Pigeon racing

Pigeon racing is the sport of releasing specially trained racing pigeons, which then return to their homes over a carefully measured distance. The time it takes the animal to cover the specified distance is measured and the bird's rate of travel is calculated and compared with all of the other pigeons in the race to determine which animal returned at the highest speed.

Pigeon racing requires a specific breed of pigeon bred for the sport, the Racing Homer. Competing pigeons are specially trained and conditioned for races that vary in distance from approximately 100 kilometres (62 mi) to 1,000 kilometres (620 mi). Despite these lengths, races can be won and lost by seconds, so many different timing and measuring devices have been developed. The traditional timing method involves rubber rings being placed into a specially designed clock, whereas a newer development uses RFID tags to record arrival time.

While there is no definite proof, there are compelling reasons to think the sport of racing pigeons may go back at least as far as 220 AD.[1] The sport achieved a great deal of popularity in Belgium in the mid-19th century. The pigeon fanciers of Belgium were so taken with the hobby that they began to develop pigeons specially cultivated for fast flight and long endurance called Voyageurs.[2] From Belgium the modern version of the sport and the Voyageurs which the Flemish fanciers developed spread to most parts of the world. Once quite popular, the sport has experienced a downturn in participants in some parts of the world in recent years, possibly due to the rising cost of living, ageing fanciers, and a severe lack of public interest. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is also a reason why some people are leaving the sport.[3]

One recent development in the sport of pigeon racing is "one loft racing", where birds are raced against each other under the same training regimen, from the same location.The principle being to find the best individual race bird irrespective of the race trainer. This will determine which bird is then the most successful.

Kabi
Racing pigeons are often transported in specially modified trucks.
Postduiven

History

Pigeons are the oldest domesticated bird. The predecessors of modern-day racing pigeons were pigeons bred for their homing ability, primarily to carry messages. "Pigeon posts" have been established all over the world and while mainly used in the military, some are still in service today. Modern pigeon racing originated in Belgium in the mid 19th century.[2]

The sport was aided by several new technologies of the era. The advent of the railroad permitted pigeons to be sent to distant release points quickly and at modest cost. In addition the creation of mass-produced, sophisticated timing clocks brought accurate and secure timing to the sport. These clocks were designed with special compartments where an entry band, removed from the returning race bird was placed. When struck, the clock recorded the time and also placed the band in a compartment that could only be opened by race officials.

The importance of homing pigeons in the centuries before electronic communications, such as the telegraph and telephone, is seldom recognised. However the Reuters News Agency, the world's largest information provider, began as a pigeon service carrying closing stock prices between Belgium and Germany, basically between the western and eastern terminus of the telegraph in Europe. Also the use of homing pigeons by financier Nathan Rothschild to gain advance news of Napoleon's unexpected defeat at Waterloo is thought to have led to a fortune being made in the bond market of the day.

Racing

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-W0212-034, Sporttaubenzüchter
A fancier with racing pigeons.

Pigeon racing has been described as a "sport with a single starting gate and a thousand finish lines."[4] In short, competing birds are taken from their lofts and must race home. The time taken and distance are recorded and the fastest bird is declared the winner. Races are generally between 100 kilometres (62 mi) and 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) in distance. In the United States flights of up to 1,800 kilometres (1,100 mi) have been recorded.[5]

Provided it survives the many hazards associated with racing, a single pigeon could compete from about six months of age and still be in competition at over ten years of age. Such feats are uncommon, however, and the average racing career rarely exceeds three years. Hazards can also come from weather conditions on the day of the race. Pigeons can become grounded and disoriented, and therefore not finish the race. In one instance in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1941, a family found a pigeon on their property. Since the bird was sporting an identifying leg band, the Wisconsin Conservation Commission was called, who identified the owner as a man from Green Bay.[6]

In the early days of racing, paint was used to identify birds for owners. Belgium then developed a 1/8 inch brass leg band, that was sent to racers in America to use.[7] Since then, to compete in a race, it must wear a permanent, unique numbered ring or band that is placed on its leg at about five days old. For a race to be conducted, the competing pigeons must be entered into the race, usually at the organisation's clubhouse, and taken away from their home to be released at a predetermined time and location. The distance between the bird's home loft and the racepoint is carefully measured by GPS and the time taken by the bird to return is measured using one of the two acceptable timing methods. Sometimes in some leagues there are two divisions: one for the young birds (usually yearlings in their first year of competition) and another for older birds.

