CONDITIONS WHERE NAVIGATION/ORIENTATION IS DIFFICULT
by Jim Emerton
Blue skies and a following wind and sometimes the birds struggle to home. The perfect atmospheric conditions are not known by man, yet we infer them and deduce them. The isness of the conditions is key in my mind’s eye. If the birds race well then the conditions were favourable for navigation and orientation. The wild pigeons fly and home in snow/wind/fog/sun and rain and degrees of darkness - surely we can learn from these natural phenomena? This is why I had my birds and myself as a wildfowler out in all conditions, yet would leave them in in a pea souper fog. Real marathon pigeons should be hardened and the instincts alive - the birds pin sharp. In general pigeons tend not to race well in east/north-east winds, heavy rain, temperatures above 80F, and hot humid weather when the air is dense. I like early morning tosses e.g. 6am in summer in fresh, well oxygenated air. There are enthusiasts who train in mist to simulate potential race conditions. Analysis is fine yet the sport remains the great unknown.
Elimar - August 2014