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Old 12-02-2012, 07:55   #1
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Pigeons

As we were crossing the Atlantic early July westbound about 900nm from La Rochelle, France in foul weather a pigeon landed on board. Soon after another pigeon landed, we provided fresh water for them, a box as shelter and bread crumbs. They drank from the water but stayed away from the other provisions. They took shelter under our large hardtop bimini. In total five pigeons took refuge, they all had arm bands, they stayed the night, drank, pooped, rested and left the the early morning. Very odd!, any ideas as to who the pigeons be?
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:51   #2
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Re: pigeons

Wild guess they were "failed" racing pigeons, blown off track, and lucky to find you-
The ID tags are normally referred to as Leg Rings, and from this you can trace the owner. Arm bands would indicate they were learning to swim

Many years ago my dad found a racing pigeon, very tame and he was able to catch it and get the details off the leg ring.
From this he ID'ed the owner, and feeling very pleased with himself, called the owner to tell not to worry, his pigeon was safe and sound.
He was a bit taken aback when the owner told him it was no good tio him as it had landed, and to ring its neck
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:54   #3
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Re: pigeons

Wow! Nice to get fresh meat delivered 900m out!
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:07   #4
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Re: pigeons

sorry to sidetrack, but do pigeons really taste ok? I know doves are good, but I've always been given to understand that pigeon tastes fishy. And I'm from Louisiana, and we eat pretty much anything.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:20   #5
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Re: pigeons

Short term care for a lost racer is pretty simple. If a homer is off course, he's probably tired, hungry, and thirsty. A good meal and a night's rest might be all he needs to get back in the air and on his way home.

Pigeons are grain and seed eaters. If domesticated racing/show/performing pigeons are presented with bread and milk, they will not recognize it as a food source.

Other than a specially prepared racing mix, the best thing to offer a lost homer is a mix of wild bird seed and un-popped popcorn kernels.

Offer water in a dish that's at least one or two inches deep. A pigeon dunks her entire beak in the water and draws the water up, rather than scooping like other birds.

All thoroughbred pigeons are registered with permanent leg bands a few days after being hatched. These special bands, also called rings, stay on the bird for life. They are unique and identify a bird as belonging to a national sponsoring organization, a local club, and finally to an individual club member. The leg band also tells the year the birds was hatched.

When examining a band number, look for the following bits of information:

National sponsoring pigeon organization*. Examples: IF, AU, NPA

Year the bird was hatched. Examples: 99, 00, 01

Local club code. Examples: OMAHA, SOJ, LAB

Bird number. Examples: 5701, 10243

A complete band number might read: AU 99 OMAHA 1234.

* If you find a banded pigeon, here is where you should start:
AU: American Racing Pigeon Union ➥ American Racing Pigeon Union | Homing Pigeons | Sport Flyers
IF: International Federation ➥ International Federation - USA = ifpigeon.com
NBRC: National Pigeon Association ➥ NPA Home Page
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:22   #6
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Re: pigeons

Great experience...Agree with Nigel "failed racing pigeons".
Thought I had a good story last year when 2 yellow finch took refuge(and a tour of the boat) while we approached Maine coast.
Stayed 4-5 hours and rode right into the harbor with us.
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Old 12-02-2012, 14:41   #7
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Re: pigeons

tamif, it depends on what they have been eating. Same "fishy" flavor may apply to all waterfowl if they've been eating fish instead of greens.

Young tender pigeon is sold at high prices under the menu listing of "squab". Same bird.
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Old 12-02-2012, 15:13   #8
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Re: pigeons

Thanks for all the pigeon fodder, they did not allow us to get close for inspection and as we were in a real stink weather wise, that was that, the boat came first. I heard that people eat pigeon, fowl, but to ring their neck because they failed- cruel!.
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Old 12-02-2012, 15:39   #9
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Re: pigeons

Quote:
Originally Posted by MIRELOS View Post
Thanks for all the pigeon fodder, they did not allow us to get close for inspection and as we were in a real stink weather wise, that was that, the boat came first. I heard that people eat pigeon, fowl, but to ring their neck because they failed- cruel!.
Happy to say my Dad took the pidge to an animal sanctuary

Here's obne on my boat hitching a lift from Arklow to Liverpool
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Old 12-02-2012, 15:40   #10
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Re: pigeons

Thank you for taking care of them!
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Old 12-02-2012, 16:04   #11
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Re: pigeons

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Originally Posted by tamif27 View Post
sorry to sidetrack, but do pigeons really taste ok? I know doves are good, but I've always been given to understand that pigeon tastes fishy. And I'm from Louisiana, and we eat pretty much anything.
Sure -- good eating. Not so sure of the ones scavenging in NYC alleys, but out in the wild they would be good.
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Old 12-02-2012, 17:27   #12
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Re: pigeons

"but to ring their neck because they failed- cruel!. "
Actually, under some US and state laws wringing their necks is the ONLY means of killing fowl that is considered humane.
Apparently you are supposed to twist their neck, which is flexible enough to be twisted normally without stress, and then stretch it out suddenly, which overextends the spinal cord and kills them instantly.
At least, that's the theory, and if you do it any other way you are up for animal cruelty charges in some places.

As for taste...passenger pigeons were hunted into extinction. As tasty food.
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Old 12-02-2012, 17:50   #13
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Mmmmmmmmm..............squab. Tasty
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Old 12-02-2012, 18:23   #14
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Re: pigeons

here are some of the lost pigeons
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