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2,000 pigeons to fly over East River fitted with LED lights

By
Daniel Uria
Artist Duke Riley will release 2,000 specially trained pigeons fitted with LED lights over New York's East River on weekends from May 7-June 12. His public art exhibit Fly By Night is meant to pay homage to pigeon keeping by illuminating the night sky with a spectacle resembling a comet or a shooting star.
 Screen capture/Creative Time/Vimeo
Artist Duke Riley will release 2,000 specially trained pigeons fitted with LED lights over New York's East River on weekends from May 7-June 12. His public art exhibit "Fly By Night" is meant to pay homage to pigeon keeping by illuminating the night sky with a spectacle resembling a comet or a shooting star. Screen capture/Creative Time/Vimeo

NEW YORK, May 6 (UPI) -- An artist is planning to release about 2,000 pigeons fitted with LED lights over New York's East River.

Boston artist Duke Riley's public art project "Fly By Night" features thousands of specially trained pigeons circling above the East River on weekends from May 7 to June 12.

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Riley developed a connection with pigeons after rescuing one as a young boy and many of the birds involved in the project come from his personal flock.

"Fly By Night pays homage to pigeon keeping, both in New York and farther afield," the project's description states. "Pigeons have been domesticated for thousands of years and kept by people around the world for their companionship, sport, and service."

The project, which will take place Friday through Sunday at at dusk, will see the birds emerge from a historic boat at the Brooklyn Navy Yard with LED lights attached to leg bands that were historically used to carry messages.

The birds will then circle around the river as the sun continues to set, creating a floating body of light in the night sky.

"It will look like a constellation or tiny shooting stars the darker it gets," Riley told WNYC.

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The project can be observed for free but tickets allowing guests to view the exhibit from the launch site were also sold.

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