The Extraordinary Feats of Racing Pigeons
Pigeon racing is a fascinating sport. If you are a pigeon fancier then you will be familiar with the extraordinary talents of the birds. But you may still be surprised by some of the feats that they have achieved. When you are in your coop filling up those and admiring your birds, you may well wish to contemplate exactly what they could be capable of.
Pigeons can fly between 600 and 700 miles per day. The longest recorded journey, which took place in the late nineteenth century, was a flight from Africa to England. The pigeon travelled over 7,000 miles and took 55 days to cover the distance.
Racing pigeons can average speeds of up to 77mph on their journeys but can be seen flying at speeds of up to 92.5mph. In the right conditions they can fly even faster for short distances. The fastest recorded speed of a racing pigeon was achieved by a bird belonging to A Vidgeon & Son of Wickford flying .Its speed was measured at an incredible 110mph. it is likely that the bird received a great deal of assistance from the wind!
Birds which fly fast and achieve success in big races can become extremely valuable. In 2013 a Chinese financier purchased the pigeon which was considered to be the fastest in Europe. He paid an extraordinary €310,000. The bird was appropriately named Bolt after the sprinter Usain Bolt!
Bolt was just one bird in the collection of Belgian businessman Leo Heremes. He had developed a virus as a result of the time that he spent with his birds and decided to sell his entire flock. Bolt commanded the highest price but the birds fetched an amazing €4.3 million in total.
Pigeons can fly at altitudes of over 6,000 feet. This enables them to see for up to 26 miles which obviously helps when they are navigating their way home. Their ability to navigate remains shrouded in mystery but they are believed to use the Earth’s magnetic field and the sun. It has also been suggested that they use low frequency seismic waves to find their way home. They may very well use roads too which would explain a well-publicised incident of a pigeon racing down the motorway in the Netherlands recently.
The pigeon concerned was filmed by the passenger of a car that it flew alongside. It was flying extremely low and at approximately 60mph. The person who captured the footage reported that the bird flew alongside their vehicle for 12 miles.
This pigeon was clearly in a hurry and may have benefitted from slipstreaming the vehicles.;
So your birds could be capable of truly amazing things. If they possess exceptional talent then they could be worth a small fortune too. All that time spent caring for them and your investment in feed, racing pigeon feeders and your coop could yield big dividends as well as a lot of pleasure.