Catching A Stray Homer?

TehLizardKing

Songster
7 Years
Jul 29, 2012
253
10
124
Lincolnshire
Hey y'all,

O saturday night, i saw a strange pigeon adorning the top of my barn. I'd never seen it before, and it wasn't a woodie. Unless my eyes had decieved me i thought it looked like a racing/homing pigeon. Alas, it was too late to see properly, so I left my pondering until the next day.

Sure enough, the next day, he/she was pecking around the chicken feed bins, eating the loose corn. On closer inspection with the aid of a pair of binoculars, he had a pink, a blue, and a metal numbered ring. This confirmed my thoughts and so I thought abut how to go about catching him.

I went out, armed with a bass landing net, and a handful of corn. I gingerly threw some on the ground near him, and he was over straight away. Obviously exhausted and starving, he couldnt care less about a human poddling around near him, he just wanted food. I made a grab, but he slipped out of my hands and jumped away. Luckily, i made it seem like it was an accident, so he came back over.

Then came the plan.

I opened up the run of my sablepoot cocks, and carried them, protesting and wriggling, over into the field. I thought they would be happy there, but no.

I then bribed the rest of the chooks out of the way, and slowly herded the pigeon into the 'poots run. He went in ok, And i shut the door. Success! or so I thought....

I grabbed him, hanging on tightly, rather pleased with myself. The 'poot cocks had chosen that exact moment to waddle across back towards me, indignant at their highnesses being so rudely carried into the field. Unfortunately, so had the 'big chooks' with Dolly the hawk slayer and Gandalf the karate cock at the head of the flock. Gandalf stiffened at the sight of the sablepoots. The sablepoots stiffened at the sight of Gandalf. The pigeon uttered an indignant cluck, which Gandalf heard.

Then, bristling with fury, Gandalf bolted towards the 'poots, and they bolted towards him. I was in no position to seperate them, as i was holding a rapidly squirming pigeon and trying my best to walk towards the already prepared holding cage. I did the only thing possible. Shouted. Loudly. Everyone stopped and stared at me. The sablepoots took this moment to escape, bolting into the safe confines of a tight-weave bramble bush.

Gandalf, now pumped to the brim with adrenaline, leapt up, and mustering all of his kung-fu kicking fury, pounded my hands with his four inch long spurs and talons. This was too much. The pigeon slipped free, and Gandalf, looking very pleased with himself for vanquishing this tiny invader, proceeded to harass his wives lovingly.

As the bird vanished into the forest, I glared at Gandalf. Gandalf clucked lovingly and rubbed his head against my leg, showing his affection for me, and boasting about how he saved me from the pigeon.

Anyway, i've seen the bird pecking around the bins again, but he has regained strength, and since he felt my hands around him, i cant imagine he views me with a deep inner sense of love.

I would like to catch him if possible, and get him back to his owner. I have left a cage trap baited with corn next to the bins, but i'm not holding my breath. It would give me immense pleasure to return him to his owner, and it would be great if anyone vould help.

Kind regards,

Me.
 

vtguania

Songster
6 Years
Apr 4, 2013
297
65
131
Vermont
I have caught many a pigeons with everything from a simple milk crate & stick trap to a homemade hardware cloth trap. It is all a matter of having a lot of patience. If the pigeons is hanging around, he/she knows it's a readily available food source, it's just a matter of time before it falls in the trap. Good luck with your hunting and getting the bird back to it's owner. Patience!
 

TehLizardKing

Songster
7 Years
Jul 29, 2012
253
10
124
Lincolnshire
This morning, the bird seemed to have adopted an empty barn owl box at the bottom of the garden. Unfortunately it flew away as soon as the door of the house was opened, but I've seen him fly over a few times.

Also...I have a query. Am I right in thinking any bird that is no longer useful as a homer (i.e. got lost) is culled straight away? If this is so, I'm not so sure I want to return him, as long as he can fend for himself.

Thanks for the help so far
big_smile.png
 

Hokum Coco

Crowing
8 Years
Dec 6, 2012
4,274
3,640
477
New Brunswick,Canada
You are right in your thinking Lizard King. A lot of fanciers are of that mind set (culling). The homer may find his way back to his loft if he regains enough strength. Some times they just get blown off course and could come home as much as a month late.

You can not generalize to many fanciers however. There are just as many attitudes as there are fanciers.

I for one had a bird that I wrote off that was gone for over 2 weeks (he was just a late bloomer). I would not be afraid to try him on a 500 mile toss now.

Best of luck with your bird I hope he will bring you enjoyment.
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 3, 2009
117,835
331,681
1,957
New Jersey
Also...I have a query. Am I right in thinking any bird that is no longer useful as a homer (i.e. got lost) is culled straight away? If this is so, I'm not so sure I want to return him, as long as he can fend for himself.
Depends upon the owner - I have had owners tell me, "Kill or keep the bird. Get it back in shape and release it." Then there was the extremely thin, dehydrated bluebar cock that ended up at the local feed mill. They called, and I went and got him. Brought him home, copied band information, fed, watered and dosed with Doxycycline. Tracked the owner down through the computer and called him. He said, "A friend and I are coming out that way tomorrow for a training flight. I'll call when we are in the area and pick up the bird." Next morning, we met and I gave him the greatly recovered bird. Turns out that this bird and his nestmate had been flown in 5 large combine races. He won 2, she won 2, and in the races that they did not win they were second to one another. Race number 5 (a 500 mile race) there was some sort of atmospheric disturbance and 85 % of the birds never made it home. He told me that bird would never fly again - he was destined for the breeding loft. He only hoped that someone would find and return the hen. He offered me a $100 reward which I refused.

I feel that the owner should always have a chance of getting the bird back if they so desire.
 

laughingdog

Crowing
8 Years
Feb 16, 2011
2,367
335
256
Newport Tennessee
wow1 all cool stories, and i loved reading them, thanks for sharing, and now i cant wait to get in new stable place to breed some white racers out to try to toss out.
 

TehLizardKing

Songster
7 Years
Jul 29, 2012
253
10
124
Lincolnshire
Looks like he did just need a rest after all. After a few days of returning for chicken corn, he just left. Hopefully he'll get back ok, I wish I could have got his ring number just to make sure though.

I agree with you Sourland, I just hoped he wouldn't have to be culled. I know what it feels like to lose a bird, and don't wish that on anybody.

Thanks for the help everybody, I probably would have used the net gun to get him if I hadn't had a second opinion.
 

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