Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bird Talk

"I can identify each of my twelve pigeons by the whistle they make when flying," said Pasmono, from Karangtalun, near Cilacap in central Java.
"I release the pigeons 3km from the village and they fly right back."
"Do they fly straight home or do they do some sightseeing along the way?"
Pasmono chuckles, "They jalan jalan first."
"Who gets home first: you or the birds?"
"They do!"
Each of the pigeons is fitted with a coloured whistle which makes a unique sound as air during the bird's flight passes through it.

"I buy them as babies and train them, increasing the distance between home and release by a metre each step until the birds can no longer see home. It takes about four attempts at 300m for the birds to successfully find home."

"Why does this one pigeon have a small red bracelet around its foot," I asked, pointing to a handsome russet.
"Ah, that's my best bird," Pasmono smiled.

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