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Discussion Starter #1
Our beloved 5 year old Male feral pigeon (hand reared) flew off suddenly at 9.00 am today. Never done it before, just moved to a new house so think he got spooked.

Rarely ventures more than 10 feet away so coudn't believe it when he took off and disappeared. This bird lives in the house and falls asleep on my knee most nights. We are devastated to loose him.

He's pretty small for a male, usual grey feral form with a black tail and clear wing markings. He has a dark green ring but stupidly no further ID.

Please Please can you contact me if you find him.

Many thanks
 

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Has he got any identification band on the legs?

If he is friendly enough to go up to a person somewhere, then that would be the only way they'd know he was actually someone's pet.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, he has a single plastic ring, dark green but no numbers. Thanks for your comments guys. Walked miles today to try and find him!
 

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What about what Woodnative said, did you check back at your previous address?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
yep, sorry . Been back three times today. Its about 6 miles across woodland and fields. It was so out of character for him to fly off after living with him so closely for five years. I wonder if it has anything to do with him reaching sexual maturity and wanting to find a mate?
 

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yep, sorry . Been back three times today. Its about 6 miles across woodland and fields. It was so out of character for him to fly off after living with him so closely for five years. I wonder if it has anything to do with him reaching sexual maturity and wanting to find a mate?
He will have reached that within his first year - they can breed after about 6 months, in fact.
 

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I'm sorry you lost your bird, but a pet pigeon being let outside, that's the risk you take. I hope you find him soon, as he won't know how to survive out alone.
 

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Ask folk in your old area to lookout for him & notify you if they see him.
Pigeons are very explorative creatures and as house pets tend to know everywhere in their home, so being in unfamilliar surroundings may have spooked him but he may not be that far away.
If possible, leave a door or window open for him for a couple of days, He may return when hungry.
He may well find other ferals & try & join up with them, so keep an eye on local flocks also.
Hope he does return as you obviously care a great deal for him & he has a bond with you as well.
 

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I am sorry to hear of this as well....it could go a few ways. Possible if he is a sly one he could conceivably join a Feral flock...

Possible he may try to home back to your former house...

But just as likely, quite honestly...if he is human-bonded he may eventually come down to be with humans...in which case, someone might end up with him in their home. So, I'd also contact any Animal Care/Control organizations and post in whatever local and internet Lost Pets listings you can find...even perhaps put up posters on lamp posts and such.

Keep the faith....
 

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I would be 99% certain he is trying to find his way back to the old house. It could take him a few days if he has never flown any distance before. You dont say how long you have been in the new house, but having kept racing pigeons many years ago and having moved nearly 50 racing pigeons, you need to keep a pigeon in for several weeks before letting it out in a new location. And then you need to let it see outside from inside a cage or something so it can get its bearings and make note of landmarks in the new area. Even then it will probably go back to the old house till it realises you are not there. This is what a few of ours did but they came back after a few days. I would keep checking the old house for the next couple of weeks and let the new householders know. If they see him they could let him in the house and catch him.
 

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So sorry to read this. You must be devastated.
Maybe you've already done so but I'd put up some posters around your old home area as well as your new one in the hope he is spotted.
Folks may not take that much notice of a pigeon hanging about but may look closer if they know a pet one is missing.

Keeping fingers crossed for you.

Janet
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone for the advice. We had literally just brought him over to the new house from my folks place in north UK where he's been for a couple of months while we decorated. I had built a small homing pen as Fatalrazkaz suggests but he just happened to wonder out for a few seconds when my back was turned! I dont think it was his intention to escape. When I noticed him out I bent to pick him up as normal - he is very tame- and he seemed to panic and flew straight up , circled above the house three times at quite a height (never seen him that high before) and then he disappeared. Obviously he would have no clue where he was.

I have left posters and spoke to several folks around our old place where we lived with him for the last three years. This is the only place he has flown free but never more than a couple of quick circuits and no more than 200 yards distance before coming back usually to my hand.

Apologies for what maybe a daft question but if he has never got high enough to see his wider surroundings at our old place, do you think he would still find his way back there? :confused:Thank you again for your concerns and advice. We didn't sleep much last night!
 

