Lost Birds

It is common for racing pigeons to land mid race, for a short rest, to have a drink, or some food. During their training and racing seasons these birds will often make a pit stop on their way home.

If the pigeon does not have a ring on its leg, it is almost certainly a wild or feral bird.

Link to lost racing pigeon reporting system on Royal Pigeon Racing Association website

If you have found or are concerned about a lost racing pigeon, please report it on the Royal Pigeon Racing Association’s website – or other relevant racing pigeon union, denoted by the prefix on its leg ring.

Racing pigeons can eat bird seed, uncooked rice or lentils – NOT bread.  If you are able to provide them with water, please do so using a deep dish.

Most racing pigeons will then continue their journey home after stopping for a short while. Removing the food and water may help to encourage them to fly home.

However, if the racing pigeon is obviously injured, or doesn’t fly away after a few days, it may be necessary to contain the bird in such a way as not to injure it, so that it cannot fly away (for example, by using a cardboard box).  Once the bird has been safely contained, it can then be reported as lost online.

If you have found or are worried about a lost racing pigeon, first check if it has a number on its wing – by opening it to see if there is a name, address or telephone number stamped on one or more feathers.  If not, but the pigeon has a leg ring, take note of the number and the prefix to report it as lost.  The prefix will determine to whom you should report it – click on the links below to contact the relevant racing pigeon union:

IHU – Irish Homing Union
NEHU – North East Homing Union
NWHU – North West Homing Union
RPRA – Royal Pigeon Racing Association
SHU – Scottish Homing Union
WHU – Welsh Homing Union


Please also use the above contact details if you happen to find a dead racing bird, so its owner can be notified.