First race

(Video of a training release of our birds earlier this summer)

This past weekend our young homing pigeons were scheduled for their first race, 125 miles. They have been training pretty much every day, being driven to different spots around the state to be released for their flight back to the home loft, but most trips like this averaged about 50 miles or so from here, a lot different than 125! Weather looked bad for Sunday, so they were transported to northern Maine with Monday being the release in Jackman, Maine. It’s farther than they have flown yet on any training flight. John only chose to enter 7 of his 17 flyers as this is all very new to us!

It was a little nerve-wracking as I was the one at home waiting for them. Their release got delayed because the mountains up north were socked in with fog, so the person releasing them finally had to drive south a ways to get a clearer take-off. In any case, I was out working in the goat paddock and I heard their wings before I saw the first 4 of them. They only briefly stopped on the ridge of the loft roof and then they were inside (which is the only way to get their electronic leg bands to register on the “clock”). It was great to see 4 of the 7 come in, but then I worried about the rest. Needlessly, because they trickled in quite soon after. Phew!

So that was the first race of the year. There will be quite a few more, almost every weekend for the next couple of months. In the meantime, we wait for the race results to find out which of the lofts had a winner!


3 thoughts on “First race”

  1. Several years ago on my way home from work, I encountered a dead pigeon in the road. Something about it did not look like a wild bird, so I stopped and found it had a leg band. I took the dead bird home, took down the band information and looked up a group that was able to put me in touch with the owner based on the band information. It was a young bird in his first race who never made it back home. That was one bird where at least they finally knew what happened to him.

  2. This is so very, very cool! thanks for sharing. I have always been fascinated by homing pigeons. I look forward to hearing how they get on in future races.

  3. Oh, poor bird! We know that some may not come back, but have been extremely lucky so far. A few times we have had one or two not return from a training flight, but in a few days they find their way back. Hawks and falcons will snatch them as they are flying, which is quite a hazard around here. But homers have a very long history with humans. It is very interesting!

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