Speedy flight to success for Ryan

November 20, 2010
by LES MUIR 08 Oct, 2010

Wagga pigeon racer Paul Ryan and grandson Rhys Hawkins, 7, admire Ryan's stock in the loft on his property yesterday. Picture: Les Smith

Growing up on a south coast dairy property, retired Wagga farmer Paul Ryan dabbled in keeping pigeons. Decades later Ryan has turned his childhood hobby into a consuming sporting passion. From a humble start, Ryan has become one of the Riverina's foremost pigeon racers. Nowadays, Ryan has a team of 150 racing birds and is poised to make a spectacular bid to win a treble of important events at the weekend. Ryan, who sold his Wagga dairy in 1994 to settle on 100 acres on the outskirts of the city, yesterday revealed he would have birds flying in prized races in Canberra and Temora. "It's a big weekend," Ryan said yesterday. "These are some of our biggest races. "We've got the Canberra nationals and the Country Cup and Combined Breeder's Plate at Temora. "I'll have two birds in Canberra and three in each of the Temora races." Despite the sport generating prizemoney purses of thousands of dollars, Ryan is quick to shrug off the financial aspect of racing pigeons. "I just think it's a pretty good pastime - keeps you busy," Ryan said yesterday. "I had pigeons when I was a kid, but I only got back into them when I retired from farming. "I've been slowly setting up for a couple of years now and this is the first year I've raced." A member of the Wagga branch of the Riverina Racing Pigeon Federation, Ryan has made an impressive start to the competitive side of pigeons. Currently leader of the progressive long distance point score, Ryan made a clean sweep of races flown last week from Coonamble, an airline distance of 480 kilometres. "So far so good," he laughs. With 150 racing birds, and 20 pairs of breeding stock, Ryan falls well short of the numbers of some other prominent pigeon fanciers in the region. "Pigeon racing is pretty big in Temora," he said. "Some of them over there have got 300 birds. "I'd only be about average with 150." For Ryan, the racing angle is only half the challenge of having a loft full of prized fliers. "You try to breed your own birds," he said. "A while back I went around Australia and met some breeders in Port Pirie and Port Augusta, which is a renowned racing area. "I bought some stock birds and sort of went from there. "They were the nucleus (of the breeding program)." A keen tennis player, Ryan will soon have more time to devote to the courts. Fellow Wagga pigeon racer John Clay said the racing "season" was reaching a climax. There are only a few races left," Clay said. "It will all start up again next year."
Article courtesy of The Daily Advertiser. www.dailyadvertiser.com.au
 

Mike Tyson takes on pigeon racing

March 17, 2010
Wed Mar 17 2010

Former world heavyweight champ Mike Tyson will take flight on Animal Planet with a new sport - pigeon racing.

The network this week announced a new reality show that will pit Tyson, a novice pigeon racer, against serious competitors.

The show is currently titled Taking on Tyson and promises to bring audiences inside this "intensely competitive and bizarrely fascinating world".

Tyson has raised pigeons all his life but will take to the rooftops as a racing rookie. The netwo...


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Bankers, lawyers now proud to be pigeonholed

September 8, 2009


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Inside are lawyers, developers, architects. All have channelled fortunes into pigeon racing, travelling overseas to chase bloodlines and building lofts to rival houses."It's like a poor man's racehorse," said Gary Young, a club member and owner of a building company. "But it's not all poor men any more." These are people once referred to as the Howard aspirationals, who have ...


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Pigeon Compass

May 14, 2009

One of Nature's most fascinating mysteries is how pigeons find their way home over vast distances.
No matter how far away they are taken, they almost always return to their lofts.
Now German scientists believe they have discovered how the birds do it. Research has revealed that tiny iron structures in their beaks allow them to analyse the earth's magnetic field - much like a compass.
Through the signals picked up, the birds can work out where they are and set out on the best course home.
As w...


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Migrating birds may "see" Earth's magnetic field.

May 6, 2009

Migrating birds may "see" Earth's magnetic field. Migrating birds, it seems, can "see" Earth's magnetic field which they use as a compass to guide them around the globe.
Specialised neurons in the eye, sensitive to magnetic direction, have been shown for the first time to connect via a specific brain pathway to an area in the forebrain of birds responsible for vision, German researchers said on Wednesday.
Scientists have known for many years, from behavioural experiments, that birds use an int...


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