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Yes, the homing instinct isnt only visual. When we moved ours they were temporarily housed in the garage for a few weeks. There was a really bad storm which took some of the roof off the garage. They all got out. Some hung around, others flew off. They had never seen outside the garage but we got most of them back. You say he was housed somewhere else for a couple of months while you decorated, he could well be on his way to there then. Get them to keep a lookout for him too.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks very much for that thats interesting, encouraging and provides a bit of hope. The other address is 150 miles north of here but you never know I guess. Just been back to the old address 5 miles way and put some seed out in a familiar bowl but still no sign. I have walked around the village several times and spoken to a few people. Apparently someone keeps pigeons in the village so I need to track them down in case he's gone there. Iv'e put posters up and left a message with the local wildlife rescue centre. Not sure what else to do!
 

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I live in Bucks and people race their pigeons from Berwick. 317 miles. They find their way back though. If you can find out who owns the pigeons near you and go and see them. If it enters their loft they can let you know. If they dont know one is missing they will just chuck it out. I would let them know as soon as possible. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. I have just one pigeon now. She was seriously injured, I didnt think she would make it. I've had her 5 years now. She shares a 10 x 6 shed with our three rabbits. It has a 9 x 9 fully enclosed (top and bottom) 6ft high run on the front of it. She can have a little fly in there without coming to harm. She would not survive outside of the run. I love her to bits so know how you feel.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
They are amazing creatures for sure. I have never had such a close bond with another pet. It does seem a bit odd but for the last five years he's been fantastic company as I work from home a lot. He has always eaten when I eat and slept when I sleep usually on the footboard of the bed or door top. Its certainly very strange him not being around...I could kick myself for not being more careful but it was so totally out of character. I guess it is always a risk with a molly coddled hand reared bird but hopefully instinct will kick in. I will await a call from the local council tomorrow about the several dozen A4 posters in the region!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
This is turning out to be a bit of a rollacoaster of emotions! We got a call on Saturday from a Lady who had a pigeon like ours in her horse stables on the preceding Thursday night. There had been heavy rain and she thought he come in for shelter. She tried to catch him but he kept flying out of the stable door onto a nearby pylon and then flying back in again if she moved away. She said she thought the pigeon had a small cut on his neck but flew ok. I wonder if this is the behaviour of a pigeon trying to hide from a hawk having been attacked? The lady had only just seen our posters and called us straight away. We rushed straight over to the stables 5 miles away but no pigeon. We searched calling his name for several hours but no luck. On Sunday morning we got a call from a man who lived just a few hundred yards from the stables. He had a pigeon in his yard but we had to be quick because of the cats! We dropped our breakfast and raced over there with our hearts in our mouths. The was indeed a pigeon but this one was a racer with two yellow rings not one green one like ours. We had put this information on the poster but the guy obviously hadnt read it fully. One thing was, this bird did not have a cut on its neck. I phoned the lady from the day before but she couldnt remember any rings on the bird in her stables. I thanked the guy and gave him the web address to report the racing pigeon if he managed to catch it.

So its been almost a week and I think we have to start being realistic. We have put 45 posters up over a 10 mile radius, I have registered with 7 local vets, three national pigeon racing forums. We have spent hours and hours driving around searching. We have top ads with photographs going live in eight local newspapers tomorrow and Thursday which may bring us some news.

Given these efforts with little to show, I suppose we need to realstically consider his chances after almost a week. On the other hand, this a bird that already survived a serious cat mauling at six moths old and I once had to almost physically get a sparrowhawk of him! He should be a least a little predator aware after that!

Apologies for the lengthy post but its kind of cathartic knowing there a other people that will understand how hard it is to lose a really special pet. Fingers crossed.
 

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I keep coming on to see if there is any news. Dont give up just yet. Have you looked around your nearest town centres. Usually lots of pigeons there, he may have joined them?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Appreciate your support Fatalrazkaz. I Had a quick look around Wells yesterday, must be a few hundred living around the cathedral alone. I'd actually be happy enough he found a mate there, I guess. Bristol is a bit closer to me though and has a huge pigeon population. Pretty daunting to check all the sites but will make a start tomorrow. Difficult to remain positive as there seems to be a lot of folk against pigeons. I cant be sure but I suspect the city council employ pest control to lay poison corn down in the city centre. I have certainly seen large quantities of corn in the same place a couple of times a month. I work in the centre so will defo spend my lunch breaks checking the usual spots. I keep posting with any news.
 
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