Not so bird-brained after all! Racing pigeon that went missing en route to Leeds finally turns up 4,500 miles away in the BAHAMAS


Well hello there: Henry takes a stroll on Eleuthera Island after he took a wrong turn on his trip from France to England

Maybe he didn’t like the weather at home. Or perhaps he simply fancied a cruise.
Whatever the reason, when Henry the racing pigeon set off from France to Yorkshire he ended up 4,500 miles away in the Bahamas.
He had been given up as lost by his owner Fred Lock, but turned up in good health four weeks later on sun-kissed Eleuthera Island.
Mr Lock, 59, was astonished to receive a call from a British woman working on the island with the news that Henry was safe, well and enjoying the holiday of a lifetime.

Harry's journey

Just how the 16-month-old bird reached the Caribbean will never be known, but no one believes he flew all the way across the Atlantic.
Mr Lock, of Leeds, said: ‘He must have hitchhiked on a ship to make it over there – and get away from our weather!

Being looked after: Henry the wayward winged pigeon is being held by Jason Kincaid in his new holiday home in the Bahamas

‘I’ve heard of people finding their pigeons in Belgium, Holland and Germany, but never this far away. It’s unbelievable.’
The great adventure began on May 25. Eight of Mr Lock’s pigeons had been taken to Lille in France for the 286-mile race home. Only seven returned.
‘When he didn’t arrive back from France with the rest after about six hours I thought that was that,’ said Mr Lock, a catering firm driver.

Pigeon detective: Harry's owner Fred Lock with one of his flock, which is missing a certain Henry who has decided to holiday to the Bahamas

Then, in the third week of June, Henry flew into a boathouse on Eleuthera Island and presented himself to Kate Barley, 30, who is studying for a PhD in fisheries conservation there.
She said: ‘He looked in fine shape. I knew he was owned by someone as he had the ring on. At first we thought it must be someone locally that keeps pigeons and that he would feed up for a few days then move on.
‘He started running up to people and around people’s feet looking for food, and straight away flew on to people’s hands and shoulders for food.’
By coincidence Miss Barley’s father is also a pigeon enthusiast and lives in Grimsby, 60 miles from Mr Lock. Her father told her how to find the owner’s phone number embedded into a wing. ‘That’s when we discovered he was from Leeds,’ she said.
Henry is enjoying his new home and has been taken under the wing of Miss Barley and her fiance Jason Kincaid, 31, a diving instructor.

Bliss: Henry's new home in the Bahamas...

... is a bit different to his Leeds home!

She said: ‘He seems really happy, and waits for Jason to open up in the morning. He starts weaving in and out of his legs and running after Jason until he gets out his food.
‘Then he flies to Jason’s shoulder, and will sit there on his hand to feed.
‘He often disappears for half the day, probably exploring, and comes back to relax under the boathouse dock in the shade, and sits and watches everyone loading boats. He gets lots of shouts of “Hello Henry!” now from the kids.’
The pigeon has become a bit of a celebrity. ‘In the Bahamas many of the locals have never seen a pigeon like him who is tame, so showing them how he flies to you for food and how to stroke him is exciting for them.’
Henry may be forced to return home when Miss Barley flies back to the UK in September, but she added: ‘It might be nice for him to live out his days in the sunshine on a permanent holiday.’

source: dailymail