ew York is staging a show with 2,000 pigeons tagged with LED lights illuminating the city’s night sky. For its premiere Thursday, the birds were released at sunset from coops aboard a former aircraft carrier docked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, artist Duke Riley opened an enormous coop and released the homing pigeons of his “Fly by Night” project.
“It is a collaborative project between me and the pigeons,” Riley said. “It’s a performance or maybe it’s just a drawing that they are doing in the sky.”
Improvising their own choreography, the flock swooped, twirled and glided through the sky above the East River for the show called “Fly by Night.” Artist Duke Riley, who created the 30-minute spectacle on the Brooklyn waterfront, says, “It’s almost like this shooting star going across the skyline.”
Air-borne embers swirling from a campfire were actually LED lights in the birds’ leg bands, Riley’s flock includes a variety of specially trained pigeons, some of which are his own, while others were purchased or borrowed from pigeon fanciers.