Lost and Found - Carrier, Homing, Racing, Roller or Tickler Pigeon CCRC 2011 651
I had a client meeting on Friday in Pasadena Maryland. They're selling their waterfront home on Brady Cove. As we were sitting down at the breakfast table to talk about current real estate market conditions while looking out over Brady Cove, they told me that they had a new addition to the family. I was very puzzled and starting thinking puppy, kitty, baby ... but it wasn't any of those. It was a carrier, homing, racing or roller pigeon. On it's left leg there's a band that reads CCRC 2011 651 and there is also a gold band on its right leg but no numbers. The American Racing Pigeon Union has information on their website for reading bands but this band doesn't appear to be one of theirs. The International Federation also has a list of bands on it's website but this CCRC 2011 651 doesn't appear on that site either.
My clients asked me if I could help them find the pigeon's owner. I tried not to laugh out loud as visions of tacking "lost pigeon signs" on telephone poles and fences around the neighborhood in the 100 degree heat wave we've been having came to mind. Real estate agents get asked to do a lot for their clients, why not post lost and found posters too?
After much research I haven't found the pigeon's owner, but, I've learned a lot about pigeons and banding programs. Googling "CCRC" lead me to everything from the National Birmingham Roller Club to the Carpet Capital Running Club, from Continuing Care Retirement Communities to a post about founding "brown pigeon standing on grandmothers porch with CCRC 2010 404 in Whitemarsh Maryland". That google entry was promising but hasn't lead anywhere just yet. The most promising lead was that CCRC might be connected with the Capital City Racing Pigeon Club but they're CCRPC. And finally I thought I found what I was looking for when I stumbled upon the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website where I learned all about pigeons:
Pigeon homing is usually thought of as a two step process. Upon release, a pigeon determines the home direction. This step is called position finding or the "map". Once the home direction is determined, the pigeons use a "compass" to fly in that direction. They can use the sun as a compass, but when it is obscured they use the earth's magnetic field.
The best information I've received so far came during a call to the central coordinator for lost and found racing pigeons. She is pretty sure that the pigeon is a roller or a tickler - as in Birmingham Roller - which lead me to investigate yet more types of pigeons. The coordinator thought that the pigeon was probably local and had either been chased away from home by a hawk or other larger predator bird or blown away from home on the recent strong winds and had no inherent capability of finding its own way home.
The Birmingham Roller is a breed of domesticated pigeon that originated in Birmingham, England, where they were developed via selective breeding, for their ability to do rapid backward somersaults while flying.
Who would have thought that pigeons have maps and use a compass to fly home or are acrobatic performers rolling and twisting in the air just for fun!!! Unfortunately I have yet to learn the identity of the owner of the pigeon CCRC 2011 651. So for now pigeon CCRC 2011 651 has a safe home and is well feed at my client's home on Brady Cove in Pasadena Maryland. If you know how the club or the owner or are interested in purchasing a waterfront home please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.