The Sunday Morning Pigeon Men
Meet the guys who go out of their way to provide for a certain city animal that many view as nothing more than a pest.
Like a host preparing for a party, Joey Scott hurriedly cleans and organizes his shop.
It’s a little past 9 a.m. on Sunday, the busiest day of they week for Broadway Pigeon Supply, a small shop in Bushwick that sells birds and bird-related pet supplies, and that serves as a gathering place for Brooklyn-based pigeon flyers.
Pigeon flying is an old-time city hobby, originally brought to New York around the turn of the 20th century by Italian immigrants. A solid, though declining, community of flyers remain in the city (almost entirely men). Modern-day flyers keep coops on their roofs with anywhere from 30 to 2,000 birds.
Joey keeps 300 birds on his own rooftop in Canarsie.
“You go up there and feed them and let them out every morning, usually around 9 or 10 o’clock," he says, "365 days a year. They go around the neighborhood, they know how to get back, they’re very smart birds.”
Pigeon flying can be a solitary sport. There are only four or five other fliers in Joey's are…