Life in Christian County, Kentucky... More About Birds and Animals...
I'm excited about seeing a pigeon in our yard today. There are several reasons why this is a noteworthy event:
- In 17 years, we've never seen a pigeon in our yard before.
- The pigeon is extremely tame.
- The pigeon has a red band on one leg and a green band on the other leg.
- The pigeon is roosting in the tree outside our living room window tonight.
We think he is a homing pigeon that is supposed to be in a race but has lost his way. I don't know when he arrived, but I first saw him about 2 p.m. He was looking for dropped seed under the bird feeder.
We gave him some water in a dish and sprinkled some sunflower seeds on the ground for him. They are probably not his favorite food, but he ate them.
After pecking around for a while, he nestled against a tree trunk and fluffed up his feathers. He rested there for a couple hours. Then he ate some more. Finally he flew up into the tree late in the afternoon. He's sitting on a little bump on a branch about 25 feet above the ground.
We were thinking about trying to catch him tomorrow to read his legbands, but now I don't know if we should. I've read a page about lost homing pigeons that says the owners want the bird to fly on. Food should be offered just for a couple days, they say.
At least, now I do know what to feed him -- popcorn (unpopped) and rice (uncooked). We'll try that tomorrow.
The pigeon is very jaunty looking -- beautiful, really. He has an irridescent neck, nice markings, and a very smooth set of gray feathers.
I didn't get his picture while he was on the ground. I tried to photograph him in the tree with poor results. So if you want to see what he really looks like, LeggNet has a good photo that looks a lot like our pigeon.
UPDATE (Sunday afternon): We didn't see him this morning and we thought maybe he had flown on. After church, I drove to Murray, KY, to see Keely but my husband came home. He called to tell me that the pigeon was back.
I bought some bird food that has cracked corn and millet in it, and we will try to lure him into a trap with it tomorrow.
Then maybe we can see if any information is on his bands and contact the Pigeon 911 group, as has been suggested in the comments.
There are still several hours of daylight, but he has already roosted high in a tree in the yard.
The pigeon saga continues: Pigeon Games
Related website: U.S. Navy instructions on carrier pigeon care (from 1912)