Home / Post about birds  / What is the Colombofilia?

What is the Colombofilia?

Pigeon racing consists of raising and training racing pigeons for sprinting from a specified distance to their nest. Experts carefully measure the distance and speed each pigeon travels and then compare them to name the


Pigeon racing consists of raising and training racing pigeons for sprinting from a specified distance to their nest. Experts carefully measure the distance and speed each pigeon travels and then compare them to name the winner. These animals can travel thousands of kilometers without resting for just a couple of days to return home.


The pigeons leave from the same point but return to the loft where they were raised, these lofts may be located in different countries. These races are based above all on the ability of the pigeon to fly great distances, return to the loft and to its owner since that is where its partner will be.


At present this sport is very widespread throughout the world. Trainers and breeders dedicate a lot of time and attention to pigeons, since it is very constant and sacrificial work, so it is important to have an exhaustive genetic study to improve the location of the bird and its mating.


What is the origin of pigeon racing?


In ancient Egypt, the pharaohs already used these birds to communicate. The Greeks and Romans also sent messages with these pigeons, since they knew the ability of these specimens to always return home. But the racing pigeon (Belgian pigeon) that is used for this sport originated in the middle of the 19th century, in Belgium, due to crosses of different species that were in Europe.


The purpose was to improve the structure of the bird so that the flights were faster and therefore, the delivery of messages faster. With the appearance of the telegraph in Belgium, homing pigeons were relegated to the background.


During the world wars, pigeon rearing increased as it was the most effective means of passing messages through the enemy camp.


Currently, many armies continue to train homing pigeons, since the radars are not capable of detecting them, and also in case the communication technology fails, they can remain in contact.


Characteristics of the carrier pigeon

These birds have more robust anatomy and thicker plumage. It is a monogamous species (they mate for life with the same pair). If you want to know more about pigeon genetics, click here


But the main characteristic of these pigeons and that the difference from the rest is their orientation ability. The reason for this ability in this species is not very well known, but there are several hypotheses in this regard:

  • Magnetite: It is based on the capture by the pigeon of the electromagnetic waves produced by the area where its loft is located and which allows it to orient itself to return.
  • Spatial location: it is believed that they have a direction focused exclusively on the loft. This means that the pigeon can know in which position it is with respect to the loft.
  • Solar compass: they can be guided by the position of the sun and in this way, they can know which is the best way to return to the loft.


As we have already said, it is only about theories, there is nothing scientifically proven for now. That is why it is important to continue with the genetic study of these animals, to improve the understanding of their operation.


The fanciers take into account the endurance capacity, the speed of the flight, its ability to return to the loft, and some physical and aesthetic characteristics. The best-valued ones can be worth around 300,000 euros, but they are usually sold and bought for around a thousand or three thousand euros.


Many of these specimens have a very extensive pedigree and lineage. To demonstrate this lineage, some of these specimens have an “identity card” that shows who their parents are. If you want to know how to get this ID, click here.


How is racing pigeon training carried out?


Fanciers are people dedicated to the care and training of racing pigeons. The loft is going to be the place where they will be raised and where they will return at the end of the race.


The first thing the pigeon has to get used to is its environment, that is, to become familiar with the loft and its surroundings. Click here for more information on pigeon breeding.


Next, the pigeons will learn the basic commands taught by their owners.


After this period, the young pigeons leave the home for the first time. They have not yet learned to fly with ease, it is done in this way so that they do not fly very far the first few times and do not get lost. As they grow, they are released further from home so that they get used to it.


Training can vary from one animal to another since there are techniques that are more efficient for some pigeons, it also depends on the orography of the training ground or the climate of the area.


Although the most common method of training is that of “widowhood”. It consists in that the competing pigeon breeds in the loft after the young has plumage, the female is separated from the nest and is only allowed to access it to see her partner and the young when they return from the race or training.


The dangers of racing pigeon racing


Not all pigeons that compete in races reach the finish line, many are victims of predation or can get hooked on electric posters. Some can even be stolen during your journey. That is why your identification is very important.



If you want to know more about birds, we invite you to follow us on our social networks (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). We constantly make posts on our blog and spread them through them.


Remember! At sexadodeaves.com we are specialists in sexing birds through DNA. In this way, it is possible to define the gender of your bird.


If you find an error in the translation, please let us know and we will correct it.

Thank you very much for reading us and for your cooperation.

Review overview