Bird handlers are devastated after a staggering 5,000 carrier pigeons appear to have gone missing in a race across the UK.
“We have had one of the worst racing days in our history,” wrote pigeon fancier Richard Sayers in a Facebook post chronicling the feathery fiasco, which occurred on Saturday after 9,000 carrier pigeons took off. from Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, for a trip to the North East. And while the 170-mile round-trip flight should have taken just three hours, more than half of the avian competitors were still missing last night.
They would be among 250,000 pigeons released in around 50 races across the country – with just 10% returning on time and tens of thousands missing, the Sun reported.
This weather event may have distorted the Earth’s magnetic field, which pigeons use to navigate like a weather GPS.
It is not known what prompted the squadrons of youngsters to seemingly disappear into thin air. However, Sayers, whose local loft is said to have lost up to 300 birds in the flight-marriage phenomenon, said most breeders “blame the weather conditions, perhaps a solar storm above the clouds that created static electricity in the atmosphere ”.
Ian Evans, CEO of the Royal Pigeon Racing Association, finds the disappearance of the Bermuda Triangle particularly disconcerting because “the weather conditions across the country were good”. He added that “there was no suggestion that birds would have difficulty returning home.”
“I’ve never heard of anything like it,” lamented the mourning bird boss, 45, who has owned pigeons since the age of 9.
To help recoup losses, Sayers implores “anyone who encounters a carrier pigeon to feed it, water it and let it rest”, after which “there is an 80% chance that the birds will set off after a few hours. days “. he told the Daily Mail. The North Yorkshire native added that carrier pigeons can be identified by a paw ring indicating their ‘code and number’.
To avoid such disasters in the future, Royal Pigeon Racing Association boss Evans is in talks with the UK’s National Weather Service to get reports of any unusual solar activity.