Avian Anomaly

Flocks of “barnyard” pigeons ((Rock Pigeon, Rock Dove, Domestic Pigeon) are common residents on most farms in the area, but I never see pigeons around our house or bird feeders.

At the start of yesterday’s morning trail walk, a gray, sun-lit object in the middle of the trail startled me. I approached, shooting as I went, thinking it might be an injured animal. Turns out it was a pigeon — but not just any pigeon.

Pigeon23Sept14#015Ec5x7

It was a tame bird, allowing me to get within 3 or 4 meters before it flew. The flight was graceful and swift, leaving no doubt as to its health.

Just before lift-off, the legs became visible and I was able to capture an image of the legs bands, one with the codes “1F” and “NWC”……

Pigeon23Sept14#017E2c4x6

If anyone can elaborate on this sighting, particularly the meaning of the band colors and codes, your assistance would be greatly appreciated!

An answer just arrived: IF = International Federation and NWC = Northwest Club (based in Massachusetts/USA). The blue band is a microchip/flight recorder. It’s a racing pigeon!

Photos by NB Hunter. All Rights Reserved.

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