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The carrier pigeon was sold for - 1, 25 - million euros

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Lovers of pigeons, these beautiful decorative birds, who delight with their plumage or the ability to fly fast, live all over the world. Historians believe that the domestication of pigeons took place about 5 centuries ago. Since then, hundreds of breeds have been bred, differing from each other in habits and appearance. If initially they were bred for practical use, now many are engaged in them “for the soul”.

For some, it’s great happiness to watch these snow-white birds flutter against a bright blue sky. Experienced pigeon breeders try to constantly replenish their collections. Given the fact that there are about a thousand domestic pigeon breeds alone, they have plenty to choose from.

True professionals can acquire and provide decent care for rare breeds. The most expensive pigeons in the world are not affordable for everyone, but they will undoubtedly be the pearl of any collection. What is special about them and what is their price you will learn from our article.

10. Volzhsky tape

The breed was bred by Russian breeders in the early 20th century. To do this, cross-winged pigeons, red-breasted and Rzhev crosses were crossed. They were called Volzhsky because most were formed in the cities of the middle Volga.

These are small birds with a stately build, with a beautiful range of plumage. Their color is cherry, sometimes yellow in combination with a white tint. A distinctive feature is a light strip on the tail, which runs across the tail (1-2 cm wide).

If you deal with him correctly and regularly, Volga ribbon can show its flying qualities.

The advantage of this breed is peace, they always behave calmly and quietly. These pigeons are great parents.

Cost - at least $ 150 per pigeon, can cost more.

9. Fan-shaped crowned

A very beautiful breed of pigeons with a magnificent crest in the form of evening. Fan-shaped crowned differs in a special color: on top of its body is blue or bluish, and below - brown. On the wings there is a white stripe located across, ending with a grayish dash.

Another feature of it is its size: it weighs about 2.5 kg and grows to 74 cm in length. Lives in New Guinea and on the islands near it. Prefers to be on the ground, choosing wetlands. If he feels danger, takes off on a tree. Eats seeds, fruits, berries, young foliage.

The numbers of these magnificent birds are rapidly declining, as their habitats are being destroyed, and pigeons are being hunted. Therefore, this is one of the most expensive and rare breeds, it is almost impossible to find them.

But if you manage to find this pigeon, you will have to pay at least 1800 dollars for it.

8. Golden motley

Inhabits the tropical forests of the islands of Viti Levu, Gau, Oawlau and others belonging to the state of Fiji.

Golden motley - small in size, only about 20 cm. But he is incredibly beautiful. The plumage is yellow with a touch of green. The beak and rings around the eyes are bluish-green. It feeds on insects, berries and fruits. Usually 1 egg is laid.

This breed of pigeons prefers to lead a solitary lifestyle and rarely gets into the camera lens.

7. Sharp-crested stone

This breed lives in Australia, in the depths of the mainland, in its most arid and desert regions. They have an unusually beautiful brown plumage, which almost merges with the surface of a rocky desert.

Sharp-crested stone It is distinguished by its special endurance and is engaged in the search for food in the hottest hours, when the rest of the birds and animals hide from destructive sunlight.

After the completion of the rainy season, i.e. from September to November, they begin the mating period. The female constructs a kind of nest, choosing a secluded place under the stone and enclosing it with grass. There she lays 2 eggs. Both parents are hatching them for 16-17 days. It takes only a week for the chicks to learn how to feed and fly on their own.

6. Maned

Sole Representative maned pigeons, his second name is Nicobar pigeon. He lives in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, as well as on other small uninhabited islets, where there are no predators, in the jungle.

He is very beautiful: there is a kind of mantle around the neck. This necklace is made of long feathers, cast with emerald and azure, under the rays of the bright sun it shimmers with all the colors of the rainbow.

A maned pigeon does not like to fly. It grows up to 40 cm in length, weighs up to 600 g. Most of the time these birds spend on the ground, only because of the imminent danger they can fly up a tree. In search of seeds, fruits, nuts and berries, they can unite in flocks and fly from one island to another.

Despite the fact that this breed is not rare, the natural habitat of birds has recently been destroyed, and the pigeons themselves are caught for sale or used for food. If this continues, this species may disappear.

Feathered Premium

In 2013, a Chinese entrepreneur paid about 400 thousand dollars (more than 25 million rubles) for a rare Belgian pigeon at an auction organized by Pipa. In November last year, a dove named New Lightning was sold at the same auction house for 376 thousand euros (about 27.5 million rubles).

In March, the auction house of Christie's sold a collection of art by British singer George Michael. The most valuable lot was the white dove, "soaring" in formaldehyde behind blue glass. Its cost is estimated from 1.3 to 1.9 million dollars (approximately from 83 to 122 million rubles).

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Pigeon Breeds

What are pigeons? All breeds can be conditionally divided into 4 large groups - according to the most valuable qualities that they possess. The first group is sports, or sports and postal. The main thing for them is flying on time and at certain distances. Most of them are practically devoid of decorative elements of appearance, have the most ergonomic qualities for flight - the most streamlined body shape, developed fly feathers, beak, located on the same line with the head.

