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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The bird man of Wigan who trains his pigeon by racing it down the street


Exercise: Jeff Daniel training his tame pigeon Prince by racing him down the street on a bicycle

Pigeon racing is not as popular as it once was - and for people to race against pigeons is even rarer.

But that's exactly what Jeff Daniel does on the streets of Wigan with Prince the Pakistani high-flying pigeon, which he reared from birth.

The pigeon enthusiast says his new cycling partner is 'a bit special', and has become something of a local celebrity.

After selling off the rest of his coop, Jeff was left with just Prince, then only a few weeks old.

Close: Jeff says that Prince regards him as a parent, since it was Jeff who fed and nursed the bird as a baby

He fed Prince every few hours to keep him alive, and after that the 41-year-old father of two said the bird considered him to be his parent.
And Jeff said he was as surprised as anyone when Prince began following him when he went for a jog.

Speedy: Jeff started walking Prince down the street, but had to upgrade to cycling because he couldn't keep up

Jeff said: 'One day I put Prince down on a bench, walked a few paces and whistled and he came and landed on my head.
'So I started increasing the distance to see if he would keep doing it. After that I started running round the field and he was following behind me.
'I knew I needed to get a bit more speed so I got on the bike and before I knew it he was flying alongside me.'
Jeff said the breed, which is not common in the UK, can fly at extremely high altitudes for up to 12 hours at a time.

Celebrities: Neighbours are now surprised when they see Jeff without his fine feathered friend

He said: 'They fly right up in the clouds and aren't visible to the naked eye from the ground. They're amazing birds with a very distinctive look.
'People are amazed when they see Prince flying alongside me. Now he's getting a bit famous people stop me and say, "Where's that tame bird of yours?"
'I've always been fascinated by birds and I did falconry years ago. But I've never seen a pigeon this tame before - he's certainly a bit special.'

source: dailymail


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