Brooklynite photographer Aaron Wojack taps into NYC’s avian subculture. Call them “flying rats” all you want, but for some New Yorkers, pigeon flying is their “salvation from daily life” and “the streets.” Check out stellar shots of rooftop coops and pigeon flyers looking skyward below.

For some perspective, here’s pigeon lover Mike Tyson on pigeons:

One morning I woke up and found my favorite pigeon, Julius, had died. I was devastated and was gonna use his crate as my stickball bat to honor him. I left the crate on my stoop and went in to get something and I returned to see the sanitation man put the crate into the crusher. I rushed him and caught him flush on the temple with a titanic right hand and he was out cold, convulsing on the floor like an infantile retard.

See picks from the Pigeon Flying photo essay and newer additions below: