Pigeons to show their flying prowess over Mangalore skies

From July to September, the skies in Mangalore will have one or two competing pigeons of participants and die-hard hobbyists taking part in the competition at the flying contest. 

The  enthusiasts will showcase the flying prowess of their pet pigeons through this contest. 
Though pigeon flying became common sport during the Mughal period and it has remained a passionate hobby among a few enthusiasts in Mangalore city even to this day.  Pigeons are known for their flying capacity. Compared to other birds these can fly continuously for several hours together, said hobbyist Abzal. “I have been rearing pigeons and taking part in the competition for the last eight years. There are over 500 such hobbyists here.” 
In fact, he has a friends group called Naufal Friends Kudroli with 10 members namely Niyaz, Irfan, Gafoor, Rahmathulla, Irfan P, Musthafa, Junaid, Ashraf and Haneef. 
Explaining on training them, he said: “We have to build their strength and stamina. The birds are normally trained daily. They are trained about sunlight and darkness.

It is important for the bird to recognise the passage of time and make itself visible to the umpires monitoring their flight. We teach them on keeping time, lowering itself to be visible and on flying back to the same spot from where it flew.”
The competition begins at 6 am and ends at 6.30 pm or 7 pm. An umpire oversees the
day’s proceedings. 
In the first hour of flight, the bird has to show itself every 15 minutes, after which it lowers itself to be seen by the hour. If the pigeon goes invisible following cloud, then the participant will get three hour time and he should ensure that the pigeon comes back during that period. 

If he fails to show, then he will lose the competition. 
The pigeon should fly back and land within 100 metres from the place where it took off. If it fails to land within 100 metres, then the participant will not get any points, said Abzal. He said the pigeons are available from Rs 200 to Rs 3,000 or Rs 50,000 depending on their pedigree, looks and capability to fly for long hours. 
“In fact, one of my pigeons flew 24.10 hours and had created a record in 2011. Another bird flew for 15.20 hours in 2007,” he said proudly. At present, the record is flying for 26.30 hours by a pigeon from Nagarcoil. 
“I rear around 40 pigeons. During training, I should ensure that they do not take rest even for a minute and fly continuously. The pigeon which flies for maximum number of hours will be adjudged as the winner,” he said. 
Another enthusiast Irfan, who was a partner with Abzal in the past said, “I have been taking part in the competition for the last 15 years. In fact, I developed interest in pigeons during my schooldays. At present, I have around 30 pigeons. I feed them with badam, glucose and goat milk, to get strength and stamina.”  There are organisers who conduct the contest in Mangalore. 

All the enthusiasts has to do is to register with the organisers and they will give a date, on which the upmire will come and the judge the flying capacity of the bird. 

Comments (+)