NEW YORK—Appearing relaxed and in high spirits as he sprinkled handfuls of bird feed around his rooftop coop, Donald Trump reportedly told his flock of domesticated pigeons Monday that it has been hard spending so much time away from them during his presidential campaign.
According to sources, the presumptive GOP nominee spread the mixture of seed and grain in a careful, even manner through the hand-built pigeon shelter that sits atop Trump Tower, gently assuring the birds he has not forgotten them and has greatly missed their usual time together.
He was then seen opening a single cage, taking out one of his many beloved pigeons, and cupping it in his hands as he tenderly stroked its feathers.
“Who’s hungry?” the billionaire real estate investor said as he pulled on a pair of old gardening gloves and grabbed generous helpings of feed from the pockets of a tattered denim coat. “Sorry I was gone so long, my loves. I hope you didn’t get too lonely.”
“I’ve been thinking about you,” he added with a smile.
Sources said Trump then gingerly scooped up an injured pigeon and inspected the homemade splint on her broken wing, noting to himself that the limb probably needed a few more weeks to heal. According to accounts, the 70-year-old came upon the wounded bird last month while walking through Central Park to sit and read beneath his favorite shade tree. Trump is said to have immediately taken the bird in and has reportedly spent nearly a month nursing her back to health.
Those close to the presidential contender confirmed his pigeon-keeping hobby dates back to 1990, when his first marriage was failing and national media outlets were reporting regularly on the sordid details of his personal life and deteriorating finances. Sources stated that when a distraught Trump decided to climb up to the roof of his building to be alone after defaulting on millions of dollars worth of Trump’s Castle Casino Resort mortgage bonds, he was visited by an especially curious and friendly pigeon with whom he bonded immediately, prompting the business mogul to raise an entire flock of the birds.
In the decades since, the Republican presidential candidate is said to have retreated to the roof of Trump Tower nearly every day to find solace in the birds’ company, often staying up there for hours at a time during his two divorces, four bankruptcies, and following his dismissal from the NBC show The Apprentice.
“Well, hello there, Samantha,” Trump said to a frail older pigeon as she perched upon his finger and he fed her a special blend of sprouts and pellets he had ordered to accommodate her fragile digestive system. “Good girl. Good girl.”
“Can you believe it’s been 10 summers since you first came to stay with me?” he continued, looking down on her wistfully as he scratched her belly. “Where does the time go?”
Trump was later seen running his fingers along the chicken-wire cages, moving aside old milk crates and buckets to look for any holes in need of repair, and, on occasion, pausing to coo softly at the birds he has bred over many generations. He was also heard humming a few bars of “My Blue Heaven” as he poured fresh water for his avian companions.
Sources confirmed that after opening the doors to a number of the cages, Trump took a long, deep breath, sat down in a lawn chair, and watched in visible contentment as his birds circled in formation high above the Manhattan skyline. Later, as the flock pulled a hard turn in response to his whistles summoning them home, he appeared unable to withhold a chuckle.
“You don’t have a care in the world—do you, my friends?” Trump said as one of the pigeons alighted on his shoulder and nestled its head against his neck. “My angels. You know, sometimes I feel like you’re the only ones I can really talk to.”
He added, “Gosh, I’d love to see the world from your eyes, from up there.”
Before closing up for the night and climbing back down the fire escape into his building, Trump reportedly paused to pick up a stray pigeon feather and tuck it into his breast pocket, knowing the memento would cheer him up the next time he felt blue.