Yorkshire Carrier of Pigeons

A racing pigeon needs a carrier and a carrier pigeon needs a boy racer in a silver car to help transport them.

Fancy That : Pigeon Facts

  • There are over 300 species of pigeon and dove or columbines as they are collectively grouped.
  • Columba livia domestica or  homing pigeon is a variety of pigeon related to the rock pigeon. These racing or homing pigeons can live for upwards of twenty years.
  • Wild or feral pigeons, like the ones you see in town centres are often and derogatorily termed flying rats.   They scavenge food, create a mess and have a shortish life-span of three to four years.
  • D K Higgins is the Rawdon based official for The Royal Pigeon Racing Association in the North East region including  North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. It is a wider sport than you may first imagine.
  • Following a family tradition started by Edward VII and King George V,  HM The Queen is actively interested in pigeons and is patron of a number of  racing societies most notably the Royal Pigeon Racing Association and the National Flying Club.
  • An injured pigeon nicknamed The Banker still attracted a Chinese buyer  to pay  a British record of £16,000 as breeding stock. The world record is closer to £260,000 paid for a Belgian bird.
  • In Leeds early enthusiasts gathered at the White Swan  during March 1896 forming the National Homing Union (now the Royal Pigeon Racing Association) the regulatory body for the sport.
  • Premier Racing Pigeon and Breeding Stud east of Hull (can you get east of Hull?) has numerous  lofts that hold more than 2,000 birds.

Castleford and one of the many resident pigeons near the Calder.  Columba livia domestica

Jim Emerton has authored several books since  racing his first pigeons in York.  In his early days he had rollers, fantails priests and various fancy breeds and crosses but notably developed his own strain called not surprisingly ‘Emertons’. One of Jim’s bird reportedly returned home from 879 miles away.

Book Cover

Book Cover

‘Between 1941 and 1944, sixteen thousand plucky homing pigeons were dropped in an arc from Bordeaux to Copenhagen as part of ‘Columba’ a secret British operation to bring back intelligence from those living under Nazi occupation……….’

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