Such birds are well oriented in space, can fly at any time of the day, despite the fog and bad weather. They have developed intelligence, but you should not expect fancy “aerobatics” from them. The main advantage of such a dove is a wonderful sense of orientation in space and a good, devoted attitude towards the owners. They have a wonderful memory, stamina and mind.

These are the so-called "postmen", living legends that have saved more than one life, friends of mankind with thousands of years of experience. Now the pigeon mail is almost never used, the breed is officially called sports, but the owners call them so in the old fashioned way. These birds can be of the most diverse colors, but the main criterion for their evaluation at exhibitions is the flight qualities and body proportions. Their massive beak begins very high - in the area of ​​the forehead, it seems to “merge” with the head into a single whole. The carrier pigeon has nothing superfluous: each line of their body is called upon to facilitate flight, overcome air resistance, and promote good speed.

The second group is flying pigeons. The main criterion for their assessment is the duration of the flight and its unique style inherent in a particular breed (for example, round pigeons flying in circles). The concept of style includes many components: a bird moves in the wind or against the wind, how long it gains height, what specific movements it makes, flies in a flock or alone, how long the flight lasts. Breeding work with pigeons, aimed specifically at improving their flying qualities is a very interesting occupation.

What is more important here - good genes or a caring "coach" - the owner? What to do if a young bird does not give the desired results? How to train a pigeon so that it not only behaves well and beautifully in flight, but can also protect itself minimally - find a way to your native roof, get away from a feathered predator, and stay in the dark? How to drive birds carried away by flight if they have been walking for a very long time and urgently need to rush? And this is only a small handful of superficial issues. And how many more. Flight pigeons require a very serious return of time and effort from the owner, but these expenses pay off in full when slender, proud silhouettes flicker with silver droplets against the background of clouds.

The most popular and numerous are flight-decorative breeds of birds: they are not only beautiful, but also unusually “talented” in the sky, they can perform the most difficult pirouettes, although they are not as hardy as sports or flying ones. These pigeons are divided into subgroups: turmans, which have a peculiar structure and flight features, the so-called martial, flapping wings, etc.

And finally, the last group of decorative pigeons: they are evaluated only by their appearance, flight quality is not taken into account. These include datysh, Jacobins, peacock pigeons and others. In a separate subgroup, the so-called stately pigeons are distinguished. We’ll somehow talk about them in more detail. There are many options for colors, sizes, and plumage features of stately ones, but they are united by one thing - a special “become”, a specific physique.

Their body is raised, and the tail rises above the body at a sharp angle. The silhouette of a stately pigeon somewhat resembles a peacock, fanning its “fan” on public display. Despite the "important", "solemn" appearance, these birds often look small, delicate and fragile.

What elements of the plumage of a pigeon can be called decorative? First of all, "fluffy" or "terry" on the paws. In some breeds, they should not cover the ankle and fingers - this is called "stockings", that is, the legs appear to be "dressed" in feathers. But there are also pigeons in which under this beauty paws are completely invisible. Moreover, the plumage of the legs is so strongly developed that it completely changes the proportions of the body and gives the silhouette of the bird a unique shape. The owner should constantly monitor such magnificence: the dove is not a cat, he will never lick his fur coat.

Street dirt and droppings sometimes stick to the paws of such pigeons, so they must be cleaned in a timely manner. Another decoration of the pigeon is the plumage of the head. A wedge of feathers towering above the rest of the surface is called a forelock. This is a fairly common occurrence among flight-decorative and decorative breeds. Another thing is the "crown" or "crown"! The bird's head is surrounded by a halo of wavy, feather-like feathers.

In such decoration, the dove really resembles a majestic crowned person. as for the wings and the tail, there are no special “details” of the decor: for a flight, any pigeon is extremely well arranged. According to the color of different breeds, the judging takes into account the color of the feathers of the first and second order, the flaps of the wings and feathers of the tail. A bright color border on the wings and tail is called a ribbon.

So, you looked at a lot of breeds, studied their qualities and chose something for yourself. Explore literary sources! Everything you need to know about your future acquisition: all the nuances and subtleties of the flight style, the specifics of caring for them, the peculiarities of color, physique and size - all to the smallest detail!

Moreover, take into account the fact that a lot of poor-quality literature has appeared now: poor translations from foreign languages, information “stolen” from the Internet, compilation, retelling by one author of texts of others. Therefore, the best helpers in choosing a bird are scientific publications, encyclopedias and dictionaries, books of past years.

In addition, you just need the skilled help of a pigeon breeder “with experience” who will tell literally everything about the breed of interest, without concealing any pluses or minuses, and even better, go with you and see the bird offered for sale personally. I don’t want to frighten the reader, but as a seller you may come across either an illiterate or just an dishonest person - even the most experienced pigeon breeders “poked” them. The best way out is a reliable acquaintance or contact the club. Phones and addresses of pigeon farmers can be found in special reference books on pet industry, exhibition catalogs, and on the Internet.

