Our thanks to kind folks that come upon wayward racers. Normally highly reliable in their ability to navigate to their home loft, sometimes adverse conditions disrupt the birds' homing faculties. They get an assist getting back home from good folks such as these.
The Natchez Democrat reports:
Racing pigeon finds saviors
The photo is by Hannah Reel
. . . Two weeks ago, Ginger Mims pulled into her store on Main Street and found an injured pigeon that could only hop away from her as she approached it. Unable to catch the pigeon, she decided that she’d feed it Cheerios and water.
After returning to work a couple days in a row and finding the pigeon still by her parking spot, she noticed a tag around it’s ankle and knew that is must be a racing bird. The next thing that came to her mind was to call local pigeon racer Modie Mascagni.
Mascagni immediately made his way to Mims’ store with a cage and other birds to help coax the pigeon into the cage. After a few tries, Mims, Mascagni and Mims’ son Fletcher, 7, successfully caught the bird . . .
. . . After Mascagni got the pigeon home he immediately treated a wound on her chest, that had almost healed on its own, with antibiotics. Mascagni believes that she probably received the wound from hitting a cell phone tower that then caused her to slow down and get lost in Natchez.
Mascagni then took the code off her tag and entered it into the American Racing Pigeon Union database and found out that she was lost five weeks ago racing from Hoxie, Ark., to her owner’s home in Houston, Texas.
He also found that she was a grand racing pigeon that had won first place on a 400-mile race and second place on a 500-mile race.
“It’s exciting for me to find a bird that has won,” Mascagni said.
He said that the birds fly up to 45 miles an hour and can make those 400 and 500 mile races in a day. So, for the bird not to be back in Houston, with its owner after five weeks from the start of the race, Mascagni figured the owner had probably thought the bird was lost forever.
Mascagni said when he called the owner to tell him he’d found his bird, the man was more than excited to hear that his award-winning pigeon was well and safe.
In six to eight weeks, when the pigeon has fully recuperated, Mascagni said he’ll either let her fly back or ship her back to Houston . . .
“I feel pretty good to know I saved (the pigeon),” Fletcher said. “I’m an animal lover . . .