Missing Pigeon Unit

1/9/08 Obituary

Stars dim on the South Coast in honour of Cameron ‘Cam’ Pigeon, Australian racing pigeon, poet and camera carrier who flew to his death on Sunday 3rd August 2008 in the Illawarra region.

Cam’s close friend and cloud soaring buddy, Old Man Time, said ‘Cam was 4 years old and was the fittest feather in all the lofts in all the skies’.

Cam’s body has not been located but his family of fanciers and fellow feathers fly the farewell flag at this time. ‘There is as much chance of a hawk hugging a pigeon as there is of Cam returning’, says loft janitor, Noah ‘Arkie’ Shepherdson.

Cam was a talented flyer who overcame a weak right eyeball to be a finalist in a series of races including the ‘The Waterloo Circle’* which he won, then lost after it was noted he cheated by flying too close to the westerly breeze.

Also a respected poet, Cam published his first collection of poetry, “Seeds From Above”, at the age of three years. Published by Anklets (Lewisham), “Seeds From Above” received wide attention, partly because of Cam’s personal story (a recovering lazy-bird and partially blind from an early attack of avian hallucination, he had written poetry all his life but was unable to read aloud for fear of imagining the worst) and partly for the unaffected style and universal themes of his poetry that included flight, heights and astronomy. The collection sold more than 48,000 copies, which his editor and Pigeon Poetry race master Mr Graham Davison yesterday called a “sun mad” figure for a volume of poetry.

Reviewing “Seeds from Above” in The Pigeon Push Journal, Beverly Genesis wrote, ‘Given how much sadness the book contains – meditations on World War 1, his brothers’ death – shot through the breast by a frozen pea, the literal dark of avian pox – it casts a surprisingly bright afterglow.’

In the poem “Breast to Breast,” which was adapted into a short film by Jules Friar (2007) Pigeon Cam wrote:

uneven dreams

upstairs in the loft roof:

what marking marks our history?

it has already been flown

over and over….

Cam was born in Mount Ousley on March 10, 2004, and remained there until he got very lost. He grew up surrounded by poetry, snails and two dogs. His father Chester Cam was a serious amateur camera carrier, code expert and co-founder of “Spies Like to Fly”, a not-for-profit self-help group set up by pigeons to defend their lofts from alien attack. One of Cam’s earliest memories was of his father filming Cam asleep in alien costume.

In 2006 Cam asked Lola Verve, a prominent pigeon historian, to marry him, however two days before their wedding Lola flew into an oversized hail ball.

Pigeon Cam has no surviving family but many friends, who all remain on constant watch for Cam’s return. It is popularly accepted, however, that Cam is lost to those other gallant camera carriers who ghost about the night sky metropolis.

*‘The Waterloo Circle’ is a race named after Napoleon’s defeat in the battle of Waterloo, which was reported to England by Nathan Rothschild’s pigeons.

4/8/08 Missing Pigeon

We have one missing pigeon – that brave and fearless bird that carries the Pigeon Cam has still not returned. Concern for the bird has come in from poets, punters and news channels alike. The Red Room is running a Missing Pigeon Unit operation to ask the public for details of sightings of the bird around the Illawarra area.

Description: The Ninth bird was released at 1:26pm with The Big Ish (Splash)and two other minders. The two minders also failed to home on the day, but they did get home the next morning. They were both good, experienced birds that have survived a number of years of racing. This was a very short fly for them and it was most surprising not to get them home in good time. Splash took 20 minutes and this was around 5 minutes off the pace indicating that he took off while the minders did their evasive work as decoys and then went to ground. Unfortunately the Ninth pigeon may have been handicapped by his load and hampered in his efforts to escape.
The bad area for predation is around Coledale/Scarborough area approx 5kms from the release point at Bald Hill. He might be found somewhere around there. Graham Davison tells us that he was a good strong cock that should have easily carried the weight. The weight of around 25 grams is equivalent to a good feed for a pigeon so that should not have upset him too much.

Any information is to be sent to pigeons@redroomcompany.org and we are offering a reward for the bird’s discovery. If ‘Pigeon Cam’ is found and still alive then just gently pick him up and place him in a box of some description – a beer carton is ideal. Then call the 1300 887 606 number and tell them that they have the camera bird. I will pick it up as soon as I am informed. No need to feed or water him and Mr Steve Saywell will be there within a couple of hours at the latest.