Traditional timing method

Duivenklok-Zandberg binnenin overzicht
Inside an older pigeon clock
Duivenringpotjes
Some old style pigeon clocks use thimbles.

The traditional method of timing racing pigeons involves rubber rings with unique identification numbers and a specially designed pigeon racing clock. The ring is attached around the bird's leg before being sent to race. The serial number is recorded, the clock is set and sealed, and the bird carries the ring home. When the first bird returns, its trainer removes the ring and places it in a slot in the clock. The time that the ring was placed in the clock is recorded as the official time that the competing bird arrived home. From this timestamp an average speed is measured and a winner of the race can be found.

Although serving its purpose, this method has proved somewhat problematic for a few reasons:

  • The pigeon's "official time" is not the actual time it arrived, it is the time the ring was removed, placed in the clock and recorded, which could be many vital seconds later.
  • Exceptional pigeons may arrive home first on multiple occasions; knowing it is going to have the ring removed speedily, which may be uncomfortable, the pigeon could be reluctant to enter the loft for the trainer.

Electronic timing method

The latest development and preferred method for timing racing pigeons is the Electronic Timing System. The bird's arrival is recorded automatically. When using an electronic system, the pigeon fancier does not even have to be at the loft to clock the birds as they return.[8] Birds are fitted with a band that has a tiny RFID chip in it which can be read when the bird comes home. At the home loft the electronic scanning records the pigeons arrival. The pad or antenna is placed at the entry point to the loft entrance and as the pigeon crosses it the electronic band is scanned. The clock is attached to the antennas. The serial number of the transponder ring is recorded along with the time of arrival. This is very similar to transponder timing systems used in human races.[9]

In February 2008 the members of the Penygraog Homing Society Racing Pigeon Club in Wales won an award to fund a new electronic timing device. The club was able to obtain the device thanks to funding from the All Wales award initiative. Club secretary John Williams said: "The electronic timer certainly makes it a lot easier for us".[10]

With the advent of electronic timing system recording birds’ arrival has never been easier. The ETS technology is developing year on year and it is taking over pigeon world, changing it and making it fit for today’s conditions. As a result of this new way of registering a bird’s arrival, several loft management software have been created in the last 10 years to help fanciers with record keeping, pigeon pedigree, publishing race results or keep track of treatment and vaccination records.

One-loft racing

One-loft racing originated from local futurity races. Futurity races are when the bird's race home from the racing station to their homes. The difference between regular racing and futurity races is futurity races has prize money involved. Usually, the prize is used for a bragging right more so than to win the money. The process of racing could be a bit complicated as handlers of their racing pigeons compete with one another. Some handlers could be better than some when it comes down to racing. Therefore, one-loft racing was created. One-loft racing is the process of training birds bred by many different breeders in the same loft, under the same trainer and in the same conditions (as opposed to trainer against trainer in their own lofts and usually with their own birds). It is thought to be the fairest method of proving which bloodline or breeder is best and usually provides the highest amount of prize money. Pigeons are recorded by electronic timing systems scanning the birds as they enter the home loft with winners decided by as little as 100th of a second. The birds are all taken to the same release point and they return to the same home loft, so therefore it is the fastest bird to complete the journey from A to B. One-loft racing is now becoming very popular all around the world with fanciers able to compare their bloodlines on an equal basis against the best breeders.

Training

Racing pigeons are housed together in a specially designed dovecote or loft. From about four weeks of age until the end of its racing career, the racing loft is the pigeon's home and is where it returns to on race day.

After 22 to 28 days in the nest (depending on the owners preference) the young birds are removed and placed in a section of a large loft or in a smaller loft built for the purpose. After a few days of learning how to locate the water and eating by themselves they are allowed to wander out of the loft and peck around in the garden, while doing this they are constantly observing their surroundings and becoming familiar with them. At about age six to seven weeks the birds will begin taking off, flying in very small circles around their loft and owners house. As their confidence grows they gradually wander farther and farther from home until they are out of sight and can remain so for as much as two hours before returning. When a few trainers fly their pigeons in the same area, these flying "batches" (as flocks of pigeons are called) can number in the thousands. It does not, however, help them much in relation to finding their home from long distances away, a fundamental of pigeon racing. As confident flyers, the young pigeons are taken on progressively longer 'training tosses', driven a distance away from their home and released. This method of training is a way to condition the birds mentally and physically to prepare them for the races. This practice of loft flying and tossing continues throughout a pigeon's career to keep their homing instincts sharp.

