Missing pigeons 'big mystery' in Scotland

Aug. 24, 2012 at 11:40 AM
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PEEBLES, Scotland, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Scottish homing-pigeon enthusiasts said they do not know what caused hundreds of the birds to disappear recently. It's a "big mystery," one said.

The Peebles Homing Society in Peeblesshire said its members lost at least half of their pigeons and there wasn't any weather severe enough to account for the birds failing to arrive at their intended destinations, the Peeblesshire News reported Friday.

Birds have disappeared in large numbers the past two weekends.

"We're only in the third week of the season and many of our members are thinking twice about sending any more birds out. There was a bit of wind on Saturday that may have carried a few birds beyond the [area] but that can't be the reason that so many are going missing just now. It's a big mystery," said Alex Currie, a society member from Innerleithen.

Ian Noble, president of the Scottish Homing Union, said the problem is widespread.

"Through in Ayrshire we lost 40 percent of our birds ... Glasgow was similar and we're getting reports of big losses elsewhere, although it does seem that [the Peebles area] is the worst affected," he said. "The weather at the weekend was fine and although birds of prey will kill a few and scare many others that can't be the single reason either. We've had problems before with birds going missing, but this is by far the worst I've come across."

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