Jerrod Oliver has owned pigeons since he was just six years old, but even he was slightly daunted at the task of becoming a show judge.
As the Smithton local closely inspected the dozens of fancy and racing pigeons on display at the Deloraine Show on Saturday, his months of study into Australian pigeon breeds was fully realised.
"This is my first go at judging, so I've spent the last three months studying all the recognised fancy pigeons for Australia - there's thousands of them," Mr Oliver said.
Of the dozens of birds on display at the Deloraine Show on Saturday, he couldn't go past an Australian Performing Tumbler, owned by renowned New Norfolk breeder Phil Young.
"It's just a beautiful bird," Mr Oliver said.
"You're looking for a good eye, a nice body shape, a bird that looks like it could fly all day."
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While the fancy pigeons are just that - "fancy" and only there for show - there were also dozens of racing birds to be judged.
Their owners take them to Mount Gambier in South Australia each year, where they are released, and find their way across the Bass Strait to their homes in Tasmania. Some even travel up to 900 kilometres.
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Mr Young works his birds in a loft until they're ready to head up the road, releasing them five kilometres away, then gradually increasing the distance.
But the secret to their navigation is somewhat of a mystery.
"They reckon it's magnetic, that they can sense the earth's magnetic field and use that to navigate," president of the Meander Valley Pigeon Society, Brian Leedhan, said.
"It's like they have an in-built compass in their head."
Racing pigeons is a relatively common hobby in Tasmania - with breeders from Smithton to Hobart - and they attend almost every agricultural show in the state.
Mr Oliver said once people gave it a go, it was impossible to stop.