A few months ago, when a very good friend of mine Mr. Abraham Alizadeh told me that he is planning to make a trip to Iran I became very excited .
I asked Abraham we would appreciate if he would share his experince from his trip with us upon his return back to Canada.
First let me have the pleasure to intruduce Abraham to all Iranian pigeon lovers.
Mr. Abraham Alizadeh has kept pigeons all his life and let me tell you, that is a long time!
Just keeding Abraham. We are all kids in our hearts especially if we have got piegon fever.
He has vast knowledge of all different types and breeds of Iranian pigeons.
Abraham was born in Tehran and now lives in Vancouver, Canada.
He has some of the best Iranian pigeons you can find in America.
When he was studying in England he kept Birmingham rollers for a number of years. In 1978, with the help of his Oxford university professor, he imported two pairs of high quality Iranian high flyers from his old stock to England. He told me that his roller friends could not beleive their eyes when they saw these pigeons can actually summersault upwards.
In 1979 he married a beautiful Canadian girl and moved to Canada along with his pigeons.
His career as a Computer Software Engineer has taken him around the world.
He has met many pigeon fancier's in Europe, Asia, and America and has seen many different breeds of pigeons.
Mr. Alizadeh writes :
No matter where I go, i am always looking for pigeon fanciers and pigeons. I have been very furtunate to meet so many great pigeon fanciers in Europe, Asia, and America.
They all have something to offer in terms of knowledge of keeping, raising, flying and caring for pigeons no matter what they keep.
During my recent trip to Iran in fall of 2004 which lasted 5 weeks, my hobby took me to Ghazvin, Rasht, Mashad, Hamadan, Isfahan, and my home town Shemirun (northTehran).
I saw many fantastic pigeons and some beautiful colors and unique markings. I have almost travelled all over the world, but have never seen the level of interest and knowledge which exist in Iran... without prejudice.
In my opinion, pigeons in Iran are classified into three catagories as follows:
The first catagory are the High-Flyers or as they are also called, Endurance flyers.
These birds are primarily located in Tehran and are called " Tehrani " , but I saw some of the best of this breed in Rasht (northern part of Iran next to Caspian Sea) in the loft of
Mr. Shahzad Mirghesheyni .
The second catagory are birds raised and trained to catch other fancie's birds. These birds could be out of several breeds, come in all different colors and shapes. In Tehran, these birds are called " Shahrestoni ". They don't fly very high or very long and like to rake all over.
They fly to their master's commands using whistles, almost the same way as sheep dogs. Fanciers train their bird to respond to whistles.There are whistles for flying straight, left turn, right turn, staying up in the air, joining other flock of birds, breaking away from other flocks, and finally landing at their loft. It is a real art and something to see. On one occasion, in Ghazvin, I witnessed over 3000 pigeons from 45 fanciers joining each other into one flock,
fly for over an hour togather and with a command broke away at once going back home and possibly taking along few foreign birds with themselves. If a fancier catches a foreign bird, depending on uniqueness of the bird, the price will vary from mere $1 to $1000. Yes I was stunned to see money changes hands.
In New York, there are Fanciers who practice more or less the same thing, but they kill the stray birds after catching them and place the bands on stick to show how many they have caught. Their birds are not trained to whistles the same way as in Iranian birds are.
I personaly prefer the Iranian way, it is more fun and less cruel.
The third catagory are several breeds of Marked pigeons with the most unusual colors and markings such as Toghies (ring necks in all colors), Sineh (their bodies are colored and wings are white in black, yellow, silver, almond, ...) , Esfahanies (Lahore color pigeons) and so on....These birds are primarily raised outside of Tehran, but there are some unique colors and markings bred among the fanciers in Tehran as well (not many).
I hope this brief explanation would be interesting and beneficial to all Iranian Pigeon fanciers.
On behaIf of all the Iranian pigeon lovers, I want to thank Abraham for his time, kindness and generosity to share his experince and knowledge with us all and wish him health to make many more trips back home.