British homing pigeon found near Monroeville, 4K miles from home

Bob the Pigeon. (Monroe County Alabama Animal Shelter / BBC News)

On Thursday, June 30th, a missing British homing pigeon named Bob was finally located in Monroeville, Alabama—4,000 miles away from his intended destination. Keep reading to learn more about this pigeon’s international journey.

Bob the Homing Pigeon’s Transatlantic Journey

As reported by BBC News, Bob’s owner, Alan Todd, sent the homing pigeon on a 400-mile journey from Guernsey—an island in the English Channel off the coast of France—to Gateshead, a city in northern England. The journey was supposed to take 10 hours, but Bob the Pigeon did not arrive at his destination.

That was three weeks ago.

Bob is currently being taken care of by the Monroe County Alabama Animal Shelter and has been reunited with Alan Todd via video chat. (Monroe County Alabama Animal Shelter / BBC News)

On Wednesday, June 29th, an Alabama resident in Monroe County found Bob the Pigeon—and his distinctive leg bands—and turned him in to the Monroe County Alabama Animal Shelter. Using social media, staff at the shelter were able to get in touch with Alan Todd through the North of East Homing Union (NEHU).

How did Bob the Pigeon end up in Monroe County?

The historic Monroe County Courthouse, which inspired Harper Lee’s courtroom settings in To Kill a Mockingbird. (Matthew Niblett / The Bama Buzz)

Since Bob the Pigeon was covered in oil, Alan Todd theorizes that the homing pigeon accidentally landed on a ship crossing the Atlantic.

While that is the most realistic explanation, it is possible, albeit unlikely, that Bob the Pigeon intended to visit Monroeville—hometown of authors Harper Lee and Truman Capote. Perhaps Bob the Pigeon read To Kill a Mockingbird or Breakfast at Tiffany’s and decided to chart his own course after leaving Guernsey to pay homage to the iconic authors.

Although we will never know Bob the Pigeon’s true intentions, we’re glad he made it to Monroe County safe and sound—and wish him the best on his return to England.

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Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.

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