Monday, May 5, 2014

Unexpected Guests

A lot of activity this weekend.  We've heard odd noises coming from the yard in the last few nights.  I've also found the bird feeder rotated away from the railing.  Sunday morning I caught the culprit.  I don't know how successful he's been at getting the seed out.  The feeder has a door that closes when the bar is weighed down by more than a cardinal and a finch or two.  I've been filling it often, but I'd think a raccoon could empty it in no time.

The raccoon wasn't our only unexpected weekend guest.  Unlike the raccoon, this back yard visitor was invited in to stay the night with us.

Saturday afternoon I found a pigeon hunkered down in our back yard.  That evening I found her standing in the front yard, eating thistle seeds that had fallen to the ground.  I could see she had green bands on both legs.  She watched me warily, but I could stand quite close to her; she was obviously tame.  I managed to catch her long enough for Rob to write down the information on her band.  Some on-line research revealed she was a racing pigeon.

It took some time to track down her owner.  In the meantime, we were told to bring her inside if we could catch her.  Ha!  This little gal was suspicious of us now.  If I had known we'd be asked to keep her safe, I wouldn't have let her back under the feeder!  We chased her around the yard, but she never flew far and kept returning to the thistle feed.  Eventually we got her settled into my old guinea pig cage (it comes in handy!) with a bowl of thistle and some water.

On Sunday we found out she'd flown 220 miles in a race and was about 8 miles from home.  The owner said she was likely grounded by a hawk (which wouldn't be her first time) and our thistle feeder enticed her to stick around.  He told us that pigeons are fed thistle after a race and associate it with home.  Since the pigeon found that with us, she might not leave on her own.

We took her down the street to let her go.  She flew to the roof of the fire station, but seemed more interested in preening herself than continuing on.  We watched her for several minutes, but left her on her own.  I worried about her all evening.

The owner was kind enough to call us late this morning.  He said she arrived sometime overnight and was settled down in her nest.  Yay!


  1. What a lovely story! I was glad to read that she managed to make it home safely.

  2. Cute little seed thief, we have one here too. Loved your pigeon story, I too wanted to know she got home safely!


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