Racing pigeons sometimes come down to the ground for a rest while racing or training. They can be identified by numbered rings on their legs.
If you wish to provide food and water for the bird, please use bird seed or crushed cornflakes, and some water in a deep dish. Please DO NOT GIVE BREAD to a racing pigeon.
Once the racing pigeon has been fed and watered, a bit like a ‘pit-stop’, it usually continues its journey home. Please remove the source of any food after a maximum of 48 hours or when it starts to fly, after which it can find its own food and water. A racing pigeon may continue to stay in the same location for 7-10 days, roosting on roofs or in trees.
A pigeon will not complete the last part of its homeward journey if food is readily available via bird tables and feeders – so it’s best to clear the decks!
After two days (or if the pigeon is injured or showing signs of distress) it may be necessary to contain the bird in a cardboard box or small animal carrier to protect it from other predators. This will prevent any further injury to the bird and prevent it flying away.
• Capture the bird by approaching slowly and throwing a large towel over it, and gently pick it up.
• Check to see if the pigeon has a ring number on its leg and make a note of the ring number, e.g. GB19V12345. If there are no leg rings it’s probably a wild or feral pigeon.
• It is important to note ALL of the ring numbers and digits. Each ring is unique and gives certain information: in the case of, say, GB19V12345 – GB denotes that it is an RPRA ring; 19 denotes the year of breeding (2019); and the V12345 identifies the specific individual bird for that year.