Thursday, 1 September 2011

"Marty" The Racing Pigeon

Yesterday afternoon while out for a walk with the children, we saw a pigeon walking around driveways and yards on our street.  The children went up to the pigeon and he didn't fly away, he just continued to peck at the ground searching for food.  I noticed that he had ring bands on both legs.

We continued on our walk and talked about this friendly bird while wondering who he belonged to.
A couple of hours later, the pigeon had made his way up the street and was in our next door neighbours driveway.  My neighbour had left her front door open and the pigeon hopped up the stairs and walked straight into her home.  We were all very surprised to see such a domesticated bird!

I ran home and grabbed a large container as we wanted to ensure that the bird remained safe until the owner was located.  My daughter named him "Marty".

Last evening my daughter read her books to Marty on the back deck while she ate her dinner beside his container.  I had covered the top of the container with chicken wire to keep predators away and to keep him safe.

I went onto the internet after reading the numbers on his ring bands and found out that the bird was registered with the Candian Pigeon Racing Union.  I read the bands closer and was able to make out the owners name and telephone number.  I then called the owner (who lives in Richmond Hill, Ontario Canada) and was surprised to find out that this young pigeon was born in June 2011 and has already won a race.
This past Sunday, August 28, 2011, his owner released him from a small town just north of North Bay, Ontario Canada and should have returned to his own home in Richmond Hill within about 4 hours.  Unfortunately, there was inclement weather along the route home and the pigeon lost his way.  He flew until he didn't have the strengthy to fly anymore and ended up on our street in Waterloo Ontario Canada, exhausted and hungry.

We are feeding Marty dried corn and sunflower seeds.  He immediately drank water and ate feed from the dishes I have set into his box.  The owner believes that it will take a week or two before Marty is strong enough to fly again and return home.  I cannot believe the excellent condition of Marty, he has not lost feathers and does not have any wounds considering his ordeal.
We agreed with the owner that our family will care for Marty until he is strong again.  Once he is ready to fly (we need to ensure that it is a clear day without any storms in the forecast) and we will release him into the air.  I am to expect that Marty will circle around in the air, trying to find his direction home by using the Sun as his guide.

The owner advised me that there is a possibility that Marty may choose to stay with us and not return home.  We will see what Marty decides!

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