A week or so ago, our next-door neighbor was doing yard work when he spotted this bird in his yard. No biggie, right?
But when he turned on his leaf blower, he noticed the pigeon was completely unfazed by the loud noise. Was he hurt? Our neighbor inched closer to the bird, and the bird didn't mind a bit. What in the world?! he thought. A bird that lets you walk right up to him??
The closer he got, he noticed some tags around the bird's legs. No identifying information, just a couple of numbers. Was this someone's pet?
He called Marc over. My husband, being the techie that he is, whipped out his smart phone and began looking up what these pigeon tags might be.
As random as it seems, the information told him to call a guy in Florida?! (we're in Virginia) and report it. So he and the neighbor did.
"Are you near Madison Heights, Virginia?" the man asked our neighbor over the phone.
Surprised and intrigued, our neighbor answered, "Yes, that's about 20 minutes away."
"You need to call [so-and-so] and tell him you have the pigeon."
Well now, this was getting bizarre.
That gave us just enough time for Jameson to enjoy our little "pet."
Hi, little guy!
He was intrigued.
Apparently this was a homing pigeon. (like "home-ing")
We'll call him "Homey."
Just HOW do you RACE pigeons?!? we asked.
And this is where it amazed us.
Apparently these homing pigeons can be trained from birth to fly back home. You start them young from just a few yards away, and gradually increase the distance a little at a time until eventually, these birds can fly from hundreds of miles away and STILL get home on their own. The owners clock the birds as soon as they make it back. (whaaaaat?!)
Historically, these guys were used in wars to relay messages, too!
Crazy, right?? Who knew?!
So our little Homey was racing the weekend before, and had alllllmost made it back to his home when he ran out of steam. That's how he ended up in our neck of the woods. He was too weak to continue on. With a few more days of rest, water, and food, he would've regained his strength and found his way back, but many times these pigeons are eaten by a hawk or die.
Essentially, Marc had called the pigeon a cab! (ha ha!)
See you later, Homey! So glad you dropped in to see us!