Wearing an out-of-date band that reads “Cpru85 28099 aka Boomer,” a homing pigeon has taken up residence in a private greenhouse on Yankee Flats Road. Property owner Debbie Marzorini is hoping to find Boomer’s real home or some other sanctuary for him before the cold weather arrives. (Photo contributed)

Shuswap homing pigeon in need of new abode

Carrier pigeon wearing outdated identification band takes up residence in Yankee Flats

A pigeon has homed in on Debbie Mazorini’s Yankee Flats property.

Trouble is, it’s not his (or her) real home.

Marzorini was sitting on her back deck enjoying a cup of coffee with her spouse when the pigeon named Boomer first arrived in mid-June.

“He landed on the gazebo and it seemed he recognized my voice, so maybe he was raised by a woman,” she says of the domestic pigeon she believes is a male. “He came towards me, stopped and looked and then flew over to our pond.”

Boomer quickly changed direction when Marzorini’s cats appeared on the scene. He eyed the couple’s greenhouse for a bit before moving in and making it his new home.

“He started following me, walking along on the ground while I was work in our big garden,” she says. “When it was hot, I was out there every day; he’d go on the roof of the green house or in different trees.”

Most mornings, Marzorini says Boomer likes to take to the skies for a bit and sometimes perches in different trees on the property throughout the day. But he always returns to his roost in the greenhouse to spend the night.

Related: ‘On life support:’ Research shows common pesticides starve, disorient birds

A National Geographic online report states that until now, two main theories say that pigeons rely either on their sense of smell to find their way home or they follow the Earth’s magnetic field lines.

Marzorini wonders if the nearby BC Hydro transmission lines have confused the bird. But new research suggests the pigeons may be using ultralow frequency sounds to navigate.

Pigeons can fly between 600 and 700 miles in a single day, with the longest recorded flight in the 19th century taking 55 days between Africa and England and covering 7000 miles, reports England’s Pigeon Control Resource Centre’s website.

On advice from the Canadian Pigeon Racing Union, the Marzorinis took Boomer to Armstrong, hoping it would be far enough away for his homing instincts to kick in and lead him to his real home.

Not so. Boomer was back in the greenhouse the same day.

So the couple travelled farther away to Vernon, releasing the bird in a field at Davison Orchards.

“It took him almost a week, but he came back here,” says Marzorini. “He obviously wants to be here, but I think he’d like to be with other birds. They’re very intelligent and very social.”

Related: Salmon Arm Foreshore a rich habitat

Now that the busy gardening season is nearing an end, Marzorini says she is not outside as much and is worried Boomer will not be warm enough in her greenhouse over winter.

She has been feeding him and giving him water but does not want to bring him into her home over the winter.

“He gets excited when I bring his food down, he’s got quite a personality and he’s quite a friendly,” she says. “Homing pigeons don’t fend for themselves like wild ones do.”

Boomer wears a band that reads “Cpru 28099 aka Boomer,” but it is outdated and therefore not traceable.

“Ideally I want to find the owner, but if I can’t do that, I would like to find a place to send him,” Marzorini says, pointing out a rescue facility in Kelowna might be an option. “Some people have said stop feeding him, but that doesn’t seem humane.”


@SalmonArm
barb.brouwer@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Segway tours coming to Kelowna’s Myra Canyon Adventure Park

Okanagan Adventure Company are expanding the electric rides to Kelowna

Central Okanagan to have childcare needs assessed by study

Childcare to be examined in Lake Country, Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, West Kelowna and Peachland

Okanagan table tennis players thrive at 55+ games

Nine Salmon Arm residents were tough to beat at the games in Kelowna last week

Lakeview Water System users in West Kelowna under water quality advisory

A water quality advisory has been issued for parts of West Kelowna.

Bicycle incident on Daimer Drive in West Kelowna

One man has been taken to hospital

‘It’s almost surreal’: South Okanagan fire chief, sidekick Sammy recap rescue mission in Bahamas

Chief Larry Watkinson and Sam the disaster dog spent 8 days assisting a search and rescue team

Canadian inflation decelerates to 1.9% as gas prices weaken

August was the sixth straight month that price growth was 1.9 per cent or higher

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Victoria father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

B.C. population on pace to fall behind Alberta

Provincial population could reach almost seven million in 2043, but Alberta is growing faster

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Vancouver police could be using drones to fight crime by end of year

The police department has already purchased three drones, as well as three others for training

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Most Read