LONDON, Aug 26 : One of the Queen’s racing pigeons is :eek: missing - ahead of a major race next month.
Little is known about the whereabouts of the young bird, although reports have suggested it may be mixing with feral counterparts in East Sussex or have been eaten by a sparrowhawk.
The pigeon was bred on the royal estate at Sandringham and transferred to a loft in Malvern, Worcestershire, for training in advance of a 238 mile (383 km) race from France on September 11.
Peter Bryant, general manager of the Royal Pigeon Racing Association (RPRA), said the bird had been missing for more than a month.
There are a variety of reasons why it might not have returned. It might have got disorientated - pigeon racing is all about the ability to home and that’s down to breeding. It might have got distracted and be in someone else’s loft.
It may have flown off and is living with some feral pigeons somewhere in a town centre. We hope not. They can have accidents while on their way home, what with all the wires and cables crossing the roads these days.
``They can also be taken by birds of prey.’’
Her Majesty’s subjects have been asked to look out for the bird, which has an identification number band around one leg and a green band containing a computer chip around the other.