There are many ways to train racing pigeons. Similar to the saying as there are many roads to success. Some think that their training is better than others, some imitate the trainers that do well and their results reflect on race days. They do this by becoming mentored by them. Some stay ignorant and find every excuse to be the mean one out of the bunch. Like every sport out there, racing pigeons to is an evolving sport. One of the most popular systems is widowhood. This system uses the birds desire to reproduce as motivation to try to give the bird a sense of urgency on race day. The use of widowhood is usually begun by first allowing the racer to raise a baby in their nest box. After the baby is weaned the hen is removed and often the nestbox is closed off, from then on the only time these birds are allowed to see their mate or enter the nest box is upon returning from training or a race. This conditioning is one of the key elements in a lot of racing programs.

Due to advancements in technology researchers have been able to use small Global Positioning Systems to track the flight paths that their birds follow. Small GPS systems have recently begun to hit the consumer market. Companies like PigeonTrack and GEM Supplements currently sell GPS units for novice to advanced race trainers to use to gather data.

Hazards

Falco peregrinus nest USFWS free
The peregrine falcon is a major predator of racing pigeons.

As pigeon racing takes place over great distances in the sky, instead of on a racetrack, there are many hazards that could befall a pigeon during racing as well as training. The main hazard encountered by racing pigeons is predation by birds of prey.[11][12] The killing of valuable pigeons by wild predators has led to some pigeon fanciers being suspected of killing birds of prey such as falcons.[13]

Another hazard that racing pigeons encounter is flying into objects they sometimes cannot see, mostly when flying at high speeds or in darker weather conditions. The most common obstructions are electricity pylons or TV aerials.[14] Pigeon fanciers will often have one of their pigeons return home with wounds or missing feathers from the belly or flanks region.

It is thought that racing pigeons rely on the Earth's magnetic field to find their way home. Some evidence has surfaced indicating that mobile phone towers may be interrupting the birds' navigation,[15] although no published research has investigated this theory.

Breeding

Jung Homing pigeons
A pair of young racing pigeons, 9 days old.

Pigeons are sexually mature at about six months of age. However, fanciers will often wait until the pigeon is at least a few months older before breeding. The first egg is laid and not incubated until the clutch is complete, with eggs being laid every other day. A hen bird will usually only lay two eggs in a clutch. The incubation period is 17 days. Pigeon breeders are careful in selecting birds to pair together so as to continue improving the breed and gain a competitive edge. It is this selective breeding that has given rise to the racing pigeons of today, capable of finding their way home from over 1,600 kilometres (990 mi) away and flying at speeds in excess of 130 kilometres per hour (81 mph) with a tail wind but average 60 kilometres per hour (37 mph) on a calm day. Hens are often capable of laying upwards of 12 eggs per year, and squabs usually leave the nest at approximately three to four weeks of age.

Doping

Doping in pigeon racing is the practice of giving performance-enhancing drugs to avian racers. The drugs are used to produce similar effects to those found in human athletes, building up muscle tissue and opening the respiratory tracts. In addition, corticosteroids can be used to delay moulting, allowing a bird to race late into a season.[16]

In October 2013, blood samples from twenty Belgian pigeons were sent by the Pigeon Fanciers Association to South Africa for testing. This was the result of an exchange visit by the association to the National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa.[17] While tests in Belgium had not found traces of any drugs the South African laboratory discovered that six samples contained unusual substances. Five samples were found to include traces of acetaminophen (paracetamol), a widely used over-the-counter analgesic (pain reliever) and antipyretic (fever reducer). The sixth sample was erroneously reported in the press as having shown indications of cocaine use, but the lab reported that it was indications of caffeine usage.[18] As the samples were sent anonymously no action could be taken against the owners of any of the birds.[19]

In 2001 a series of raids across 80 homes led to the confiscation of large quantities of illegal performance-enhancers.[16][20] Currently, all race winners are tested and over 100 samples were collected and tested in 2013.

