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Pigeon fancier Gina Kerkovich stands in the flight (Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Pigeon fancier Gina Kerkovich stands in the flight corridor of her coop at her home in Islip Terrace. The flight corridor allows the birds to fly during the day while protecting them from escape and natural predators. (April 17, 2013)

Pigeon people

Pigeon fanciers with show birds and racers share their sport in clubs.

Pigeon fancier Gina Kerkovich stands in the flight
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Pigeon fancier Gina Kerkovich stands in the flight corridor of her coop at her home in Islip Terrace. The flight corridor allows the birds to fly during the day while protecting them from escape and natural predators. (April 17, 2013)

A Jacobin pigeon belonging to fancier John Nelson
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

A Jacobin pigeon belonging to fancier John Nelson of Bohemia displays his feathers near his coop. The Jacobin is known for its feathered and ornate hood on either side of the head. (April 15, 2013)

A breeding pair of Tippler pigeons sit on
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

A breeding pair of Tippler pigeons sit on eggs inside of the coop of Ed and Rosine Buraczewski at their home in Holbrook. (April 13, 2013)

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Jean Midy, 35, of Bay Shore, releases his
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Jean Midy, 35, of Bay Shore, releases his stock of racing homers from their coop for their daily flight. Jean is new to the hobby and got his first birds near the end of 2012. (June 2, 2013)

Pigeon fancier Ivan Torres, 44, of Farmingdale, hand-feeds
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Pigeon fancier Ivan Torres, 44, of Farmingdale, hand-feeds one of his young Tippler pigeons that he has raised since birth. Like any true fancier, Torres can distinguish each one of his birds from one another at a glance and even while they are in flight high up in the air. (May 29, 2013)

Official permits for flying pigeons, dating back to
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Official permits for flying pigeons, dating back to 1985 and issued by the town of Brookhaven, are displayed on the side of one of the coops of pigeon fancier David Fhagen at his home in Medford. (April 13, 2013)

One of Bobby Thompson's Tippler pigeons spreads its
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

One of Bobby Thompson's Tippler pigeons spreads its wings as she approaches for a landing on the loft at his home in Bay Shore. (April 21, 2013)

Keith Ramos, 11, of Brooklyn, comes to the
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Keith Ramos, 11, of Brooklyn, comes to the Babylon pigeon auction regularly with his father Hector. Together they raise Tipplers, Flights and Iranian High Flyers. (May 19, 2013)

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An Indian Fantail pigeon spreadd its tail feathers
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

An Indian Fantail pigeon spreadd its tail feathers in its coop at the home of pigeon fancier John Nelson in Bohemia. (April 15, 2013)

Ed Buraczewski and his wife Rosine display awards
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Ed Buraczewski and his wife Rosine display awards won at pigeon shows over the years by the birds at their Holbrook home. Fancy pigeons are bred to perfection and judged to a specific standard based on criteria including feather count and color, anatomical measurements such as beak size and eye and feet color are also factors in judging. (April 13, 2013)

Pigeon fancier David Fhagen holds one of his
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Pigeon fancier David Fhagen holds one of his prized short faced Budapest pigeons near the window of his coop at his home in Medford. (April 13, 2013)

Two sculptures of short-faced Budapest pigeons stand among
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Two sculptures of short-faced Budapest pigeons stand among trophies and awards won over the years by the birds of pigeon fancier David Fhagen of Medford. (April 13, 2013)

Slava Khaimov, 60, of Brooklyn, holds two of
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Slava Khaimov, 60, of Brooklyn, holds two of his prized Uzbek pigeons, a fancy breed known for their feathered feet, at the pigeon auction in Babylon. (April 21, 2013)

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Pigeon fancier Manny Rivera shows the feather color
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Pigeon fancier Manny Rivera shows the feather color and pattern on the wing of his 2-year-old racing homer pigeon. Pigeons are often evaluated on the color and quality of their feathers. (April 21, 2013)

Spectators watch as a new lot of racing
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Spectators watch as a new lot of racing and s how pigeons is brought out and displayed at this gathering in Babylon, where fanciers from Long Island and New York City gather weekly. (May 5, 2013)

One of Ed and Rosine Buraczewski's Tippler pigeons
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

One of Ed and Rosine Buraczewski's Tippler pigeons stands near the window of their home coop in Holbrook. (April 13, 2013)

Pigeon fancier Bobby Thompson, 67, of Bay Shore,
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Pigeon fancier Bobby Thompson, 67, of Bay Shore, keeps his eye on a hawk gliding in the distance, looking to prey on a pigeon, while his birds take their daily flights. (April 21, 2013)

A racing homer named Godzilla takes flight in
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

A racing homer named Godzilla takes flight in the Islip Terrace coop of Gina Kerkovich. (April 17, 2013)

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Tipplers and homer pigeons, bred and raised by
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Tipplers and homer pigeons, bred and raised by pigeon fancier Bobby Thompson, fly over his loft in Bay Shore. (April 21, 2013)

Gus Coletti, 78, of Babylon, holds one of
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Gus Coletti, 78, of Babylon, holds one of the short-faced pigeons in his coop. The veteran pigeon fancier lost all birds due to flooding and damage during superstorm Sandy and is working to rebuild his stock of birds. (May 20, 2013)

Pigeon fancier John Nelson of Bohemia holds one
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Pigeon fancier John Nelson of Bohemia holds one of his prized Jacobin pigeons. This fancy breed is known for its feathered and ornate hood on either side of its head. (April 15, 2013)

Several Tippler pigeons wait to be fed inside
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(Credit: Daniel Brennan)

Several Tippler pigeons wait to be fed inside the Farmingdale coop of pigeon fancier Ivan Torres, 44. Torres has been raising pigeons since he was a young boy growing up in the Bronx. (May 29, 2013)

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