All weeks aren’t the same

Last week we had our first race and if you believe in the theory of stopping while you’re ahead, then I should have kept my birds home this week.

What a difference a week makes, last week we had 19 in a row right at the top of the sheet and this week we didn’t even get a few in the top 10% of the entries. Must be everyone else tried harder than I did this week and blew right by me. Congratulations to Miroslaw Olejnik and Jan Holody on their wins in our club. Good flying guys. But, watch out I’m going to try harder this week.

I’ve checked the K-index for years on race days or whenever I take the birds up the road for a toss. About 5 years ago I did take some young birds for a 40 km toss when the K-index was well above 4, that is in the red. That day didn’t turn out well. The youngsters had been coming home well and if I remember right they had already been trained about 15 times that year. Well they didn’t come home well that day, they trickled in all day long and there were plenty of empty perches that night. After 3 days, all but 1 or 2 were back, safe in the loft but, physically it took quite a toll on the youngsters. I thought perhaps the bad toss,  was due to the strength of the K-index that day, which according to theory had likely disturbed their ability to orient.

I checked the K-index last Sunday morning and immediately began to have some doubts about the race we were flying from Burks Falls that day. I surmised, based on my previous experience tossing the youngsters under similar conditions, that we  would likely have a bad race and that the birds would trickle in all day long and that there would be many pigeons sleeping out that night. Couldn’t have been more wrong.
The pigeons came home like gangbusters, not a peep from anyone at clock off about missing pigeons. In other words a fantastic race!

planetary-k-index (1).gif

Last race day K-index

This shows, that we can’t draw conclusions on just one or two data points. Does the K-index affect young inexperienced pigeons more so than older experienced pigeons? Perhaps so. You could draw that conclusion from the  meager evidence above. We don’t really know, we just don’t have enough information.

What did I learn from the above, not much, but if the K-index is above 4 on any particular day, I don’t take any chances with my babies, I leave the youngsters home. I got bit once and that old red dog won’t get a chance to bite me twice.

Good racing everyone!