Guest Author - Lisa Shea
You've found a pigeon that seems to be lost - and it has a band on its leg. It's probably a racing pigeon, and you can help find its owner!
Thousands of people race pigeons each year, releasing pigeons who then use their keen sense to find their way hundreds of miles back home. Sometimes pigeons are blown off course, though, and end up in back yards and porches.
Each racing pigeon is identified with a band around its leg so that it can be reunited with its owner. The first letters of the band always contain the organization with which the pigeon is registered. If you find a banded pigeon, here is where you should start:
AU: American Racing Pigeon Union
CU: Canadian Racing Pigeon Union
IF: International Federation
NBRC: National Pigeon Association
Be sure to write down the other numbers on the pigeon's band as well. These indicate the year the pigeon was banded in, the 'group code' within the main organization, and then a number identifying that particular bird.
British Racing Pigeon rides Boat to US