After 500-mile journey, pigeon ‘drops’ in for a visit

A family in Seaman received an unexpected visitor last Friday evening. A grey and white pigeon showed up on their property and didn’t seem interested in flying off. When the bird made its way into the family’s garage the next afternoon, animal-loving daughter Abby Conley captured the little fellow and brought him to the Humane Society of Adams County.
After posting the bird’s photo and leg band information on Facebook, the Humane Society received a tip that led them to contact a pigeon racing club near Athens, Ohio. They reached Stephen Pronai of the Buckeye Racing Pigeon Club, who was able to quickly match the bird’s band number to its owner, also a resident of Athens. When a Humane Society representative spoke to the bird’s owner, an amazing tale was revealed.
The bird, Number 114, according to its band, had been released in a race on July 2 from a site near Memphis, Tenn. It had flown over 500 miles in six days. The terrain, according to the owner, was grueling, and the plucky bird was likely near exhaustion when storms hit the area on Friday evening, forcing him to land in Adams County.
Number 114 is being cared for by Jeff and Jessica Huxmann of West Union, who have had experience keeping homing pigeons in the past. He will be given top-quality pigeon food and high-protein safflower seeds, along with plenty of fresh water and a bit of stone grit, which is necessary for pigeon digestive health.
As of last Saturday evening, Number 114 was acting more like a pig than a bird as he buried his beak in his food dish. He is expected to make a swift and complete recovery to flying condition within a few days. Once he is ready to be released, the Huxmanns will contact Conley so she can release the bird she saved, and Number 114 can finally complete the final 100-mile leg of his journey home to his loft in Athens.
For more information about the Humane Society of Adams County, please visit www.adamscountyanimals.org.