It is impossible to tell about all the breeds existing in the world on the scale of one magazine. We will dwell only on the brightest representatives of the pigeon kingdom of St. Petersburg. Nevertheless, on the pages of our publication will always appear colorful, extraordinary, interesting birds and their owners. Today we will take a short trip to the world of circle pigeons - wonderful representatives of the flight group.

Big pigeons

Recently we visited Evgeny Mikhailovich Zamoskovsky, the oldest and most experienced pigeon breeder in our city. He heads the only pigeon club in our city. The main direction of his work with pigeons is breeding of a circle-shaped breed.

“Unfortunately, very few breeders are now paying attention to this bird,” he says. “I fear that the round dove as a breed does not end up on the brink of extinction.” There are few pigeon breeders, interest in our business is not flourishing, and those who want to breed pigeons prefer more exotic, representative and vibrant birds.

What is a round pigeon? A small, slender, at first glance, dim bird, very reminiscent of an ordinary "yard" sisar. Only the color - snow-white with black - is distinguished from the circle ones. Their main distinguishing feature is a special, unique flight.

Breed Standards:
- symmetrically painted wings
- the absence of white spots on the black areas of the wings
- lack of mottled in color
- body proportions - like a normal street sisar, but more elegant, that is, with a small tender head
- wing shields painted (black), all fly feathers are uniformly white, like the rest of the body
- feet are moderately furry, fingers should remain open (impression as if “stockings” were put on feet)
- white gentle eyelids
- specific eye color
- slender lean build, "dry" head
Marriage: mottled on the head and cheeks, feathers and tail are dark or black, the asymmetry of the color of the wing flaps, large head.

Flight style:
On pasture, the circle pigeons fly off in the direction of the wind, while some take a right turn - the so-called “right-wingers” (with emphasis on the last syllable), others take it to the left — that is, “left-handed”. When flying, the pigeon should not change the wing, that is, move all the time clockwise or counterclockwise. During the flight, shallow, frequent uniform whirling should be observed. The flight period is determined depending on the weather and wind strength - from 20 minutes. up to 1.5 hours.

Sometimes it happens that a pigeon “changes its wing” during its life - it suddenly switches from the left to the right and vice versa. "Left" or "right" qualities are not inherited. The main feature of the flight: the circle pigeons never fly in a flock! Their flight is individual, that is, each bird is kept alone.Despite the fact that the flock was divided into two directions, each keeps independently, as if “trampling” its path in the air - everyone has a different speed, altitude and rhythm of flight. This phenomenon has no analogues among other breeds. Large pigeons are the only breed in the world.

All pigeons in the wild live in colonies. They lead a flocking life: there is no male leader, since the birds form pairs and live mainly by "family" interests, but there are dominant individuals - stronger ones. The same pattern of behavior is present in pigeons - hence the fights and the struggle for territory.

Individual flight outside the flock of round pigeons was developed by man! This is a merit of breeders.

Evaluation at exhibitions:
The maximum pigeon score at the exhibition is 100 points. The assessment procedure is very similar to the examination of mammals: an assessment sheet is filled out for each individual, in which all the advantages and disadvantages of the bird are recorded, for which points are taken. After the examination, the points are summed up and the winners are selected and awards are awarded.

Parameters for evaluating circle pigeons:
- figure
- plumage coloring
- the structure of the individual elements of the figure (hairiness of the paws so that they are neat, "dry", that is, a narrow head, a thin neck with an interception, that is, thinning near the head)

The main evaluation criterion is flight performance! At exhibitions, birds sit in a cage. In order to check how they fly, ideally, for each participant, a so-called “flight test report” should be drawn up at the club, that is, before the exhibition, the owner will be issued a certificate with the club’s seal, where flight characteristics, the number of the ring on the pigeon’s foot and the flight rating are recorded in points.

Circular pigeons are especially beautiful against the background of the St. Petersburg gloomy sky. With its whiteness, this stunning bird brightly shades the gloomy grayness of rain clouds. Light spots in the dark sky evoke the thought of something joyful, light, light that bursts into our gray life and makes it joyful, festive white, like snow.

Standing on the roof, with your head up, you somehow forget about the problems, and the little miracle of a magical flight is so fascinating that all troubles seem frivolous, faith in the best comes and poetry is recalled: “When there’s a polar winter in your soul, it’s not known whether it’s suitable summer, it is very necessary that the darkness sometimes intersects with a strip of light.What can shine with such a ray?

Sometimes a look or a smile is enough, and it is as if they again bowed the strings of a forgotten old violin "(E. Golness). Feeling of involvement in the flight can not be called either pacification or intoxicating delight. This is something average - it seems calm in the soul, but the melancholy and vanity leaves , colors become brighter, feelings become aggravated.Probably, this is true for all owners of pigeons, releasing their pets into the sky, and their guests.

For the information provided, the author and editorial board of Zooprays magazine thanks the chairman of the Club of Pigeon Breeders of St. Petersburg, E. Zamoskovsky. and independent breeder Slavich V.A.

Anna Kurtz
Photo by Elena Kenunen

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