WHAT TO DO IF YOU FIND A STRAY PIGEON?
Don’t worry if a stray pigeon has just flown onto your property. Pigeons and other birds can stay on your property for a few hours or even a few days and return to their homes.
Domestic pigeons with identifiable bands on their feet are usually registered with one of several national organizations.
If the pigeon has NO leg bands, it is a feral pigeon and does not belong to any fancier or club. If you find an injured pigeon without a band and it cannot be released, contact a local humane society.
In order to trace the owner there must be letters written on the band. Plastic bands with only numbers on them are not helpful in locating the owner.
Please do not ask us if someone has informed us of a missing pigeon, they never do.
If after a reasonable time you want to contact one of the national organizations about a lost pigeon, make sure to include all the information written on its ring: letters, year, serial number. This is of utmost importance in order to locate the owner of the pigeon. Neither the CPFA nor any other organization will be able to locate the owner of the bird without all the information on the ring.
FINDING THE OWNER OF A BANDED THE BIRD
If you want to find out who it belongs to, the first thing to do is to catch or capture it. Then you contact the individual who bought the band so he can recover his bird. This is absolutely necessary to make sure you have the right information of the band. Don’t worry, the pigeons won’t hurt you when you catch them, and you won’t hurt them in return. You will need to provide ALL the information on the band, no exceptions.
Click on picture to enlarge
If it is a CPFA band:
If CPFA is not written, then it is from a different organization.
Below are the contact information for the major Canadian pigeon bands providers:
- CU or CRPU = CANADIAN RACING PIGEON UNION:
- FCQ = Fédération Colombophile du Québec:
- FS = FANCIER’S SPECIALTY independent vendor, contact is on Facebook
When the band starts with the letters: NPA, IF, AU, IPB, NBRC then it is an American organization and you can find information at this address: http://www.npausa.com/customer_service/found_pigeon.html
For organizations not listed on our web page, you must Google them to find out who the contact is.
If you decide to release the bird, NEVER attach a note to the bird’s leg with a rubber band or string. This procedure has resulted in many cases of broken legs, gangrene and amputation.
HOW TO CARE FOR IT?
What to keep him in – Most dry containers that provide both security and ventilation will suffice as a temporary home. A dog/cat carrier, an old bird cage, or a simple cardboard box will easily do the trick for a few days. If you are using a box, an old screen or grille placed on top works very well in providing protection, air flow, and sufficient light for the bird to eat and drink. Place wood shavings or cat litter in the bottom of the container to absorb droppings and, if necessary, clean the box by removing the bird and discarding the soiled cover. Once set up, you should provide water and food for the pigeon in margarine containers or something similar, until the owner is found.
Most lost birds are hungry and thirsty. Water is extremely important for all pigeons and doves. Since pigeons drink by suction, any water container you provide should be at least 2.5 cm (1 in.) deep. Shallow cups or bowls with some weight will work best for them, but any open container, i.e., a vessel, old margarine container, etc., will work. The less stable or secure the container, the greater the likelihood of spillage. A thirsty bird may drink immediately, but this is not always the case. Change of environment, fear, injury, or the presence of other animals, may intimidate the bird and prevent it from drinking. Dehydration is the greatest danger to a lost pigeon or dove and just like humans; this condition can cause the bird to lose all of its ability. A lost pet bird may be so exhausted, that it doesn’t even realize that water is in front of it, especially since the water container you provide is different from the one it will have used all its life. A good tip to let him know that you have presented him with water is to make a gentle splashing sound with your finger. Birds are very familiar with the sound of water and this is one of the best ways to let him know where it is. If a bird seems really exhausted, Gatorade or another commercial sports drink can be added to the water. A teaspoon or two per cup (250 ml) of water will help replenish his electrolyte stores.
Pigeons are granivores. While wild pigeons in cities or parks eat bread, French fries or other discarded foods, domestic pigeons have been fed a multi-grain diet, often mixed with specialized pigeon food. If bread and milk are offered to domestic pigeons, they will not recognize it as a food source. Instead of bread, the most readily available food source is a commercial wild bird seed mix containing cracked corn. In addition, raw dried grains such as rice, pearl barley, soup peas, or canary seed, are a good additive to wild bird mix or can be fed separately depending on availability. THESE GRAINS MUST NOT BE COOKED and must be provided in their dry form. Water should be available as pigeons must drink immediately after eating to digest their food.