Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Friday, December 9, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The Indian Fantail is a breed of fancy pigeon developed over many years of selective breeding. Indian Fantails, along with other varieties of domesticated pigeons are all descendants from the Rock Pigeon (Columba livia).
The introduction of this variety to the U.S.A. was a strange one. In 1926. A shipment of four pythons was on its way to the San Diego Zoo in California from India. The journey over seas lasted many days and to ensure the reptiles didn’t go hungry, Indian fantail pigeons, found exclusively in India until then, were given to the pythons as snake feed.
By the time the ship reached California, only two survived.
The keepers at the San Diego Zoo who had obviously never seen Indian fantail pigeons before were so taken by their distinct looks that they decided to keep, and later breed and develop them. It was from these two lucky birds that the species of Indian fantail pigeons spread beyond Indian shores and reached the farthest corners of the world.
The Iranian High flyer pigeon is a breed of domestic pigeon bred in Iran* for endurance flying competitions. The tumbling is nothing like a Birmingham Roller, just a flip or couples, occasionally hovering before it does the flip.
The best birds tend to rise above the rest of the kit to show off their talents. The flying characteristic of the Iranian Highflyer is that of a soaring/hovering bird (as opposed to the raking flying style of for instance the Tippler), with a slower wing beat than most flying breeds of pigeons. They are endurance flyers gaining altitude quickly and mostly become out of sight, and have been reported to fly as long as 8 to 12 hours. They have longer wings and feathers compare to tipplers or rollers. Lookwise, they mostly have big and round head with a mid size beak and feet.
The way they fly is as a kit (at start) and individually (after some hours in kit flying). In competitions in Iran, they fly a number of birds between 100 plus to some times 1,000; more or less. This ability makes Iranian High Flyer a unique domestic breed of pigeons.
Colours/Patterns: The Iranian Highfiyer comes in various patterns and colors.
Cities keep pigeons: In Iran, keeping pigeons is a very cultural and traditional part of life style. Domestic pigeons can be found in any cities or villages. The "High Flyer" type of Iranian pigeons though come from three major cities: Tehran, Kashan and ghom. The high flyer type can be found in other part of the country too, but they are basically based on those named cities, especially Tehran.
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 birds 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 for approximately to 100 to 1000 km.
The winner of a pigeon race is the bird with the highest velocity, measured in ypm/mpm; this calculation demands that the distance be divided into yards, then divide the yards by the number of minutes it took the bird to return. Since races can often be won and lost by seconds, 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 or possibly earlier. 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. 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, aging fanciers, and a severe lack of public interest.
One recent development in the sport of pigeon racing is "one loft racing", where birds are raced against each other under the same training regime, in an effort to test the best birds rather than the best trainer.
Racing pigeons are housed together in a specially designed dovecote or loft. From about 4 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 6 to 7 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 2 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 is like the format of a real race, however on a much smaller scale and it is usually not timed in the same way as a race. This practice of loft flying and tossing continues throughout a pigeon's career.
Training methods are as varied as the pigeons themselves. Some fanciers believe their system is the secret to their success and guard these hard learned lessons closely. Most fanciers will explain their basic strategy but some may be reluctant to share the details of their success. 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. Jan Van Stalle, began using small GPS devices to document the flight patters of high flyers in 2009 and is expecting to publish a full report on the subject in early 2012. Small GPS systems have recently began to hit the consumer market. Companies like PigeonTrack and GEM Suppliments currently sell GPS units for novice to advanced race trainers to use to gather data.