In 1995 the Belgian Ministry of Health mandated drug testing in order to protect the welfare of the birds.[16] The sport's governing body was looking at the possibility of implementing new anti-doping rules for the sport prior to the commencement of the 2014 season.[19]

By region

The Americas

United States

The sport was introduced into the United States about 1875, although regular racing did not begin until 1878.[21] The sport of pigeon racing is well established in the US,[22] and growing. According to the American Racing Pigeon Union, one of two large accrediting groups, there are 15,000 registered lofts in the U.S.[23]

The sport was banned beginning January 1, 2004[24] in Chicago,[25] but there have been a number of attempts to amend the ban since then (by making exemptions to the ban for members of a national professional organization). Ald. Gilbert Villegas of the 36th ward introduced the newest legislation June of 2018, on behalf of the Polish constituents in his ward, saying the sport is deeply loved in Poland and a number of residents want to bring the sport back to Chicago.[26]

Pigeon racing was particularly popular throughout the twentieth century in the New York City area, particularly in Brooklyn/Coney Island and in Hoboken New Jersey, where it still has devotees.[27][28][29] Shady Hills, Florida is home to a pigeon racing club and hosts an annual racing event.

Canada

The sport of pigeon racing has increased in Canada with Pigeon Clubs and Ladies Auxiliary popping up in cities and towns. The CRPU, the Canadian Racing Pigeon Union, is an organisation that is dedicated to the growth, preservation and support of pigeon racing in Canada.

The Canadian Pigeon International magazine is a monthly publication dedicated to the sport of pigeon racing

Brazil

The "Brazilian Pigeon Racing Grandprix" is the biggest pigeon race in South America. The Sergipe's Pigeon Racing Association and the government from Aracaju organise this event.

Asia

Pigeon racing is becoming increasingly popular in parts of Asia, especially India, China, Pakistan, Iran, Philippines, Japan, Taiwan and Bangladesh. In Bangladesh there are three pigeon racing associations which look after the sport and organise many races. There are thousands of registered pigeon fanciers in Bangladesh and more people are getting involved in this sport. The heart of the sport in India is Chennai, the capital city of the state of Tamil Nadu. The sport in India has come a long way under A.B.Baldrey Pioneer in Indian pigeon racing, widely known as the father of Pigeon Racing in India. Director Vetrimaaran is a fancier with very good quality pigeons from Jos Thone, Belgium,

Clubs In south Chennai

Top Champions in Chennai are Rajinikanth (RPS), D. Ashok (RPS), OP Vijayakumar (RPS), KGK Dheenan, Kamal, Mr.S.Palani, Avadi Arumugam, D.Devaraj & K.C.Vignesh(NMRPA & RPS), V.Sathya (NHPA & SPS), B.Udhayakumar(MHPC),

Taiwan has more racing pigeon events than any other country in the world, and can point to between two and three million birds. Nearly 500,000 people race pigeons on the island, and each year, prize money for races reaches the billions of NT dollars.[30]

Oceania

Australia

The largest racing organisation in Australia is the Central Cumberland Federation. The state of Queensland also has a number of clubs and organisations. The biggest of these is the Qld Racing Pigeon Federation Inc (QRPF). Located in Brisbane, the QRPF has a long history dating back to the Second World War. Each year the QRPF organises pigeon races for its some 80 members. These races start at approximately 145 kilometres (90 mi) in distance and continue on a gradual basis out to distances of over 1,000 kilometres (620 mi). A specialised transporter is used to transport the birds to the release points. This transporter enables the birds to be fed and watered en route before mass release at a predetermined time for their flight back to various home lofts. Many thousands of pigeons compete in races each weekend during the winter months.

In Western Australia racing is conducted by the Pigeon Racing Federation of Western Australia (Inc).

An innovative new one-loft race is the Australian Pigeon Punt Race held in Victoria, Australia.

The sport of pigeon racing has been declining around Sydney with pigeon club members gradually dying off as fewer younger people take up the sport. The high cost of feeds and fuel have also contributed to the decline.[31]

Europe

Poland

The association grouping breeders of racing pigeons in Poland is named: Polish Pigeon Breeders Association (pol. Polski Związek Hodowców Gołębi Pocztowych, in short: PZHGP). The association brings together over 40,000 pigeon fanciers. The history of PZGP goes back to the beginning of the 20th century. The first local association of pigeon breeders in the Polish lands under occupation was established in 1905 in Zabrze. After Poland regained independence in 1918, several such organizations were established in Poland. In 1926 was established the first nationwide breeders' association under the name: Unification of Polish Pigeon Breeders' Associations for the Republic of Poland (pol. Zjednoczenie Polskich Stowarzyszeń Hodowców Gołębi Pocztowych na Rzeczpospolita Polska). Unfortunately, after the Germans attacked Poland in 1939, the Nazis banned the breeding of racing pigeons. Breach of the ban could even was punished by a death penalty. After World War II, the Polish Pigeon Breeders Union was recreated on April 1, 1946 in Cracow. The administrative hierarchy of PZHGP is as follows:

- Polish Pigeon Breeders Association:
 - regions:
  - districs (40 numbers):
   - departaments (370 numbers):
    - sections

Leading results of Polish pigeons at the International Pigeon Olympics testify to the high level of breeding at the highest world level. The upcoming XXXVI Olympiad of Pigeons will take place in Poznań in 25-27.01.2019.

