London and Shanghai photographer. All images © Jonathan Browning.
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Views of the old town and distant highrises with Piegons flying. Shanghai, China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
Views of the old town and distant highrises with Piegons flying. Shanghai, China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
London and Shanghai photographer. All images © Jonathan Browning.
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A racing pigeon keeper in Baoshan district, on the outskirts of Shanghai. China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
A racing pigeon keeper in Baoshan district, on the outskirts of Shanghai. China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
London and Shanghai photographer. All images © Jonathan Browning.
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Mr Luo Guo Rong's pigeon house in the old town in Huangpu district, Shanghai, China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
Mr Luo Guo Rong's pigeon house in the old town in Huangpu district, Shanghai, China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
London and Shanghai photographer. All images © Jonathan Browning.
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Entrants of the Shanghai winter pigeon racing competition meet at the underground car park at Hongkou Stadium in Zhabei district, Shanghai. Here, entrants hand in their piegons they want to race, they get filed, tagged, and stamped and placed into cages which are then put onto special trucks. The trucks are then driven over 500km away to Linyi city in Shangdong province where the pigeons are then released. This competition attracted around 7000 pigeon entries. China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
Entrants of the Shanghai winter pigeon racing competition meet at the underground car park at Hongkou Stadium in Zhabei district, Shanghai. Here, entrants hand in their piegons they want to race, they get filed, tagged, and stamped and placed into cages which are then put onto special trucks. The trucks are then driven over 500km away to Linyi city in Shangdong province where the pigeons are then released. This competition attracted around 7000 pigeon entries. China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×

Shanghai's Racing Pigeons


Shanghai is, as far as anyone can ascertain, the birthplace of modern pigeon racing in China. Foreign traders and travellers brought in pigeon breeds in the mid-19th century, but it was not until 1929 that Westerners living in the city created the Shanghai Pigeon Club. Locals began to take an interest in the sport and, in 1935, the pigeon club had its first Shanghainese deputy chairman.


Pigeon racing flourished in Shanghai, managing to weather the ravages of a difficult century, and by the 1960s, the city had four associations. In 1964, they were unified as the Shanghai Racing Pigeon Association, with a membership of 1,500.


Today, (2013) that number stands at a healthy 9,000 members, who, at last count, owned 370,000 registered and tagged pigeons.  The low-lying roofs and makeshift lean-tos of the old town in Huangpu district make it an attractive place for owners to roost their flocks, tending to them at dawn and dusk, and keeping them out of the jaws of the yellow weasel. It is to these coops that the pigeons race back, owners calling in their identification tag numbers as soon as they arrive.


In addition to district-level races, the association holds 10 municipal races each year. These images were taken during preparations for the association's final competition of 2012, a middle-distance race from Linyi, in Shandong province, back to Shanghai, a distance of more than 500 kilometres. A total of 5,991 pigeons took part and the winner was Wang Qiang, his pigeon having completed the race at an average speed of 1,247 metres per minute, or almost 75km/h.


Further images available on request. All images © Jonathan Browning.

