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The Pigeons of Paradise (POP) Racing Pigeon Club is an American Racing Pigeon Union (AU), California State Racing Pigeon Organization (CSRPO), affiliated club based in Durham, California, in Butte County, in the Northern Sacramento River Valley. POP land is bordered by the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the east and the coast mountain range on the west. One hundred miles to the north is the famous Mt. Shasta, a volcano and national park. Similarly, 50 miles to the east is Mt. Lassen, a great skiing area in the Lassen National Park. The California Central Valley lies open 400 miles to the south. Seldom does the temperature fall below freezing in the winter but the mercury can rise above the century mark in the summer for brief periods. Winters bring significant stretches of rain in any given year but the climate is generally temperate and the sky is normally clear and beautiful.

Fall, winter, and spring bring significant waterfowl migration. We are dead center of the western flyway and are a major world rice, fruit, and nut producing area. Our area is primarily an agricultural region dotted with few cities and towns. The weather and terrain are very conductive to raising and racing pigeons. Lofts don't need to be heated in the winter, and there is little if any ice- breaking of the water containers. Seldom is a race cancelled but minor shifts in shipping or liberation are sometimes necessary. Although smash races do occur occasionally, primarily due to mountain thunderstorms, returns are generally high.

Senior membership in POP, is generally at the 25 + mark with 10 to 15 senior flyers racing any given series. Occupations of the members range from a doctor, lawyer, truck driver, banker, ranchers, retired military, businessmen, various developers and contractors. Personalities include a Baja 500 motorcycle racing champion from the early 60s to a former pro football player from the 40s and 50s and also a recent national water skiing champion. POP, at this time has 9 junior 4-H members.

The club flies both old bird's series [150-600miles] and young bird series [100-300] miles. There are two races per day separated by a minimum of hour which is generally the norm for races up to 300 miles in OBs and YBs. OB races above 300 miles are generally limited to one per day. The race schedule usually spans 8 or 9 weeks for YBs and 12 weeks for OBs. Fallback races are routine between longer races in both series. The direction of the race course is normally either north or north east. On either course POP, flies races in California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The terrain of the race course is cross compartmented with valleys, farmland, forest, high desert and Alpine Type Mountains. Major rivers like the Sacramento and Columbia traverse the terrain and lakes and streams are abundant. Many a race liberates the birds in near freezing weather at 5000 feet altitude and has them arriving home in 90-100 degree temperatures at close to sea level.

POP flies in cooperation (CO-OP) with the Shasta and North Valley Clubs (and sometimes with the Red Buff RPC) and can generally muster 30+ plus flyers in any given series. POP owns it own trailer that carries 1200 birds (25 to a standard shipping crate). The CO-OP publishes overall race results. All in all it is a tough race course with tough competition!! 600 mile day birds are not the norm, but they do occur.

The club sponsors a superb racing pigeon show and auction annually. Enthusiasts travel from several states to attend .CSRPO judges adjudicates the event along with top of the line auctioneers. The club also conducts a 300 mile YB auction race, a 250 mile club special YB race, a 400 mile yearling race, and a trophy producing 600 miler annually. We also have the luxury of having several one loft races and futurities conducted within easy driving distance. These are usually high quality, low key events with lots of fun and good sportsmanship being the norm. With Sacramento, an easy 90 mile drive to the south and some superb clubs and a world class combine located there, we have access to all the auctions and racing pigeon events one might desire.

A source of major pride for the POP is our youth program. Currently we have 9 juniors members in the POP sponsored 4-H racing pigeon project. Our senior flyers provide quality pigeons, loaner crates, manual timers, race equipment, supplies, awards and a shipping fee waiver for our junior members. The juniors attend a monthly 4-H instructional meeting, build their lofts (generally with mom and dad's close supervision), raise several youngsters per year, fly 4 races per series, and participate in show competition at local fairs. Retention in this program has been very high.

All in all life is pretty good in POPland . If you are in the area call us or come and see us .
If you desire further information please contact Dennis Weinreich at 859 Cleveland Avenue, Chico, California, 95928 (530) 891-6967 or go to his main Hawk bait lofts web site at http://thesitebarn.com/hawkbaitlofts/frontpage.html

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