Recently, KOSU's Nikole Robinson Carroll took a trip out to a museum that’s been around for about 20 years in an Oklahoma City home, but has just moved to a nearby new facility and is prepared to open anew this week. The subject matter of this museum is a particular animal, but not one that’s really thought of as iconic to Oklahoma like the bison. It’s a bit smaller… the pigeon. Or as Sandy Bates calls them in “Stardust Memories,” “rats with wings.”
The problem American Pigeon Museum and Library curator Lorrie Monteiro sees is the decline in popularity of pigeon keeping and related sports and the prevalence of the view of pigeons as nothing more than a nuisance animal.
Pigeons have also been used for communication throughout history, including in the United States military. Today, pigeons are still kept as pets, for sport and for show.
Monteiro herself is relatively new to the pigeon world. She took over the museum in 2012 and is now an avid supporter of the often-misunderstood bird.
Monteiro opens the new museum building this week to coincide with a major event for pigeon fanciers — the National Pigeon Association convention and pigeon show.