Nanaimo racing pigeon found 743 kilometres away in Williams Lake, B.C.

Nanaimo racing pigeon found 743 kilometres away in Williams Lake, B.C.

A racing pigeon whose home roost is in Nanaimo was found a whopping 743 kilometres away from his home, according to the BC SPCA branch in Williams Lake.

The bird, Bert, was released on Aug. 17 from Nanaimo before being turned into the Williams Lake branch in B.C.’s Interior on Aug. 21.

BC SPCA Williams Lake manager Elizabeth Dighton says it’s the first time the branch has cared for a racing pigeon.

“It was a huge learning curve,” she said. “From what we were told, we believe he was either scared off by a hawk or the smoke confused him, because he was not supposed to get this far inland at all.”

Dighton says Bert was uninjured in his cross-province journey.

“He was in pretty good health. He had a few feathers ruffled but that’s about it,” she said.

The SPCA was able to reach the bird’s owner on Vancouver Island because it had a tag on one of its legs.

The tag was registered to the Canadian Racing Pigeon Union’s Nanaimo chapter.

“Thank goodness he had the band because others we would’ve been totally lost,” said Dighton.

The owners then arranged for the bird to be transported back to the Harbour City.

Dighton says the return of the wayward bird is a good reminder to get pets outfitted with a permanent ID.

“We get so many animals that we can’t get back to owners because they either don’t have ID, or the ID isn’t it up to date,” she said.

“So it’s so important to make sure that the ID is up to date, not only with the vet, but also with the company behind the microchip or tattoo.”


Adam ChanAdam Chan

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