Homing problems

What affects the racing homer the most?

  • cell towers

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • other

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    3

Thepigeonguy

Songster
Feb 20, 2018
132
377
116
Idaho falls, Idaho, U.S.
So I was looking around on https://www.pigeons.biz/forums/ and I saw several posts concerning what appears to be a growing problem in the racing sport. These fanciers stated HORRIBLE race results https://www.pigeons.biz/forums/f14/losses-116038.html and most thought that cell towers are to blame (from what I read.) Is this occurring everywhere, or primarily in the eastern side of the U.S./Canada? If anyone has experience with this, what were your loss rates? Some of my other ideas that could have happened include: bad weather, poor training, poor stock birds, and pollution. However, none of these are likely because: birds have been dealing with weather for a long time, training techniques have been previously successful, these birds have been bred for a long time to home accurately, and I don't think there's enough exposure to pollution to matter. What do you think, are these rare events or are they gradually becoming the norm? I don't have any experience with racing homers and would appreciate some information from breeders who do 60+ mile releases, for racing or dove release. I personally think cell towers do affect the birds, does anyone have any beliefs against this?
 

LamarshFish

Crowing
6 Years
Mar 26, 2015
850
1,449
256
As a threshold matter, I need to open by saying my research on this has yielded no real conclusion, because it seems there are none yet. And so long as we don't know precisely how homing pigeons home, we may never know.

We do know one thing, that when homers return from long distances and close in the the home stretch, they are navigating at least in part by sight. As such, I think really bad weather makes this tougher.

I once read that the cell tower issue may be due to the fact that pigeons use infrasound to navigate, and it's distinctly possible cell towers affect this. See link below:
https://www.npr.org/2013/02/01/170884694/birds-may-use-sound-maps-to-navigate-huge-distances

I have tons of cell towers in my area, it being a pretty urban area. I don't race, but I raced 4 of my birds from a racer's loft 20 miles from me, and one of mine made it all the way to the combine, a 400 mile race, completing several 200 mile and one 300 mile race before that. Tons of cell towers around, yet he still made it back. Did not make it back yet from the 400 though.
 

CCUK

Free Flying
Jan 21, 2018
5,839
29,296
1,182
North Notts, UK
My Coop
My Coop
My first pigeon that I got was a stray. It was released on what should have been a 100 mile race. She over shot the target by 70 miles! All sorts of things can affect them but what @LamarshFish said is true, as we don't really know how they home then to try and understand why they get lost would only be a stab in the dark. Cell towers, satalite TV, bad weather, hawk attacks :confused: Who knows? Fatigue could also play a part.
 
Oct 18, 2018
3,328
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I dont race but i know someone who does and he says and i beleive it that if a hurricane is coming soon or has just recently come, the birds will have a harder time even if its several hundred miles from the release point. He doesnt send many birds when theres a hurricane just because he doesnt want to lose many. Another thing, I simply think homers are not near as great as what they use to be, simply because they are not needed in wars anymore so its not the best of the best being bred anymore. Im not saying that a good racing homer cant travel the amount of what they used to, but its different from flying through guns being shot and a nice clear day. But I think cell towers are part of it. Another reason I think is that cell towers have wires/cables telophone poles have wires and their everywhere, birds will hit their legs on them and many times not return. Hawks are another reason.
 

Hokum Coco

Crowing
8 Years
Dec 6, 2012
4,274
3,643
477
New Brunswick,Canada
I personally think cell towers do affect the birds, does anyone have any beliefs against this?
Yes I think technology is effect homing results. I do not race that being said I have had homers get disoriented after flying from a certain area before. Some birds make it back days later a couple are never heard of again and a one was captured and I have gone and fetched said bird. They are close to 100 mile release but like I said before

these birds have navigated this location before.
 
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LamarshFish

Crowing
6 Years
Mar 26, 2015
850
1,449
256
we don't really know how they home

We know they navigate by sight, of course, hence our loft training methods. And since pigeons can see to around 25 miles on a clear day, chances are flying within this distance they are only relying on sight and (photographic) memory. But for the long distance homing, the theories range from the earth's magnetic field, to infrasound, and even smell, or it could be some combination of all these things.
 

Thepigeonguy

Songster
Feb 20, 2018
132
377
116
Idaho falls, Idaho, U.S.
Well that is one reason my current birds in my loft aren't going any long distances at the moment, they are too fat LOL. I got to looking at them this past weekend and was like geez guys, time for a diet!
I know what you mean, my B. rollers are pretty hefty, but their getting all that weight off flying in the wind around here.
 

LamarshFish

Crowing
6 Years
Mar 26, 2015
850
1,449
256
I know what you mean, my B. rollers are pretty hefty, but their getting all that weight off flying in the wind around here.

I think for mine it's a combination of less exercise (hawk season) and the fact that I've been supplementing their food a few times a week with a feather/immunity oil (mix of garlic oil and some other things). I started the oil at the beginning of their molt, and just kept it up because it made their feathers look so fantastic. Adds fat though, so I need to find out how to tweek their food amount.
 

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