Wednesday, 27 June 2007

The greatest show in Jeziorki

The most popular traditional pastime in Jeziorki is pigeon flying. This is not long-distance racing with homing pigeons, rather getting the birds in the air, circling around and around. Visually, this looks best against a blue sky, the white birds seem to appear then disappear as they wheel round. In the photograph (left), we see a local resident atop a stepladder by his pigeon loft (bottom left of pic). He's waving a long stick topped with a blue flag. He's whistling while doing this.

The birds respond by wheeling ever higher, then swooping down at speed, soaring back up, climbing all the while, then, after several minutes of intense flying, they eventually make ever-smaller, lower circles, finally returning home to their loft.

(Right) The birds at the climax of their flight; their wings are beating rapidly, they pick up speed in their dives. The clouds have passed, the evening sunshine is strong, the birds look as if they are enjoying the experience of communal exercise. A close-up examination shows that they have been tagged with pale green bands on their right legs.

The sight of large flocks of white pigeons wheeling around the skies is characteristic of Jeziorki; there are several lofts on ul. Trombity, Karczunkowska and Sarabandy. Below: The birds are returning after a brief evening flight; their loft is to the right of the picture.

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