In order to help you find the owner of the bird we need full band number. If the bird has a plastic or metal band or ring on its leg, the owner can be traced through one of the national pigeon organizations. If the bird you have saved is a fancy show pigeon, the owner is probably very near where you originally found the bird. If the bird is a racing pigeon, the owner could live hundreds of miles from you and this step may not be necessary. After twenty-four to forty-eight hours rest with food and water, most non-injured racing homer pigeons will be capable of continuing their journey home. Simply release the bird in an area free of wires or other near by obstacles and it will gratefully fly home. 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.





Most lost birds are hungry and thirsty. Water is necessary before all else. Since pigeons drink by suction, any water container should be at least 1 in. (2.5 cm) deep. An open container, i.e., a dish, an old margarine container tub, etc., is best. While a thirsty bird may drink immediately, it also may not. A bird, which has gone without water for a while, is sometimes a bit less than itself. It may be so exhausted; it doesn't even realize that water is in front of it, especially if the water container you use is different from what it is familiar with. A trick I've often used is to trickle a few drops of water from on high into the container to make a splashing sound. When they hear that, most birds will invariably head to drink. If a bird looks really exhausted, Gatorade or other proprietary 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 park pigeons will eat bread, most domestic birds have been raised on a multi-grain mixture and have never seen a slice of it. In fact, they would likely ignore it as possible food. Instead of bread, you might try feeding them something else from around the house. Popcorn (maize), rice, split peas, barley, buckwheat (kasha), canary seed, etc., are all good first options to feed a lost bird with. THESE GRAINS SHOULD NOT BE COOKED OR POPPED BUT FED RAW. Water should also be provided since pigeons normally drink immediately after eating.



What Should I Keep It In?


Any container that a dog or cat can't get into will be fine. An old bird cage will hold the pigeon for a day or so with no problem, as will a cardboard box - a screen on top of such a box is better than simply closing the flaps since there will then be enough light for the bird to see to eat and drink.


How To Read Pigeon Bands:



Example How To Read A Pigeon Band:

If the band number reads, IF-1234-TEXT-23

The (IF) means it originated from the International Federation organization.

The (1234) is a unique serial number for identifying that bird.

The (TEXT) is the Club Identification Code within the organization.

The (23) is simply the year the pigeon was born.


If there is NO band, it is a wild pigeon and no club member owns it.  If it is an injured unbanded pigeon, please contact your Humane Society directly. The banded pigeons could have originated from several organizations.  Below are some pigeon organization contacts that hopefully will help you in your search.


Pigeon Orgainization Key


IF = International Federation

CU = Canadian Racing Pigeon Union

FOYS = Foy's Pigeon Supply 877 355-7727

NPA = National Pigeon Association

AU = American Union Organization

NBRC = National Birmingham Rollers Club

ADA = American Dove Association
Parrot Alert = Found Parrot / Bird

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