General attributes for this
breed are :
For our climate favourable
conditions for highflier's flight are the temperature between 18 and 30
degree and north-west wind ( speed till 1 meter per second ). Copetition
flock starts flight very brikness, in circles (circles are from fifty to
two hundred meters in diameter). This flight have tedency of uninterrupted
elevation. Competition flock must contain at least five fliers. After 30
minutes of flight pigeons should be in prescribe altitude, if they don't
reach this altitude for two hours they are immediately disqualify.
Prescribe altitude is altitude when you don't see pigeon's work of wings,
they are showing up only as tiny specks . On this altitude flock must stay
at least four hours, average flight can continue between 5 and 7 hours.
However, when the weather coditions are good, altitude of Serbian
Highfliers flight can be between 800 and 1500 meters. On that altitude
pigeons disappearing into clouds, behind clouds or even go out of sight
into clear sky. This flight in invisibility can continue between 2.5 and 5
hours. After that time become squandering of cometiton flock in small
groups or flock keep flying down in entirety. Downfall can be sharply,
progressively or in restorable position. Downfall usually take from 15
minutes till 2 hours. Restorable down fall is flight where pigeons change
altitude to down several times before landing.
Recently origin of Serbian Highfliers were insufficiently investigation and many link them as the turkish pigeons. Searching origin of Serbian Highfliers ing. Jovan Martinovic has came to sensational discovery : Serbian Highfliers ancestors are Illyrian Pigeons ( Columba Illyrica ).
After the end of Babylonain Empire, a group of tribes came via Asia Minor and Trakia, in area of Balkan.From Greeks and Roman later on, these people accept a name Illyrians.The Illyrian state was quit large, streching to the Adriatic coast in the west, northwards to the northern borders of today's Slovenia and Croatia, in the east to the River Danube and western Moldavia ,and in the south to the Kosovo and Albania.
Illyrians had brought the old Babylonian breed with them to their new home.
They look them as holy birds, beacuse some of these pigeons flew high up to the sky and the priests concluded that the pigeons are in contact with the Gods and could be used as messengers.
In 6th century the Southen Slavs migrated to this region and found there the holy pigeons with lustrous and shiny plumage and were fascinated by this breed.The Slavs gave the breed new name Archangel Pigeon. In 13rd and 14th century the Illiyrian Pigeon was bred as Archangel Pigeon in Serbian monasteries.
The wife of serbian king Uros, queen Helen (of the Anjous) was great fan and breeder of these pigeons. She gave them as presents to churches and esteemed guests. Her endowment on the river Ibar was painted with images of these beautiful birds.
In the time of emperor Dusan , these pigeons were bred in court and in Pec's partiarchate. The series of other details sugesst that Illyrian pigeons were bred in Serbia like God's archangel. The name archangel sugesst to specific belief and role of these pigeons in lives of belivers.
In 1389 an invading Ottoman army inflicted heavy casualties on the Serbian army and driving many Serbs northward. Despot Stefan Lazarevic, while runing away from the Turks, brought these beautiful pigeons to Belgrade. After his death, his wife followed by the rest of the Serb aristocrates and church's dignitary went to Dubrovnik, to ask for help from the " west " in a war against the Turks. The chronicles noted, that amongst other things in convoy there were magnificient serbian pigeons.
While Serbs going in refuge they also brought their pigeons bacuse they belived that " if you extinguish pigeons, your home will be extinguished" .
Lazarevic serb ruler ( 1389 - 1427 )
The Illyrian pigeons or Archangles thanks to his beauty managed to survive in Serbia for centuries under Turkish authority. During occupation period the Turks brought pigeons from their homes, mostly tumblers ( pigeons without crest) to Serbia. After crossed of Turkish pigeons and Illyrian Pigeons, creation of Serbian Highfliers has began. If we compare today's Illyrian pigeons or like englishmen like to prefere to call them Archangels, with Serbian Highfliers we will see that those two kind of pigeons are similar, they have similar body construction, head with peak creast and also in the dark bronze color.
In 18th century pigeon breeding became sport of the weathly Turks. In those times, Serbian Highfliers were bred mostly in a towns, such as Belgrade, Nis, Smederevo, Krusevac..... The Turks also adopted those pigeons and called them "faslije" or " tafesi " which means pigeons with crest.
Thanks to Joca Naumovic and his large documentation with detail pigeon description we can follow all lines of Serbian ( Belgrade ) Highfliers, from the midlle of 19th century. According to his documents, three colored pigeons were customary in those times. They were red ash barred pigeons with black shoulders and white wing tips, alltought there were other combinations.
The English archeologist, A J Evans, visited the city of Pec in the Kosovo, in the year 1884. He says that the old irrigation system of Pec would bear certain similarities to those found around Babylon. In the Kosovo you can also find the Illyrian Shepherd, Buffaloes, Donkeys and also little horses. Evans spoke to Djoka Djordjevic a pigeon fancier in Belgrade : You are looking for the ancestors of your pigeons (Serbian Highfliers)? The ancestors are the pure, old holy pigeons from Illyria and you still can find them in the city of Pec.
During creation process , breeders of Serbian Highfliers tried to made pigeon who will fly in circles, high and long. They are also removed all pigeons which are tumbled during flight time . Outward appearence, color and shape comes secondary as it is in most Serbian breeds. Beacuse of that Serbian Highfliers were raised in all colors and patterns. There are also exsited few variations and models of these pigeons. All these circumstances made impossible writing standard of Serbian Highfliers for a long time.
The First Serbian Society of Serbian Highflier breeders was founded in 1910 in Belgrade. The First World War greatly reduced Serbian Highfliers, but thanks to Milan Stanisavljevic who saved most of his pigeons in Krnjevo, Belgrade's pigeon breeding swiftly recovers. After the First World War in 1922 Serbian Society of Serbian Highflier breeders was re-founded.
The First standard of Serbian Highfliers was published in 1972. In January 1973 colection of 200 Serbian Highfliers in all colors and patterns were present on international pigeon and polutry show in Sombor.
Information in " History " are taken from book Flying Pigeons, by Josip Pekanovic. More information about training and flight of Serbian Highfliers you can find in book "GOLUBOVI LETACI" (Flying Pigeons ) by Josip Pekanovic.This book Josip Pekanovic, from Sombor , was published in 1995.
Official Result of Junior Championship - Yugoslavia 2001
Golden band has won blue bar pigeon with one wingtip white with flight of 12 hours and 45 minutes owned by Pantovic Petar . Golden band is the most popular and sought award avaible in this sport. Team winner is Serbian Highflier Club YU-15 from Valjevo with average time of flight from three results , 7 hours and 20 minutes.
Official Result of Senior Championship - Yugoslavia 2001
Golden band has won blue bar pigeon with flight of 14 hours and 45 minutes owned by Zdravko Milic. Golden band is the most popular and sought award avaible in this sport. Team winner is Serbian Highflier Club YU-138 from Sabac with average time of flight of 7 hours and 20 minutes.