Serbian Highfliers today

General attributes for this breed are :
High flight ( prescribe with statutes )
Long flight ( four hours minimum )
Circled flight ( circles are from fifty to two hundered
   meters in   diameter)
Group flight (  flock contain from five to fourteen fliers )

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.

Young Serbian Highfliers with proper training, in first flying season can fly from 3 till 6 hours. The best result you can expecting when they are three or four years old (till 15 hours of non-stop flight). In Yugoslavia various clubs of Serbian Highflier fanciers stage many competition annually in flights of well trained flocks whose quality is primary judged by the number of hours what they spent in prescribe altutide. First club for Serbian Highfliers was founded in Belgrade in 1910.
Serbian Highfliers are also expose on exhibitions in two categories : sport and standard. In category sport estimate mostly depend of pigeon's flying record ( maximum 80 points) and only smaller part depend of pigeon's outwards appearance ( maximum 20 points). In category standard estimate only depend of pigeon's outwards appearance.

History

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" .

 

 

 

 Stefan 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. 

 

 

Standard description of Serbian Highflier  
This standard involves demands who's adequate answers would satisfactory one entirety set to create Serbian Highflier standard, with a wish to present this first class flyer beyond borders of Yugoslavia.  
   
Name of Pigeon : Serbian Highflier  
Origin, Homeland and Evolution  
Origin : He is ancestor of pigeons inherited during slavery and after liberation from the Turks  
Homeland : inner Serbia  
Evolution : After liberation from turkish authority, Serbian fanciers are working on further development and perfection of this highflier creating it in a new environment and demanding new qualitys : high, long and circle flight. That kind of work was based on sistematical and experty selection of good samples and after few decades will complete new pigeon. We will also mention First Serbian Society of pigeon breeders founded in 1910 in Belgrade. From that day many competitons were held and today we have competitions between clubs. All of that and very good selection helped to create and perfect Serbian Highflier who's qualitys are recognized and proved by a statute, and that is the best gift to Serbian Highflier breeder.  
Breed's attributes  
The most important attributes for this breed of pigeon are :  
   
a) high flight ( prescribe with statute )  
b) long flight ( four hours minimum )  
c) group and circled flight  
   
Description  
Head : middle size in harmony with a body, developed forehead  
Beak :  strong and angled downward and slightly curved, middle size, black, white and flesh colored.  It does not have to be in corelation with the color of feathers. Nostrils are medium developed and white.  
Creast : wide pointy and square  
Eyes : color of the pearl and black. Eye ceres are pail yellow, grey and mostly in corelation with colors of the feathers.  
Neck : medium in lenght and strong
Breast : wide and strong  
Wings : long, strong, placed dense with a body and carried over the tail.  
Legs : medium in lenght, free from feathers, strong , pink colored.  
Color : they are found in all color and mostly in onecolored blue, red and black.  
Feathers : Ferm and dense with the body, good shine and smooth.

 

 
Hard Faults  
Nonentity of major attributes  
Nonentity of high flight ( prescribe by Statute )  
Unechieving minimum flight of 4 hours  
Eye ceres red  
Wings carried below tail  
More than 14 feathers in tail  
Legs with feathers  
Shallow and deep placed creast

 

General Appearance
Main atteniton and general appearance during observation and marking of this pigeon are mainly directed on his flying abbilities and composition of outward elements

 

Commision for deveploment and improvment, Belgrade 1998

 

 

 

Official Result of Junior Championship - Yugoslavia 2001
 
Rank

Competitor

Club

Average time of flight

  ( in hours )

