The pigeon loft at the North Atlanta Racing Pigeon Club’s headquarters where club President Douglas Jones of Cartersville houses his pigeons.
Club Secretary Bob Tavares, left, of Marietta and Chris Freeman, right, of Newnan watch as Damon Sylve of East Point enters information about pigeons prior to a race at the club headquarters.
Jones stands in the pigeon loft where he houses his pigeons.
Alvin Cross of Dallas holds his pigeon for a scanner to read the information on the chip around the pigeon's leg, as the information of his pigeons is recorded prior to a race.
The North Atlanta Racing Pigeon Club, which started in 2007, is preparing for its March 30 season-opening race. The group holds its meetings, and places computer chips on pigeons, at its clubhouse near Lake Allatoona in Acworth. The birds are then taken by trailer to a release site, with a spot in South Carolina set up for the 100-mile first race. Once there, the birds are released. The birds then return to the home loft of the club member who released them.
“They really don’t know exactly how they do it,” club President Doug Jones said of how pigeons get home. “Some say it’s the direction of the sun, some say it’s the magnetic field in the earth, but nobody really knows 100 percent.”
The club makes adjustments for how far each of the 30 club members lives from the release site. Members say the birds typically fly about 60 mph.