A two-year-old checker male pigeon travelled 1,005.62 km in 25.59 hours from Maharashtra to Salem and bagged the first place in the State-level annual competition held here.

Organised by the Chennai-based Goodwill Pigeon Racing Society (GPRS) that conducts pigeon racing for up to 1,000 km annually, as many as 65 pigeons, including 21 pigeons from Salem, participated in the competition. Pigeons were released at 6.20 a.m. on March 20 at Warada in Nagpur and the pigeon belonging to Pradeep Agilan of Hasthampatti in the city reached home at 8.30 a.m. on March 22. “It covered the distance in less than 26 hours which is a new State record,” said Mr. Agilan. The pigeon that came second in the State could reach only by 11 a.m., he added.

The pigeon has to brave weather and wind patterns and reach the breeder’s home. The pigeon is tagged with an outer ring around its legs that have details of the society, year of birth, breeders name etc. An inner ring, which is not known to the breeder, will also be fixed to the pigeon. When the bird reaches the destination, the breeder has to convey the details in the inner ring to the members of GPRS over phone upon which the duration is calculated and the winning pigeon is announced. Mr. Agilan said that regular training and healthy feeding helped the Belgium-breed to win the competition. He also said that no research could so far establish how the pigeon reaches the breeder’s home even if it is let off 1,000 km away. “Maybe the bonding between the two is stronger,” he added.


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