Coming spring and fine weather, many parts of Old City play host to a number of pigeon races

For many, spring would mean a time to explore the best of nature. For pigeon breeders and lovers in the purana shehar, however, it is time to indulge in serious kabutarbazi.

The season’s advent has pushed pigeon-breeders into action. With the weather remaining pleasant, a host of competitions like pigeon races and tugudi are organised by many breeders in February and March.

“We prefer the season because the sky is clear during the day and the weather conditions are bird-friendly,” says Mohammed Ansar, a pigeon-breeder from Kalapather area.

There are an estimated 300 pigeon-breeders in the Old City, while the number of pigeon aficionados is much higher.

The Homer Pigeon, popularly called Girebaz, are used for racing. Races begin in the early hours of the day and end by evening, although sometimes it prolongs for days at a stretch.

“The pigeons are fed a day prior to the event, and released on the race day. We calculate the flying hours of each pigeon, and the one that flies the longest duration is the winner,” says Abdul Khadeer, a breeder.

Tugudi (flock) racing is another popular sport. Two or more participants release their flock of pigeons simultaneously.

“The flock which brings along other participating pigeons is adjudged the winner. It is more like checking the allegiance of the other flock,” says Tabrez, a regular participant.

Winners are usually awarded cash prizes, and sometimes trophies or shields.

“More than the money, it is the fame which matters to the participants,” a breeder at Hassan Nagar says. The sport is rampant in Misrigunj, Golconda, Tallabkatta, Falaknuma, Shahalibanda, Hassan Nagar, Shaheen Nagar, Bandlaguda and Chanchalguda.

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