Horsham Racing Pigeon Club raced from Mildura on Saturday and Ararat on Sunday with speeds of leading pigeons in both races proving slower than members expected.
The club released pigeons from Mildura at 9.30am and leading birds entered their lofts five hours and 18 minutes later.
Peregrine falcons attacked the mob of 619 pigeons shortly after the time of release, which would have pushed many off course.
Typically, if racing pigeons can mob up, they quickly orientate and head off on their homeward flight. They can outfly the falcons, but if attacked from above, especially at the time of release, can scatter into smaller mobs, become disorientated and record slower overall velocity.
The race from Ararat to Horsham proved to be even slower with average speeds from leading pigeons 10 percent slower than for the longer flight from Mildura.
The Ararat race was into a slight north-westerly breeze which accounted in part for the slow velocity.
This was the first race on the south-east line for 2019, which would also possibly explain the resulting velocity. Results: Mildura, 279km airline flight, Bill Hartigan, five hours, 33 minutes, 41 seconds at an average of 836.99 metres a minute, 1; John Muszkieta 834.33 2; Paul and Jayden Mcphee 831.29 3; John Arnott at 820.64 4.
Ararat, 87km, John Muszkieta, two hours, three minues and 24 seconds at 707.97mpm 1; The Mcphee family, 700.08 2; K. H. Hunter 670.98 3; Dennis Smith, 668.75 4.
The club will race from Mildura and Lake Bolac to Horsham this weekend.