London and Shanghai photographer. All images © Jonathan Browning.
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A racing pigeon keep with with his pigeon hut in the attic of his small apartment in an lane house in the oldl city, Huangpu district, Shanghai. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
A racing pigeon keep with with his pigeon hut in the attic of his small apartment in an lane house in the oldl city, Huangpu district, Shanghai. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
London and Shanghai photographer. All images © Jonathan Browning.
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Early Sunday morning on Daji Road, Huangpu district in Shanghai. Once a week this road transforms in to a pigeon market, with breeders selling their pigeons to interested buyers. Shanghai, China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
Early Sunday morning on Daji Road, Huangpu district in Shanghai. Once a week this road transforms in to a pigeon market, with breeders selling their pigeons to interested buyers. Shanghai, China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
London and Shanghai photographer. All images © Jonathan Browning.
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Entrants of the Shanghai winter pigeon racing competition meet at the underground car park at Hongkou Stadium in Zhabei district, Shanghai. Here, entrants hand in their piegons they want to race, they get filed, tagged, and stamped and placed into cages which are then put onto special trucks. The trucks are then driven over 500km away to Linyi city in Shangdong province where the pigeons are then released. This competition attracted around 7000 pigeon entries. China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
Entrants of the Shanghai winter pigeon racing competition meet at the underground car park at Hongkou Stadium in Zhabei district, Shanghai. Here, entrants hand in their piegons they want to race, they get filed, tagged, and stamped and placed into cages which are then put onto special trucks. The trucks are then driven over 500km away to Linyi city in Shangdong province where the pigeons are then released. This competition attracted around 7000 pigeon entries. China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
London and Shanghai photographer. All images © Jonathan Browning.
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Entrants of the Shanghai winter pigeon racing competition meet at the underground car park at Hongkou Stadium in Zhabei district, Shanghai. Here, entrants hand in their piegons they want to race, they get filed, tagged, and stamped and placed into cages which are then put onto special trucks. The trucks are then driven over 500km away to Linyi city in Shangdong province where the pigeons are then released. This competition attracted around 7000 pigeon entries. China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
Entrants of the Shanghai winter pigeon racing competition meet at the underground car park at Hongkou Stadium in Zhabei district, Shanghai. Here, entrants hand in their piegons they want to race, they get filed, tagged, and stamped and placed into cages which are then put onto special trucks. The trucks are then driven over 500km away to Linyi city in Shangdong province where the pigeons are then released. This competition attracted around 7000 pigeon entries. China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
London and Shanghai photographer. All images © Jonathan Browning.
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Entrants of the Shanghai winter pigeon racing competition meet at the underground car park at Hongkou Stadium in Zhabei district, Shanghai. Here, entrants hand in their piegons they want to race, they get filed, tagged, and stamped and placed into cages which are then put onto special trucks. The trucks are then driven over 500km away to Linyi city in Shangdong province where the pigeons are then released. This competition attracted around 7000 pigeon entries. China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
Entrants of the Shanghai winter pigeon racing competition meet at the underground car park at Hongkou Stadium in Zhabei district, Shanghai. Here, entrants hand in their piegons they want to race, they get filed, tagged, and stamped and placed into cages which are then put onto special trucks. The trucks are then driven over 500km away to Linyi city in Shangdong province where the pigeons are then released. This competition attracted around 7000 pigeon entries. China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
London and Shanghai photographer. All images © Jonathan Browning.
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Fangxie zhi lu, Huangpu, Shanghai. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
Fangxie zhi lu, Huangpu, Shanghai. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
London and Shanghai photographer. All images © Jonathan Browning.
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Entrants of the Shanghai winter pigeon racing competition meet at the underground car park at Hongkou Stadium in Zhabei district, Shanghai. Here, entrants hand in their piegons they want to race, they get filed, tagged, and stamped and placed into cages which are then put onto special trucks. The trucks are then driven over 500km away to Linyi city in Shangdong province where the pigeons are then released. This competition attracted around 7000 pigeon entries. China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
Entrants of the Shanghai winter pigeon racing competition meet at the underground car park at Hongkou Stadium in Zhabei district, Shanghai. Here, entrants hand in their piegons they want to race, they get filed, tagged, and stamped and placed into cages which are then put onto special trucks. The trucks are then driven over 500km away to Linyi city in Shangdong province where the pigeons are then released. This competition attracted around 7000 pigeon entries. China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
London and Shanghai photographer. All images © Jonathan Browning.
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A racing pigeon keeper in Baoshan district, on the outskirts of Shanghai. China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
A racing pigeon keeper in Baoshan district, on the outskirts of Shanghai. China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
London and Shanghai photographer. All images © Jonathan Browning.
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Mr Luo Guo Rong's pigeon house, above his house on 47 zhao jia jiang road in the old town in Huangpu district, Shanghai, China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
Mr Luo Guo Rong's pigeon house, above his house on 47 zhao jia jiang road in the old town in Huangpu district, Shanghai, China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
London and Shanghai photographer. All images © Jonathan Browning.
info
A racing pigeon keeper in Baoshan district, on the outskirts of Shanghai. China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
A racing pigeon keeper in Baoshan district, on the outskirts of Shanghai. China. By London photographer, Jonathan Browning. ×
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