Today I was talking to one of the girls at work and was surprised to hear she had never heard of pigeon racing so tonight’s blog, Pigeon Racing 101, the abbreviated version.
Man has made good use of the Homing Pigeons basic homing instinct for centuries, although the sport of Pigeon Racing did not commence until the 1870s. Pigeons have been used throughout the ages to carry messages, in fact a number of pigeons were decorated for bravery during WW1 and WW2 and have been credited with saving the lives of hundreds of allied servicemen.
There are may theories as to how pigeons home to their loft, some say they use the sun, (my preferred opinion), others that they use the magnetic field of the Earth, but the truth is that no-one really knows, they just do. Pigeons are the athletes of the animal kingdom flying hundreds of miles in a single day to reach their home loft.
Like in any sport you get your duds, there is the constant threat of predators, power lines, and some are just not good enough to make the distance. This is one sport that the entire family can enjoy and it is a shame that here in Australia the sport is not as prevalent as it once was.
Do not confuse the racing pigeon with the feral variety seen in the streets and paddocks, yes they are the same birds, but they are not bred or trained like their pampered cousins, and pampered they are, pigeon fanciers the world over take very good care of their flocks.
It has been 30 years since I last owned pigeons but once in your blood it is there for good and I can’t wait for the day that I once again hear their gentle cooing in my backyard. Thank you for reading.
Please check out this link and tell your pigeon buddies http://www.grahamsgoodies.net/pigeon_racing.html