Time of the best highflier in flock
( in hours )
1 Dzomba Nikola YU - 557 10: 31 12: 08
2 Ristivojevic Brana YU -  41 8: 37 12: 05
3 Kromek Momcilo YU - 138 8: 21 9: 22
4 Pantovic Petar YU-  70 7: 57 12: 45
5 Djordjevic Cedomir YU-  15 7: 37 10: 30
6 Andric Dragan YU- 138 7: 29 8: 53
7 Jankovic Marko YU-  15 7: 20 10: 03
8 Ristic Branislav YU- 125 7: 07 9: 02
9 Nestorovic Ljuban YU - 613 7: 05 9: 52
10 Savkovic Petar YU -  15 6: 48 11: 55
11 Strainovic Nenad YU -  20  6: 28 7: 10
12 Antic Radoica YU - 440 6: 25 7: 32
13 Milic Zdravko YU - 390 6: 14 7: 34
14 Mijatovic Sasa YU - 507 6: 09 7: 49
15 Simovic Dragan YU - 185  6: 03 8: 48
16 Mijatovic Zoran YU - 329 6: 01 7: 05
17 Markovic Milanko YU - 185 5: 46 6: 20
18 Milovan Dimitrije YU- 316 5: 33 6: 26
19 Stankovic Ivan YU - 579 5: 25 6: 00
20 Vukanovic Sinisa YU- 635 5: 20 5: 50
21 Stegnjajic Vladimir YU- 104 5: 18 6: 30
22 Vucic Novica YU-  75 5: 17 6: 41
23 Vitaz Srdjan YU- 502 5: 16 6: 25
24 Jovanovic Miroljub YU- 575  5: 01 5: 02
25 Tesic Zoran YU- 244  4: 58 9: 37
26 Dragicevic Mirko YU- 185 4: 50 10:10
27 Simic Dragan YU- 300 4: 35 5: 11
28 Stankov Dragan YU-  595 4: 33 4: 44
29 Ostojic Zoran YU- 575 4: 11 5: 45
 
 

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
 
 
Rank

Competitor

Club

Average time of flight

  ( in hours )

Time of the best highflier in flock
( in hours )
1 Joksimovic Dragan YU - 544 12: 16 13: 47
2 Palic Ivan YU - 123 10: 26 11: 15
3 Milic Zdravko YU - 390 10: 01 14: 45
4 Ilic Krunoslav YU- 395 8: 28 8: 50
5 Djordjevic Tomislav YU- 326 8: 20 9: 25
6 Cvetanovic Nebojsa YU- 184 8: 09 9: 00
7 Zivkovic Tomislav YU- 321 7: 31 12: 28
8 Munjiza Slobodan YU- 265 7: 30 8: 45
9 Petric Radisa YU -  15 7: 15 8: 22
10 Velickov Jovica YU -   2 7: 09 7: 17
11 Cebic Radoslav YU -  42 7: 07 8: 45
12 Sakic Branislav YU - 138 7: 05 7: 58
13 Andric Dragan YU - 138 7: 03 9: 12
14 Cetkovic Milovan YU - 390 6: 59 9: 54
15 Mitrovic Sreten YU -  21 6: 55 7: 30
16 Lukic Ljubomir YU - 138 6: 54 8: 56
17 Vasic Stanimir YU - 138 6: 48 7: 31
18 Belamaric Zoran YU- 280 6: 45 7:20
19 Petrovic Dragan YU - 138 6: 36 7: 50
20 Aleksic Dragan YU- 574 6: 31 7: 39
21 Paunovic Sinisa YU- 460 6: 28 8: 30
22 Antic Radojica YU- 440 6: 15 7: 51
23 Jovicic Radenko YU- 510 6: 15 8: 05
24 Kalicanin Danilo YU-  13 6: 09 7: 12
25 Markovic Slavisa YU-  13 6: 03 8: 05
26 Boskovic Petar YU- 189 6: 02 7: 46
27 Djordjevic Bosko YU- 625 5: 51 7: 45
28 Pavlovic Aleksandar YU-  21 5: 46 7: 38
29 Ristic Dragan YU- 107 5: 36 7: 42
30 Jugovic Stojan YU-  41 5: 25 6: 45
31 Djurdjevic Bozidar YU- 177 5: 21 6: 00
32 Jencic Slobodan YU- 387 5: 14 5: 55
33 Antonijevic Lazar YU- 310 5: 09 6: 15
34 Stankovic Stanimir YU-  91 4: 56 7: 25
35 Stankovic Ivan YU- 597 4: 50 7: 50
 
 

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.