care as long they don't give them
drugs, although, our Combine has a rule
against the darkening system.
Explain how you would prepare a
team of birds to go into a 300 mile Futurity
It’s all according to the weather,
and how many previous races the bird has
flown. If all conditions are good, I would
do it the same as any other race. If a bird
is healthy and not hurting, he loves an
hour fly in the morning. I would not train
him the day of shipping. I think that is
the motivation day.
Explain how you would prepare a team of
birds for shipping to a 400 mile Old Bird
I love a hen on two week old eggs for the
Do you cut flights?
Yes, but not on all birds,
Pull tail feathers?
Do you have your birds finished
with body molt when races start, or are
you a natural flyer, if so, when do you
start to breed?
I try to breed as early as possible so the
birds are more mature and have a better
chance of moulting out before the bigger
races. My problem is that I usually go on
vacation two weeks in Nov., three weeks
in Jan., and three weeks in Feb. I am lucky
to have a very good flyer, Pete Contala
(Wings loft), who takes care of my birds
for me when I am gone.
Do you fly to the perch? Do you
fly widowhood? Separated sexes, or just
hens? If you fly natural or widowhood, please
explain your method in old birds and young
I have never flown widowhood, I'm sure it
is probably the best, because, most of Europe
does this method. I often thought I might
like to try it, but, it is very difficult
for me to let the birds loft fly because
of the hawk problem that has come about
in recent years.
Describe you loft. Do you have a
separate breeding loft? What kind of airflow
do you have in the loft, fans, etc?
I have a 24 ft. by eight ft. flying loft
with 4 sections, and a 12 ft by 8 ft breeding
loft with 2 sections.
Describe how you feed? Hopper or
I feed by hopper.
After a flight around the loft or
is it when they return from training?
When the birds come home from training,
I feed them light, then a little while later,
I will feed them as much as they want without
leaving any feed. This will not always work
when they are on eggs. I am usually done
with the birds between 11am --12 noon. For
many years I fed twice a day, but this way
it is so much easier for me to do other
things the rest of the day. I have a nice
boat that I enjoy, or if I want to go for
a 5 or 6 hour lunch, I don't have to worry
about feeding the birds in the evening.
I try to make it as easy and enjoyable as
possible. Pigeons have been my life long
hobby, and I try to keep things in perspective.
Years ago, when I was fortunate enough to
win a good prize, I would tell my wife,
“its cruise time!” and she would
book us a cruise.
Which mixture do you use?
I use a commercial mixture from Browns that
I purchase from Charlie Sarafer (Z Line
Loft) Charlie is always very helpful with
feed, medication and the electronic clock.
And don't forget peanuts! The birds just
How do you train your birds, single
toss, in a flock, or on the training truck?
I go down the road as little as possible,
once the truck starts I am on it every day
unless I was partying too much the night
before. We have a very good trainer in Vinny
Degrado (Amoco Loft), from Staten Island,
much of the success that I do have is from
his dependable training.
Do you time your birds from training
and if so give us example?
I like to use the electronic clock, not
so much to see the first birds but to see
if any birds are late as they might be hurting
and need some rest. I think this is probably
one of the reasons I do not lose many pigeons
during the season. A little rest will go
a long way in putting a bird back in condition.
Is there any kind of health program
you follow regularly? If so explain it to
us. How do you medicate and for what reason?
I will vaccinate for Pox and PMV. I will
follow instructions on the label for the
three in one or four in one medication to
treat for coccidiosis, canker, and respiratory.
One problem I have is the Adeno Virus. Each
young bird season for the last few years,
as soon as I put them on the training truck
the second week of training they come down
with it. I stop training and medicate all
the birds. I was told it was additional
stress from the training truck. This year
I was on the ball and I had the birds down
to the 100 before Vinny started training.
The first week he usually only goes 30 or
40 miles, so they had it easier being on
the truck. Because of this I missed the
first 100 mile club and combine race and
was not eligible for any average speed honors.
How often do you race your champion
bird? How about the rest of the team?
If I have a bird working, I will not stop
him. IF 03 OLC 957 flew almost every race
in the 03 old bird series. He was 1st Club
500, 4th Combine, 1,815 birds, 171 lofts;
5th Club 400, 2nd Club 300, 22nd, Combine,
1,902 birds,175 lofts; 1st Club 300, 8th
Combine, 2,107 birds, 191 lofts; 1st Central
Section Hall of Fame; 2nd Overall CJC.
Two other very consistent young birds were
05 PAF 5540 Blue Check Cock. He took 1st
in PAOF 300 mile band race against 73 lofts,
621 birds; 14th place Garden State Open
325 miles; 20th place Tri-State Bond race
300 miles; 79th place 150 miles, 2,885 birds
230 lofts. He flew 8 races this young bird
season. IF 05 PAF 5538 Blue Bar Hen was
2nd 100 miles Club, 160 birds, 12 lofts;
26th combine, 2,824 birds; 1st 150 miles
Club, 162 birds, 12 lofts; 12th combine,
2,885 birds, 230 lofts; 9th Garden State
Open, 325 miles, 756 birds, 58 lofts; 75th
place PAOF 300 miles. She flew 8 races this
young bird season.
Do you believe in bird entry limits?
Yes, you have to have some limits to meet
the club and combine needs.
Do you believe in clocking limits?
No, as long as it does not put an extra
burden on the race secretary, with the electronic
clock I would leave it to him.
How do you select your breeding
pairs? Have you any advice for new flyers?
I think they could learn so much from helping
out an experienced flyer for a season or
two and wear a mask for the pigeon dust
when you are in the loft
Have you any advice for advanced flyers?
Wear a mask for pigeon dust when in the
loft, and try to help out your race secretary
as much as you can.
Is there a flyer, breeder or book
that has helped you become a better pigeon
Do you have any kind of goals in
Just to relax and have fun and maybe win
a nice prize every now and then. I love
having my 4 year granddaughter putting the
birds’ vitamins in the watering can
and stirring and stirring so serious. Then
when she feeds the birds, she has to take
her little stroller in the loft with her,
I don't know if the birds are more scared
of her or the hawks. I just watch her and
laugh. I don't let her feed the flyers too
If you had the opportunity to change
something in the pigeon game what would
To help a new flyer. A new young flyer with
a family is so difficult because it is so
expensive for feed, medicine, training,
time, pooling, city ordinances, and people
selling birds for very high prices. Our
sport and hobby is in serious trouble.
If you have a list of good books or videotape
please recommend some.
I think if someone has the knowledge, experience
and time to write a book or make a video
tape about pigeons I'm sure you can learn
something from any of them.
you have received a trophy from us, what
do you think of it and do you recommend
others to apply for awards?
Yes, it is nice to be rewarded for an exceptional
season. This award has been an honor for
me and I consider this quite an opportunity
to participate in these awards.
would like to extend my sincere appreciation
for all the time and effort spent in collecting
all the data for the IF awards and my thanks
to the IF membership.
3 Wick Drive,
Fords NJ 08863
Mr. Paul Walsh -
I.F - International Federation - USA