About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Photo Share: Racing Pigeon makes a pit stop

We had an unexpected visitor the other day at my Fly-thru feeder. I believe it was a Homing or Racing Pigeon? These pigeons are a variety of Domestic Pigeon (Columba livia domestica) that is able to find their way home over extremely long distances. They are selectively bred and trained to complete tests of speed (37 mph on average) and navigation, according to the researchers. On weekends in the Spring and Fall, thousands of racing pigeon fanciers have birds competing in races at distances from 100 to 600 miles.

My visitor had a white band on his leg so I'm pretty sure it wasn't a Rock Dove venturing away from some bridge. It was huge but quite beautiful with a smokey gray body, strong black wing bands and a rainbow of colors on his neck. He was in very good shape, but if I you ever find a distressed pigeon with a band, the owner can be traced through the National Pigeon Association’s (NPA) website at www.npausa.com.

If anyone else would like to share a photograph of nature send it to bloubird@gmail.com with a description and permission to post it on the Friday Photo.

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