Belgium

The Janssen Brothers (Louis, Charel, Arjaan and Sjef) are a famous and very successful pigeon racing family from Arendonk, Belgium. Louis Janssen, born 1912, was the last of the famous brothers. He died on 16 April 2013, at the age of 100.[32] Descendants of the brothers pigeons can be found racing all around the world.

Another famous and successful pigeon fancier is Karel Meulemans. Karel, born in Retie, also lives in Arendonk. As often occurs in smaller communities there is much competition between the families Meulemans and Janssen.

UK and Ireland

The first regular race in Great Britain was in 1881.[21] The British Royal Family first became involved with pigeon racing in 1886 when King Leopold II of Belgium gave them breeding stock. The tradition continues to this day, with a bird of Queen Elizabeth II even winning a race in 1990.[33] The sport is declining in the UK with membership of recognised clubs and federations falling by about five per cent annually.[34]

The National Flying Club is a British pigeon racing club, and open to anyone in England and Wales.[35]

In the United Kingdom and Ireland pigeon racing is regulated by six independent organisations.

In 2007 the British Parliament banned pigeons racing from the mainland of continental Europe to Britain because of the risk of bird flu.[41] A British MEP supported fanciers to have the ban lifted. Labour's MEP Brian Simpson, from Golborne, believed that it was unfair to allow concerns about avian flu to throttle the fanciers' sport.[41] Simpson said, "But what is clearly apparent now is that pigeon are low-risk in regards to avian flu and the decision to ban continental pigeon racing was wrong."[41]

Romania

Pigeon racing in Romania is one of Europe's hot spots in the sport. Many pigeon breeders join the National Federations every year, triggering more and more competitive challenges. Another aspect is the image that has changed in the last decade in regards of pigeon racing, since nowadays it stands for a fine art within the country, with symbolic prizes and bets. A high collaboration with pigeon fanciers from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany is also observed.

Turkey

The sport is popular in Turkey. In May 2008 a nine part, 1,150 kilometres (710 mi) pigeon race from the town of Manisa to Erzurum was organised with participants from many pigeon associations across the country.[42]

Africa

South Africa

South Africa is the home of the richest one-loft race in the world, the Million Dollar Pigeon Race.[43] The Million Dollar Pigeon Race pits 4,300 birds from 25 countries against each other for a share of $1.3m in prize money. The runners-up win cars and smaller monetary prizes, while the overall winner can expect to pocket US$200,000. Sun City's one-loft race, sees birds from across the world air-freighted to South Africa as squabs, months before the race, and trained to orient to a single loft. Then on race day, after being released 550 kilometres (340 mi) out on the South African veldt, the birds all race back to the same destination.[44] The first race was in 1996 and attracted 893 pigeons. The race broke even after five years.[45]

