Lost racing pigeon finds sanctuary with North Bend family

A North Bend family rescued a wayward racing pigeon that had become lost during a flight. The bird evidently got disoriented crossing the Cascades during a Canadian pigeon race and ended up more than 110 miles south of its Chilliwack, B.C., home at the Kangas family's North Bend house.

But before the family could learn how the bird came to their home, they first had to solve the mystery of what it was.

Gabriel Kangas, 13, first saw the bird perched on the roof when the family was headed to a soccer game of his 6-year-old sister, Katarina, Monday, Sept. 17.

"He pointed and said to me, 'Dad, there's a pigeon on our roof,'" said dad Stephen. "I replied, 'That can't be a pigeon; they live in Seattle, not North Bend.'"

When they got back three hours later, it was still in the same spot and wouldn't move. They took a closer look.

Though the bird looked like a pigeon, it was banded. Stephen couldn't think of a reason a common pigeon would be banded, so he thought it might be an immature peregrine falcon. He and Katarina corralled it in an unused pet carrier to take it to the vet. They also sent photos to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Transportation, the Falcon Resource Organization and other groups that tag falcons to learn what the bird might be and where it could have came from.

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