Wandering racing pigeon enlists travel agent's help getting home

Local travel agent helps pigeon find it's way home.

Rochester, NY - A Rochester travel agent faced a new challenge Tuesday when it came to getting one of her clients home.

Patricia Bean is used to handling travel emergencies. But when a random pigeon showed up at her door at Bean Cruises and Travel, she wasn't sure what to do.

"He didn't startle when the door was open and appeared to want to come in," said Bean. "Not knowing a lot about birds, when he didn't have a reaction, I thought rabies."

But this was no average pigeon. Bean noticed bands and numbers on the pigeon's feet and called The Humane Society. It turns out the bird is a racing pigeon, part of the American Racing Pigeon Union.

"They told me he was in a race last weekend and couldn't make it home," said Bean.

Bean was able to track down the bird's owner. He told her she could let the bird leave and it would find it's way home.

"He walked out got on the railing outside my office, looked at me, and the next thing I knew he was gone," said Bean.

That was until Tuesday morning.

"I propped my door open, went to the back to take out my garbage, and there he was, back outside my office again," said Bean.

So Bean called the owner again, who lives in Oswego. Shawn Burridge hopped in his truck and made the drive into Rochester.

Burridge has been racing pigeons for years, and it turns out this bird was wounded.

"It looks like a hawk or something got him," said Burridge.

The pigeon was part of a race that started in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania last weekend. Burridge believes the injury, as well as some other factors, may have thrown the bird off course.

"It's good to know where they go. Sometimes you don't know, and you always wonder what happened to them," said Burridge,

Now, the pigeon is heading home to heal up. Burridge said the bird will be back to normal in a few months.

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