Andres McLaren


Written by Luke Herzog, Editor

When I first saw Andres McLaren, he was like a mystical ranger out of a Tolkien tale. Jumping fences with acrobatic precision, the boy had a pigeon perched on each shoulder, while a third roosted on his wrist. It was an epic entrance. With the casualness of a practiced hand, he threw one of his fowls to the sky, only to watch it spiral downward and return to his arm. My friends and I stood agape, unable to comprehend what was clearly some kind of summer heat-induced group hallucination.

So what are the origins of his magical powers? “I used to do gymnastics,” he said, explaining his parkour abilities. “On the way home, we drove by a car wash. We spotted a baby pigeon who had fallen out of her nest by the machine. She was freezing cold and greasy, so I picked her up and wiped her with a towel. I took her home — that’s how it got started.” Now Andres keeps a total of twelve pigeons in a large cage. The freshman said that he began training them by having them fly home. He plans to have one pigeon ready for a race this January in downtown San Jose. Indeed, there is actually a pigeon-racing community, and Andres recently got accepted into two pigeon clubs.

Animals have long been a presence in his family. Andres’s mother, a native of Costa Rica, had a total of fifty pigeons and doves. Andres himself additionally owns several horses at a friend’s ranch. Balancing being a defensive end on the football team, a high school student, and an avid avian aficionado, Andres McLaren is well-deserving of the title Breaker of the Week.