See also

References

  1. ^ Levi, Wendell (1977). The Pigeon. Sumter, South Carolina: Levi Publishing Co, Inc. p. 4. ISBN 0-85390-013-2.
  2. ^ a b Levi, Wendell (1977). The Pigeon. Sumter, South Carolina: Levi Publishing. p. 40. ISBN 0-85390-013-2.
  3. ^ León, DE; Retana, VN; Hernández-Pando, R; Arellano, J; Ortiz, LG; Valle, FC; Martínez-Cordero, E. "Pigeon hypersensitivity pneumonitis: immunohistochemical demonstration of the causative antigen in the lung". Prim Care Respir J. 16: 252–6. doi:10.3132/pcrj.2007.00046. PMID 17660891.
  4. ^ Jenner, Jim. "Pigeon Racing Films". Paccom Films. Archived from the original on 2010-01-15.
  5. ^ Walcott, Charles (1996). "Pigeon Homing: Observations, Experiments and Confusions" (PDF). Journal of Experimental Biology. 199 (1): 21–27. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2008-02-27.
  6. ^ Capital Times, Madison, WI. Sunday Nov. 23, 1941. pg. 11.
  7. ^ "Pigeon Racing Popular Among Belgians", Wisconsin Tercentenary, Green Bay Press Gazette. July 1934
  8. ^ Simmons, Morgan. "For racing pigeons, there's no place like home" (Web article). Knox news. Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
  9. ^ "Racing Pigeons Race Day". Canadian Racing Pigeon Union Inc. Archived from the original (Web article) on 16 January 2008. Retrieved 19 February 2008.
  10. ^ Leader, Rhondda. "Fanciers get a real buzz from racing" (Web article). icWales. Retrieved 19 February 2008.
  11. ^ "Pigeon racing: Lawrence's big passion". Oxford Mail. Archived from the original (Web article) on 31 May 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
  12. ^ "Birds of Pray . . .The Peregrine Falcons of St Mary's Cathedral, Kilkenny". Kilkenny People, 18 Jan 2012. Archived from the original (Web article) on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  13. ^ "Pigeon racers suspected in falcon killings". The Scotsman.
  14. ^ //www.snh.org.uk/pdfs/pigeons_raptors_report.pdf
  15. ^ "Mobile phone mast blamed for vanishing pigeons". Omega News. Archived from the original on 2006-06-26.
  16. ^ a b c Carreyrou, John (12 November 2004). "Doping scandal hits pigeon racing". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013 – via Ergonomics.com.
  17. ^ "Racing pigeons in Belgium flying high on coke, painkillers". Daily Telegraph. 25 October 2013. Archived from the original on 8 April 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  18. ^ Martens, Martin (7 July 2013). "Het dopingdossier van de KBDB blijft de tongen beroeren". PIPA. Archived from the original on 10 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  19. ^ a b Gallagher, Paul (25 October 2013). "World of pigeon racing rocked by doping scandal". The Independent. Archived from the original on 27 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  20. ^ Pearson, Harry (6 February 2009). "Stone the crows, and other tales of bird doping". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  21. ^ a b Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Pigeon-flying" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 21 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 596.
  22. ^ Steeves, Heather. "Look Homeward". The Elsworth American (29 May 2008). Archived from the original on 24 June 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2008.
  23. ^ Yakin, Heather. "Pigeon racing a growing sport". Times Herald-Record. Archived from the original (Web article) on 19 April 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  24. ^ "FindLaw's United States Seventh Circuit case and opinions". Findlaw. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  25. ^ "Federal Court Upholds Chicago's Ban on Pet Racing Pigeons". www.shortnews.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27.
  26. ^ "Aldermen seek to legalize 'new sport' — pigeon racing". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  27. ^ Yaffa, Joshua (9 December 2007). "Look Homeward, Angels". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 11 February 2017.
  28. ^ "Hoboken's pigeon racing days". Archived from the original on 2010-03-29.
  29. ^ "Homing Pigeons Take Off in Coney Island". The Brooklyn Ink. Archived from the original on 2018-05-03.
  30. ^ "大學教賽鴿 鴿友慕名來", Liberty Times, February 25, 2010
  31. ^ Jensen, Erik (8 March 2008). "Flight of the old breed" (Web article). Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2008.
  32. ^ (Web article) http://www.deduif.be/dezeweek/1732/detail.aspx. Archived from the original on 16 May 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  33. ^ "80 facts about The Queen". Archived from the original on 2007-02-12.
  34. ^ "A sport's race to survive" (Web news). Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 19 June 2008.
  35. ^ "Home of UK's Grand National Races". www.nationalflyingclub.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2007-06-20.
  36. ^ http://www.irishhomingunion.com Archived 2008-05-17 at the Wayback Machine Irish Homing Union website
  37. ^ http://www.nehu.co.uk Archived 2007-04-02 at the Wayback Machine North of England Homing Union website
  38. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-05-11. Retrieved 2008-05-11.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) North West Homing Union
  39. ^ http://www.rpra.org Archived 2007-05-28 at the Wayback Machine Royal Pigeon Racing Association website
  40. ^ http://www.shuonline.co.uk Archived 2008-04-10 at the Wayback Machine Scottish Homing Union website
  41. ^ a b c "MP fights over pigeon flights" (Web news). Wigan Today. Retrieved 13 June 2008.
  42. ^ "Messenger pigeons fly in Turkish race". Today's Zaman. Archived from the original (Web article) on 6 May 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2008.
  43. ^ SCMDPR Homepage Archived 2006-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  44. ^ Bell, Dan (1 February 2008). "Flight of fancy" (Web article). BBC News. Archived from the original on 2 February 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2008.
  45. ^ Samuels, David. "The Arc of the Sun". The Atavist Magazine. Atavist. Archived from the original on 16 November 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2016.

