After flying an estimated 743 km off course, a racing pigeon from Nanaimo named Bert was recently returned home, thanks to the efforts of a good Samaritan near Williams Lake.
When the BCSPCA Williams Lake Branch received Bert from the good Samaritan they researched his leg band to find his owners.
“Bert has had an adventure that took him far from home,” noted the branch in a Facebook post. “He was released on Aug. 17 and somehow found himself 743 km from where he was supposed to end up.”
Branch manager Liz Dighton said Bert was found in the Dog Creek First Nation area, south of Williams Lake.
“He showed up in someone’s yard and they scooped him up and brought him to us,” Dighton said, confirming the likelihood of the branch receiving a racing pigeon is few and far between.
The leg band had a reference number to the Canadian Racing Pigeon Union website and from there Dighton said, they were able to contact the Nanaimo chapter who then reached out to the owner who then contacted the Williams Lake BCSPCA.
“That was all because of the permanent ID on the leg band,” Dighton said.
The owner made arrangements for a friend to pick up Bert and on Aug. 24 he embarked on his journey home.
Racing pigeons are well-handled, and that was what caught the people who found him’s attention when they found him, Dighton said.
“He really wanted to be with someone. He was thirsty, tired and hungry. He found humans that could hopefully help him and these ones certainly did.”
Dighton said the story is a good plug for racing pigeon owners to keep the information up-to-date on their permanent ID.
Racing pigeons are trained to return to their home loft when released at various distances and to enter the loft through the trapdoors.
Editor’s note: This story was updated after an interview with the BCSPCA Williams Lake Branch.
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