Source: WILD TV: "The Animals We Live With"
Funding for the VITAL/Ready to Teach collection was secured through the United States Department of Education under the Ready to Teach Program.
In this video segment from WILD TV, a pigeon coop sits atop a high-rise apartment building in New York City. Daniel “Danny Boy” Murray has been raising pigeons there for 31 years. These are domesticated pigeons, not street pigeons that he has trained. When he lets them fly away free, they take flight as a flock and then return to their home with Danny. He can tell when they want to come back to the coop. They give him a signal. You can tell he loves the pigeons.
Animal behavior, animal science, communities, social studies, environmental studies
The following Frame, Focus and Follow-up suggestions are best suited for elementary or middle school students using this video in an English language arts or science lesson. Be sure to modify the questions to meet your students' instructional needs.
What is Frame, Focus and Follow-up?
Frame (ELA) Do you have a hobby you are really interested in? Have you ever tried to convince or persuade someone to try your hobby because you were so interested in it? What was that experience like?
Focus (ELA) Danny Boy raises pigeons. He is very passionate about it. He has loved doing it for 31 years. How does he express his enthusiasm?
Follow Up (ELA) Does Danny Boy convince you that raising domesticated pigeons could be a fun and interesting hobby? How does he try to persuade you? Often others, such as advertisers, try to persuade us to think in a certain way. How can we recognize when someone is trying to persuade us? What precautions should we take when someone is trying to persuade us? Practice trying to persuade someone to do something (i.e., try a new hobby, eat a particular type of food, buy a certain product). Use some of the same tactics Danny Boy used. Reflect on what tactics you tried to use. Were they convincing?
Frame (SCI) What do you know about pigeons? What do you know about breeding pigeons or any type of bird (i.e., chickens)?
Focus (SCI) What does it take to breed and take care of a flock of pigeons? How long does it take for a pigeon egg to hatch?
Follow Up (SCI) Do the pigeons need Danny Boy in order to survive? What role does he play in their lives? Discuss the benefits and perhaps disadvantages of domesticating pigeons. How might Danny Boy’s work with pigeons affect his community?
DANIEL “DANNY BOY” MURRAY: My name is Danny - Daniel Murray my real name - the street here, the neighborhood, they call me Danny Boy. I’ve been raising pigeons for, I would say, approximately now, thirty, thirty-one years. I was a youngster living across the street.
DANNY BOY: I used to look up and see all these guys on the rooftops and I was wondering what was going on there. So eventually one day, I snuck up to the roof and when I opened up that roof door, I looked across and there it was - 400 birds. Everybody had pigeon coops. At that moment, I fell in love with pigeons.
DANNY BOY: Look, look, look, look… You see them. Bang! Those are racing homers.
DANNY BOY: This is our little flock. In here, you have all variations of birds. You have flights, baldies, birminghams. Notice the tail on the pigeon - that is a beautiful bird. That is called a fantail.
DANNY BOY: This is a seven-day-old pigeon. Seven days old. It comes out of here. It takes, by the way, twenty-one days for this egg to hatch. This is the finished product, my friends.
DANNY BOY: These are not wild pigeons. As I said before, these are called domesticated pigeons, meaning that these are birds that you can train. As you notice the cleanliness of them, they’re happy, this is their home, I take care of them and these are not street pigeons.
DANNY BOY: I have the fastest hands, I believe on the Upper West side, for catching birds.
DANNY BOY: Okay fellows, let’s go. Okay, this is my favorite spot up here. I love it up here. I feel like I’m on top of the world.
DANNY BOY: I do all these crazy things and the birds feel good and I feel good. Mete mano… y eso es.
DANNY BOY: That’s my flock up here. Look at the beautiful colors in them as they turn against the sky. Look at that. Here they come for a right hook. These are the guys that are very experienced here. It’s what I call a sharp hook - very low, very close to the roof.
DANNY BOY: Now they’re clapping like this - this is gonna mean a signal that they want to come in. Okay? That was the signal and here they come. Right here, almost into my hand. Right into my arms.
Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.