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Rareindividualpigeons J. Clements 11-03-18

A Case of Rare Individual Pigeons


John Clements.


There are some rare individuals fanciers who either by luck or by  conscious intention  manage to acquire one or two even rarer individual pigeons than themselves. These rare individual pigeons put up a number of outstanding performances during their active years when they are at the peak of their powers. After they are gone most leave nothing by way of offspring of anywhere near the same quality.  Occasionally somewhere down the line - if the fancier is lucky - another champion might emerge but for the most part nothing happens because outstanding performers are by definition rare freaks of nature.

My recent articles about NFC Certificate of Merit pigeon and the latest one about the Carson Brothers pigeon ‘Miss Mercury’ have generated numerous letters informing me of other outstanding pigeons. Some of these pigeons have been forgotten or lost to history because modern pigeon racing because it tends to celebrate the ‘New’ does not value history or want to be reminded of outstanding pigeons. and


Different Thinking

Lately there now seems  to be a renewed lust in an attempt to catch up with what was lost. Nevertheless most fanciers still want to be up to date with the latest strains on the basis that the latest is always better.


This idea may be better in the sprint world but in the world of ‘Long Distance’  pigeons this is hardly ever the case.   I could quite easily make a case for saying the quality of long distance pigeons have not improved  over the years and in fact it has worsened.


Recent Correspondents

This brings me to one of my recent correspondents who are bringing to my notice a pair of pigeons they owned in the early years of this century and the latter part of the last century. . The letter in question was from Allan Towe of  the partnership of Inckle and Towe of Bolehill a village lying between Cromford and Wirksworth in Derbyshire.

The first of their remarkable pair (both Hens) was ‘Lomsdale Twilight’  a ’96 pigeon

She was :-

2nd Fed Royan 434 pigeons in 1997 as a yearling.

15th Fed Saintes 509 miles 487 pigeons in 1998

1st Fed Saintes 509 miles 603 pigeons in 1999 (only bird on day)

1st NE Section 5th Open MNFC  Bergerac 577 miles  1905 birds in 2000 ( in this race there was only 5 birds on the day)

‘Lonsdale Twilight’ won 2 RPRA awards during her racing career.

Tic eyed Blue hen ‘Twilight’


The second remarkable pigeon to fly to the ‘Lomsdale Lofts’ was a daughter of ‘Twilight’ - she was called ‘Bethany’

Her performances were :- 3 times 577 miles on the day in the MNFC.


Bergerac 2002

555 members 2087 birds  8th NE Section 21st Open

Bergerac 2003

468 members 2017 birds  27 NE Section 71st Open

Bergerac 2004

577 members 2678 birds 1st NE Section 2nd Open

Blue hen ‘Bethany’


‘Bethany was an 01 pigeon so her first Bergerac triumph was as a yearling and her section winning Bergerac performance was as a three year old.  She won  an MNFC  Certificate of Merit for being three times in the first 100 places in the MNFC longest race.


The Big Question

The real big question we must ask about remarkable pigeons is how do they arrive? What makes them what they are? and Can we reproduce such birds?

All pigeons when they are released from distant race points such as Bergerac have some potential to get home but usually the potential is low. . Champions have a higher potential but all pigeons possess  Homing ability at some level. .  By analysing the known ingredients required to get home at speed from distances above 500 miles we may come to some sort of conclusion of how we may hope to reproduce Champions.


I will list the attributes of what I think Long Distance champions must have.

1. The ability to fly and navigate alone apart from the flock.

2. The stamina required to fly for many  hours.

3. The absolute determination/incentive  to get home regardless of pain.

4. They must also have physical reserves   that enables them to repeat their remarkable initial performance in later years. (Some pigeons are one hit wonders that burn themselves out in one big attempt and are never the same afterwards. A few seemingly outstanding pigeons even get lost in relatively short races the year following their triumph.


The Real Thing

In the case of the two pigeons I have highlighted they are not of this type. They are the real thing in that  both started their career breaking performances as yearlings and continued in later years. Strangely enough both achieved their possibly best and last performance when aged  four  in the case of ‘Twilight’ or three in the case of ‘Bethany’. Both improving with age. This is yet  is yet another sign  of real champion pigeons.


Nevertheless we may ask what is really happening in the minds of champion long distance pigeons that gives them a decided advantage over others less well endowed?


Possible Quantum Effects

Here we come into a really modern science concept that might give us a clue. Take Quantum physics for instance. One of the strange happenings in the world of Quantum mechanics is a thing called ‘Entanglement’ where sub atomic particles can become entangled or connected with other particles on a micro sub atomic level somewhere in the brain. This entanglement might occur over huge distances. If this were so and a pigeon could unconsciously detect where it was on the globe and where the home loft was on the globe the two entangled particles could form a basis for explaining the homing mechanism biologically.


Not so Far Fetched

This is not so far fetched as it seems for I have heard of many instances where long distance pigeons do not home or race  at all quickly until the distance increases to the marathon level. I myself had a hen that was sent as a trainer two weeks before the 2009 NFC Tarbes race in an attempt to fine tune her for the later big event. In that fine tuning training race from 140 miles she was two hours behind the winner. This did not signify a lack of fitness because two weeks later when flying from 709 miles she was 4th section and 33rd open NFC Tarbes. .


Other Example

The Carson hen ‘Miss Mercury’ is yet another example. ‘Miss Mercury’ never homed before 6pm in the evening  in inland races and I have even heard of a few Irish long distance winning pigeons having a night out in short races but performing out of their skin  when it came to the long ones later in the year.

All this points to certain pigeons knowing  exactly how far they are from home and how much effort they must excerpt  to get there.


Stuff worth thinking about.

All this is fascinating stuff bordering on the spiritual or of an other dimension to our thinking but it is only thinking not a solution. When it comes to ‘Marathon pigeon Racing’. The old stuff of training - feeding - motivation - strain  etc… etc.. simply does not provide sufficient explanation or a full explanation. There are thousands of fanciers who have attempted to move up from sprint to distance without changing their thinking but think just changing the strain will be enough.  Almost all of them have failed  in the attempt unless they somehow manage to change to a different type of thinking or manage to get a  freak pigeon that  performs regardless of how it is treated. These Long Distance freaks are born not made and are very rare. ‘Bethany’ and ‘Twilight’ are excellent examples. One being the daughter of the other. There is obviously much more to discuss but first admitting what we obviously do not know is a big start.