This series explores ‘Doo flying’, a favourite past time in Scotland since the Victorian era. Thousands, mainly in the housing schemes of Edinburgh and Glasgow, fly horseman thief pigeons, or ‘doos’ from lofts, bedrooms, living rooms and sheds often built by hand. Horseman Thief Pouters are a type of pigeon which have been used for hundreds of years to capture other pigeons. This is a unique trait of this particular breed – other breeds do not have the ability to seduce other pigeons back to their home loft.
The sport of Doo-flying is based around the thrill of catching another dooman’s pigeons. The birds are firstly kept from mating as long as possible in order to ‘build up steam’. Doomen then send male or female birds up in an effort to entice members of the opposite sex, which belong to a fellow flyer, back to the hut. Men and women of all ages fly against neighbours, friends or relatives and have been doing so for the hundreds of years.
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