Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Easton's Newest Avian Visitor--Taking Up Residence, or Just Passing Through?

The City of Easton is home to many birds, and pigeons, though not terribly common, are no exception.
Not your average Easton pigeon. This one has a pedigree and is apparently
a couple hundred miles from home.
But one with a pedigree has recently shown up on the Centre Square and possibly looks like it might be considering taking up residence.

Where she was released from, or how she got separated from her flock is unknown, though the timing of her appearance suggests perhaps last week's thunderstorms had something to do with it. 

This pretty bird--we'll call it a girl at the suggestion of one onlooker Monday afternoon, since the bird has pink bands and he suggested the color might be a way to quickly identify the pigeon's gender--appears to hail from the Baltimore area based on what we found after looking up the markings on the bands.
The pigeon's bands say she's about two
years old and hails from the
Baltimore area.

She's about two years old, born in 2010, according to her bands, and her owner is apparently a member of the International Federation of American Homing Pigeon Fanciers.

The pedigreed bird also apparently
likes the finer things in life, and made
short work of a meal from Pearly Baker's
Alehouse, who kindly donated two
seeded flatbread crackers.
Other than that, not much is known about her, other than she seems to enjoy Pearly Baker's seeded flatbread crackers, which, not having any bird seed handy, we fed her, along with some water. The crackers were definitely a bigger hit though, and she ate two of them. (Thanks, Pearly's!)

She's also quite tame, though she seems to like women better than men, quite willingly coming within less than a foot of both this reporter and one other woman. She's more leery of men, backing off even from one man who seemed to know a bit about homing pigeons and even did some well-executed calls. 
The bird is apparently used to people, but appears to
be more at ease with women.

This gentleman, who unfortunately didn't give us his name, said he's seen the bird on the Square since Saturday. She also apparently likes to bathe in large puddles, when they're available, and reportedly has been nesting at night in one particular tree on the Square.

But that this athletic racer is not quite city savvy is very apparent too, as she seems to have no fear of motor vehicles and was very nearly struck by one crossing the street Monday.

She can fly, but appears to like to walk.

For her safety, as well as that we're concerned she might be missing her flock, The Easton Eccentric has contacted her loft via email, and we'll be checking on her from time to time with some proper bird seed in hand, as we wait to hear back. 

Yes, this photo was really taken from this close. The bird also seems to like to pose for the camera...
In looking for some info about this domestic cousin to the rock dove, we discovered that there is a local pigeon group, the Easton Racing Pigeon Club, located over in Phillipsburg, NJ. So if ever you discover a pigeon with bands that bear the letters "IF" along with "ERP," the bird is from there.

For more information about racing pigeons, check out the video on International Federation of American Homing Pigeon Fanciers web site.

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