Artist Sends Pigeons Soaring Over East River, Fitted With LED Lights

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An artist’s dream took flight Thursday night, as more than 2,000 pigeons soared over the East River outfitted in lights.

The performance, created by artist Duke Riley, is called “Fly by Night.” It is presented by Creative Time and the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

“At the call of a whistle, thousands of birds will emerge from their home in a grand, converted historic boat docked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard,” the description for the exhibition explained. “The pigeons will circle above the river as the sun sets over Manhattan, and small leg bands, historically used to carry messages, will be replaced with tiny LED lights, illuminating the sky in a transcendent union of public art and nature.”

The event is meant to be a tribute to carrier pigeons and the people who train them.

The Thursday night event was a VIP opening. More flights are planned on Friday through Sunday evenings through June 12.

Tickets are free, but fully reserved for the whole run, though more tickets are available through a wait list.

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