• Canadian Pigeon Fancier's Association

The Canadian Pigeon Fancier’s Association


(Based on the US National Pigeon Association -NPA)

What to do if you find a lost pigeon:

Domestic pigeons with individually identifiable leg bands are registered with one of several national organizations. Below are some email or website contacts to nationally recognized pigeon organizations.

If there is NO band on its leg, it is a wild pigeon and does not belong to any pigeon fancier or club. If you find an injured pigeon without a band on its leg, and it cannot be released, contact your local Humane Society.

Ownership can be trace if in fact there are letters written on the band. Plastic bands where only numbers are present are of no use to locate the owner.

Please don’t inquire if someone informed us about a missing pigeon, they never do.

If you wish to contact any of the national organizations about a lost pigeon please be sure to include the whole band information (letters, year, serial number) of the pigeon that you found. This is important in locating the owner of the pigeon. Neither CPFA or any other organization will be able to locate the bird’s owner without the entire band information.


Most lost birds are hungry and thirsty. Water is extremely important for all pigeons/doves. Since pigeons drink by suction, any water container you provide should be at least 1 in. (2.5 cm) deep. Shallow cups or bowls with some weight to them work best but any open container, i.e., a dish, an old margarine container tub, etc., will work. The less stable or secure the container, the greater the likelihood of spillage. A thirsty bird may drink immediately, and it may not. Strange surroundings, fear, injury, or other animals in the household may intimidate or distract the bird from drinking. Dehydration is the biggest danger to a lost pigeon/dove and just like humans; this condition can make the bird a bit less than itself. Lost domesticated birds may be so exhausted, they don’t even realize that water is in front of them, especially since the water container you are providing is different from the one they have used their entire life. A good trick to make the bird aware of the water you have presented is to make a slight splashing sound with your finger. Birds are very familiar with the sound of water and this is one of the best ways for you to help identify your gift. If a bird looks really exhausted, Gatorade or other commercial sports drink may be added to the water. A teaspoon or two per cup (250 ml) of water will help replenish electrolytes.


Pigeons are grain eaters. While feral city or park pigeons will eat bread, french fries, or other discarded food, domestic pigeons have been raised on a multi cereal grain diet frequently mixed with specialized pigeon pellets. If domesticated show pigeons or performing pigeons are presented with bread and milk, they will not recognize it as a food source. Instead of bread, the most readily available food source is a commercial blend of wild birdseed mixed with popcorn. Additionally, raw dried grain such as rice, pearled barley, split pea, or canary seed, make a good additive to the above mix or may be fed separately based upon availability. THESE GRAINS SHOULD NOT BE COOKED OR POPPED BUT FED RAW. Water should be provided since pigeons normally drink immediately after eating.

What Should I Keep It In?

Most any dry container that provides both security and ventilation will suffice as a temporary home. An old birdcage will easily house a pigeon for a few days. Probably the most readily available temporary housing is a cardboard box. An old screen or grate placed over the top of the box works well in providing protection, airflow, and sufficient lighting to allow the bird to eat and drink. Place some wood shavings or clean cat litter in the box to absorb droppings and whenever necessary, clean the box out by removing the bird and disposing of the soiled covering material.

Human/Pets Health concerns?

There are no diseases in Canada at this time that can be transmitted from Pigeons to humans or other Pets. Normal Bacteria like E-Coli and Salmonella are present in Bird droppings as well as in cat and dog droppings, so good hygiene and thorough hand washing are always important.

Finding the bird’s owner

Please do not be concerned about a stray pigeon that has just flown onto your property. Pigeons and other birds may fly onto your property for a few hours or maybe even a few days. But, if the pigeon does belong to someone else, such as a pigeon fancier, the stray pigeon will eventually usually fly back home. It is only after a stray pigeon or bird has been on your property after about a week that you should start to worry about it, unless of course the pigeon looks weak or injured and looks incapable of protecting itself.

After the stray pigeon has stayed on your property for 5 to 7 days, you should start considering how you can catch or capture the bird so that you can return it to the owner or to someone else that can provide it a good home. Catching it and containing it in a pet carrier or even just a cardboard box as described in the previous section is an absolute must before you contact an organization, it is the important first step of the returning process. Do not worry, pigeons will not hurt you when you catch them, just remember to wash your hands after each time you handle a pigeon just for general hygienic purposes. Once captured, you can provide the stray pigeon with water and feed in margarine containers or something similar, until the owner or a new owner is found.  Please record ALL of the information that is printed on the leg band, any organization will need ALL of the letters and numbers that appear on the band, if one piece of information is missed, it will not be able to find the original owner.

CPFA can help only with CPFA bands (these 4 letters are written on the band) and for bands from other organizations see below for direct contact information. For bands not mentioned on our website page, you have to Google them to find who the contact is.

Once you have contained a pigeon wearing a CPFA band you can use the contact form or email to send us the band information as described above, there is NO NEED to phone us. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

If you decide to release the bird, please, NEVER attach a note to the birds leg by rubber band or string. This procedure has resulted in numerous cases of broken legs, gangrene, and amputation.


  • The letters on the band will tell you the origin of the bird. (EXAMPLE BAND BELOW)
  • Say… the band number reads, CPFA FG 18 914
  • The ( CPFA ) means it originated from the Canadian Pigeon Fancier’s Association.
  • The (FG) is the band size and type.
  • The (18) is the year the pigeon was born.
  • The (914) is a unique serial number for identifying that individual bird.

Here is the contact information for the main Canadian national organizations that provide pigeon leg bands:

Keep reading text below…….