Posted tagged ‘NYCDOT Weekend Walks’

Victor Casiano’s Rooftop Pigeons

May 20, 2010

Victor Casiano is the last survivor of a once-mighty tribe: the rooftop pigeon fliers of Morningside Heights. According to Victor, pigeon coops used to grace virtually every rooftop.

Now there’s only Victor and his beloved flock of flights and tumblers, magpies and fantails.

I met Victor last weekeend during Manhattan Valley Family Days, a community event that was part of the NYC Department of Transportation Weekend Walks Program.

He sat at a table with a cage full of birds, a small selection of his rooftop flock.

An effective ambassador to a passing world, Victor proudly showed off his birds, all the while chatting with friends and neighbors.

He explained the differences between his birds, easily flipping open wings to display the markings.

Gorgeous red and white markings

He taught children how to hold and release the birds

and placed a hand-raised baby pigeon on their shoulders

He patiently answered endless questions from this writer

and promised to take me up to his rooftop coop on Amsterdam Avenue.

For more on Victor and his birds, see “Up on Victor’s Roof,” and visit my monthly column in the Westside Independent to read about my first visit to Victor’s rooftop coop.

Oh, how I love New York.

Update: I just ran into Victor on the street and he told me Family Days is running for two Sundays. Come by Amsterdam Avenue between 106th and 110th on Sunday May 23rd from 11 AM until 5 PM. Victor and his birds will be doing demonstrations as will Hiraldo’s Karate School, El Taller Latino, Mugi Pottery, and many others. Victor will be set up between 108th and 109th.

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