The 2019 Alberta Open
The 2019 Alberta Open Pigeon Race
A flock of 242 racing pigeons from 12 lofts were released on September 28, 2019 at 07:30 into a cloudy sky with light winds from the north. This flock cleared very well while splitting into a group of 112 birds to fly to Calgary and another group of 130 birds flying NW into the wind toward Edmonton.
Since each group encounters very similar weather conditions on their way home one can fairly compare the average velocity each bird reaches with that of another in the flock flying to Edmonton.The birds and their fanciers are fortunate this year as the wind remained light all day in contrast to this race last year when the wind grew stronger as the day progressed. Compare the weather in 2018 with the one of 2019.
Group of Seven outperforming the Competition
Group of Seven outperforming the Competition
Since all 7 birds of this group of racing pigeons arrived at their home loft at least half an hour before the Edmonton competition this group must have been together quite some time ago out in front of the competition which could not keep up with the pace set by it. However, 3 of this flock were willing and capable of battling the wind and distance more than the other 4 pigeons in this group resulting in a gap forming that gradually left a group of 3 pigeons out in front and the other 4 pigeons forming a second group. Let's calculate and look at the situation when the first Edmonton birds arrived:
16 K&J Frank/35  4973   CU 19 CU    BB   H 16:27:40 607.622 56.10 1130.110 185
This bird flew 607622 meters in 537.666 minutes for an average velocity of 1130.110 m/min. Let's calculate how far back the second
21 K&J Frank     4984   CU 19 CU    BB   H 16:32:31  4/ 35  01:01 1120.007 180
group was at this time while using the formula distance = velocity x time;
1120.007 m/min x 537.666 min. = 602190 m or 607.622 km - 602.190 km = 5.432 km behind the first group. There was just a single pigeon in the third group:
32 K&J Frank     4963   CU 19 CU    BB   H 16:58:12  8/ 35  01:26 1069.381 169
1069.381 m/min x 537.666 min = 574970 m or 607.622 km - 574.970 km = 32.652 km behind the first group and 602.190 km - 574.970 km = 27.22 km behind the second group. At the time the first pigeons arrived in Edmonton 537.666 minutes after the release
35 KDB LOFTS/32  14535  CU 19 CU    BB   C 16:40:31 583.945 01:27 1060.721 166
the bird #14535 flew 537.666 min x 1060.721 m/min = 570314 m or 570.314 km. This bird lagged 607.622 km - 570.314 km = 37.308 km behind the first Edmonton group, 31.876 km behind the second Edmonton group, and 574.970 km - 570.314 km = 4,656 km behind the single pigeon # 4963.
In summary, when the first group of birds (4973, 4992, 4962) arrived in Edmonton a string of other pigeons were flying on their way home; 4 pigeons (4984, 4977, 4958, 4954) 5.432 km behind, a single bird (4963) 32.652 km behind and a fourth group of 3 pigeons (14535, 14545, 14590) 37.308 km behind this first group.
The first group arrived at 16:27:40 while the second group arrived at 16:32:31, both groups outworking the competition by half an hour. This second group of 4 pigeons arrived home 5 minutes after the leaders and has trailed 5.4 km which is not much considering that it took 9 hours to create this gap.
Although this year's race was relatively easy on our birds resulting in a return of almost all birds entered, there are always exceptions that cannot be successful regardless of how low the demand placed on them. Mother Nature would select against such creatures and it is not much different in our lofts. The few that cannot return will however find plenty of feed in the fields at this time of year and likely join a flock of feral cousins who know only too well where to obtain nourishment
just like these geese that prepare themselves for their long journey south by fattening up on some grain spilled in the fields.

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