External links

Al-Muzaffar Hajji

Al-Muzaffar Sayf ad-Din Hajji ibn Muhammad ibn Qalawun, better known as al-Muzaffar Hajji, (1331–December 1347) was the Bahri Mamluk sultan of Egypt and the sixth son of an-Nasir Muhammad (d. 1341) to hold office, ruling from September 1346 and December 1347. He was known for his love of sports and pigeon racing, acts which led to frustration among the senior Mamluk emirs who believed he neglected the duties of office and spent extravagant sums on gambling. His reign ended when he was killed in a confrontation with Mamluk conspirators outside of Cairo.

American Racing Pigeon Union

The American Racing Pigeon Union (AU) is a national organization for pigeon racing hobbyists. The organization was founded November 9, 1910 in Washington, D.C. to centralize regional clubs, establish standardized rules, award cash prizes and promote the racing of homing “carrier” pigeons.

The AU comprises approximately 700 affiliated clubs with a membership 7,500 members. The national office is located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

American Show Racer

The American Show Racer pigeon (also known as the Show Pen Racer, and nicknamed the "Bird of Dignity.") is a breed of domestic pigeon that began in the early 1950s with the finest Racing Homers, selectively bred for their breed type. Pigeon historian Wendell Levi mentions Show Pen Racers in his book The Pigeon. He describes the early development of the breed in the United States and early breeders of the variety. In 1952, The American Show Pen Racer Club was formed at the National Show held in Des Moines, Iowa.

As years passed, the word “pen” was removed from the club name and it was officially changed to The American Show Racer Association (ASRA).

As the breed developed, the standard was updated and in the year 2000, a new standard drawing was created and accepted by vote of the membership. Emphasis is placed on "station" (which includes an upright posture) and a powerful head. The bird should be very smooth-feathered.

The ASRA currently has approximately 150 members in 37 US states and seven other countries. It is an affiliate club of the National Pigeon Association.

The breed is popular at shows. In November 2007, at the Pageant of Pigeons held in San Bernardino, California, approximately 150 were entered by 15 exhibitors.

Andrew Beer

William Andrew Beer (1862-1954) was an English artist, known for painting racing pigeons, in oil on canvas, under the working name of Andrew Beer. A racing pigeon enthusiast himself, he was a judge at competitive pigeon shows.Beer had a studio in Eastville, Bristol, to which the pigeons he was to paint were sometimes sent by train, arriving at the nearby Stapleton Road Station. He typically painted pigeons at near life-size, singly or in small groups, in side-on view, against similar backgrounds. He often included text, noting the pigeons' names and achievements.

His works are in the collections of Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Pontypridd Museum and the Radstock, Midsomer Norton & District Museum Society.He also painted scenes of southern England, which were issued as postcards.

Bazaar (2019 film)

Bazaar is an Indian Kannada action crime film directed by Suni and produced by Thimmegowda under Bharathi Film Productions banner. The film stars Dhanveer Gowda, a debutant and Aditi Prabhudeva in the lead roles along with Sadhu Kokila, Sharath Lohitashwa and Aruna Balaraj in the supporting roles. The film's plot deals with the gambling process involved in the pigeon racing. The film is shot in the real locations across Bengaluru, Mysore and Tumkur where the pigeon races are actually held.The technical crew members for the film include Ravi Basrur as the music composer, Santhosh Rai Pathaje as the cinematographer, Abhishek. M as the editor. Initially planned to release on the Sankranthi festival day, the makers postponed the release to 1 February 2019.

British Homing World

The British Homing World (BHW) is a pigeon racing weekly magazine.

British Show Racer

The British Show Racer is a breed of fancy pigeon developed over many years of selective breeding. The British Show Racer along with other varieties of domesticated pigeons are all descendants from the rock pigeon (Columba livia). As the name suggests, this breed was developed as an exhibition breed in Britain from local stocks of racing pigeons. Douglas McClary in his book Pigeons for Everyone describes Show Racers as simply the "show version" of the popular racing pigeon.

De Duif

De Duif is a church on the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam. At present – after the recent restoration by Stadsherstel Amsterdam – it is rented out for all kinds of events.

German Beauty Homer

The German Beauty Homer is a breed of fancy pigeon developed over many years of selective breeding, from German racing pigeons. German Beauty Homers along with other varieties of domesticated pigeons are all descendants from the rock pigeon (Columba livia). The breed was first developed around one hundred years ago.

