“They’re just a beautiful, beautiful bird. Pigeons will always be a big part of my life.”
Photographer : BRENDAN BURDEN
Subject : DAVE DELORME
Dave Delorme was raised on Second Avenue at a time when backyard chicken coops — and even goats — were not uncommon sights around the neighbourhood.
“The chickens and ducks would follow you right down the street,” recalls the 60-yearold. “Farm animals weren’t banned from the city the way they are today. You would see them in people’s backyards. It was a much different feel than what you have today.”
When the animals started to disappear, Dave knew it was time to leave the Glebe. For 30 years, the roofer has lived just outside Manotick on seven acres of land he shares with more than 200 birds.
Dave’s great-uncle kept pigeons at a farm in North Gower. “He used to give me pigeon eggs to take home, and I’d try and hatch them.”
“I’ve always been fascinated with pigeons,” says Dave. “I used to try and trap them in the north stands of Lansdowne Park, up under the girders.”
Dave figures he has about a dozen different varieties of pigeons, mostly “fancies” (birds meant to show at competitions) but also some homing pigeons (birds meant to race). He’s given some of them names — there was a Champion, a Crystal.
Open space. You need a lot of open space if you’re going to become a pigeon fancier (that's the proper title for someone with a backyard pigeon coop), and Dave Delorme was perhaps fated for a country life. “They’re just a beautiful, beautiful bird.”