Rearing pigeons has helped in increasing the bird’s population in the port town. Bird lovers living in small houses rear pigeons in baskets made of date-palm sticks while others preferably using an iron cage.

Many people in the port town nurture pigeons with passion. The number of individuals inspired by this passion has gone up significantly, with more and more students being attracted to this hobby.

Bird lovers living in small houses rear pigeons in baskets made of date-palm sticks while others preferably using an iron cage. The common sight that residents of the town witness daily is that of flocks of pigeons flying morning and evening. “Having developed a strong bond with us, our pigeons definitely fly back to us following their regular but brief flight,” say Mr. Srinivasa Rao and his brother. The brothers, an engineering student and an electrician by profession, have started rearing pigeons since 2011, and now have become proud owners of five pairs of feathered guests.

In every nook and corner of Machilipatnam, people from different walks of public life rear pigeons, just to enjoy taking care of the bird. The initiative has directly helped to increase its population.

People here call the pigeon species with different local names such as Kalanka, Sabja, Kaira and so on. “The habit has become a way of my life for the past 25 years. The birds never game me any problems. My day starts with happy moments, spending time with the birds,” Veeranki Venkata Krishna Rao told The Hindu. Mr. Krishna Rao, technical staff in the imitation jewellery industry, owns more than 30 pairs of pigeon and a few chicks. Come April and May, the bird lovers here will organise a competition – it’s about whose bird will fly the highest -- and it’s pure entertainment.

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