Homing pigeon

The homing pigeon is a variety of domestic pigeon (Columba livia domestica) derived from the rock pigeon, selectively bred for its ability to find its way home over extremely long distances. The wild rock pigeon has an innate homing ability, meaning that it will generally return to its nest, (it is believed) using magnetoreception. This made it relatively easy to breed from the birds that repeatedly found their way home over long distances. Flights as long as 1,800 km (1,100 miles) have been recorded by birds in competitive pigeon racing. Their average flying speed over moderate 965 km (600 miles) distances is around 97 km/h (60 miles per hour) and speeds of up to 160 km/h (100 miles per hour) have been observed in top racers for short distances.

Because of this skill, homing pigeons were used to carry messages as messenger pigeons. They are usually referred to as "pigeon post" if used in post service, or "war pigeon" during wars.

Homing pigeons are often incorrectly categorized as English Carrier pigeons, a breed of fancy pigeons selectively-bred for its distinctively rounded hard wattle. The purpose of using them was to send messages or mails.

Pigeon keeping

Pigeon keeping or pigeon fancying is the art and science of breeding domestic pigeons. People have practised pigeon keeping for about 10,000 years in almost every part of the world. In that time, humans have substantially altered the morphology and the behaviour of the domesticated descendants of the rock dove to suit their needs for food, aesthetic satisfaction and entertainment.

People who breed pigeons are commonly referred to as pigeon fanciers. The hobby is gaining in popularity in the United States, after having waned within the last 50 years. Both the hobby and commercial aspects of keeping pigeons are thriving in other parts of the world.

Pigeon racing at the 1900 Summer Olympics

Pigeon racing was contested at the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris. In later years the IOC deemed each event of the 1900 Olympics to be either official or unofficial. Pigeon racing was regarded as unofficial.It is known that there were seven events contested in the 1900 Olympic Games schedule. No results have yet been discovered for one of the most unlikely of all Olympic sports.

Pigeon whistle

A pigeon whistle (known as a geling 鸽铃 or geshao 鸽哨 in China) is a device attached to a pigeon such that it emits a noise whilst flying. They have long been used in Asian countries, particularly China for entertainment, tracking and to deter attack by birds of prey. The practice was once common but is now much less widespread owing to increasing urbanisation and regulation of pigeon keeping. A modern version of the device, based on specimens held at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, has been developed by musician Nathaniel Mann. Mann has performed with the devices attached to racing pigeons at festivals across the United Kingdom.

Racing Homer

A Racing Homer is a breed of domestic pigeon that has been selectively bred for more speed and enhanced homing instinct for the sport of pigeon racing. A popular domestic pigeon breed, the Racing Homer is also one of the newest.

Royal Pigeon Racing Association

The Royal Pigeon Racing Association (RPRA) is a governing body for pigeon racing in the United Kingdom. Queen Elizabeth II is the president of the RPRA and also an enthusiastic pigeon fancier herself. The RPRA has 21,000 members spread across 1,500 pigeon clubs in the UK. The association performs charity work and raises approximately £100,000 for charitable causes each year.

Shady Hills, Florida

Shady Hills is a census-designated place (CDP) in Pasco County, Florida, United States. The population was 7,798 at the 2000 census. It is in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is home to an active pigeon racing group.

Taking on Tyson

Taking on Tyson is a TV show on Animal Planet. The show stars the American boxer Mike Tyson competing in pigeon racing.

The King of Rome

The King of Rome was a successful racing pigeon, winning a 1,001-mile (1,611 km) race from Rome, Italy to England, in 1913. It was the subject of a song and book, both by Dave Sudbury, and a radio play. The song's best-known version was recorded by June Tabor.

Up North Combine

The Up North Combine is an amalgamation of pigeon racing clubs and federations founded in 1905. Headquarters are located in Greatham, Hartlepool, and the radius of serving federations go from Staithes (south) to Berwick (north). The combine is governed by the North of England Homing Union(NEHU). They organise the annual Mighty Up North Combine race from Lille. The race is Britain's largest and has been called "the world's greatest".The organisation was featured in a 1969 documentary, Time on the Wing, made by Turners Film Productions for Vaux Breweries on pigeon fancying and pigeon racing in the North East of England. This showed officials and convoy organisers discuss arrangements for the trip to the Vaux-Usher International Gold Tankard Pigeon Race which involved the transport of some 19,000 birds.Tommy Newton of the Houghton Federation was the owner of the winner of the first race from Lille they organised in 2000, the first winner from that club since 1938.

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