Sweet Home Alabama: Pigeon From UK Winds Up in the U.S.

Homing pigeons have been known for centuries for their ability to find their way home after traveling hundreds of miles. However, one little bird named Bob might need to work on his internal compass. The 4-year-old pigeon from Gateshead, UK, turned up about 4,000 miles away in the U.S. after getting lost on a fairly routine journey from the Channel Islands to his home in northeast England. Bob set off for what was supposed to be a 10-hour journey home, instead landing at the home of a puzzled Alabama resident after apparently hitching a ride on a ship across the Atlantic. Alan Todd, Bob’s owner, said, “He wouldn’t have flown all that way. He was covered in oil, so he must have been on an oil tanker.” After being discovered in Mexia, Alabama, Bob was handed over to the staff at the Monroe County Animal Shelter, who said that though Bob was a little underweight, but in good shape otherwise. The staff of the shelter put out a call on social media to track down Bob’s owner using the bird’s distinctive leg bands as a clue. That’s how they found the North of England Homing Union, who directed them to Todd. Despite the distance, Todd traveled to the U.S. to bring his bird home, and he didn't get lost on the way.

Bob and his owner, Alan Todd