Bird with homing back at Mallydams 11 years on

A wood pigeon
A wood pigeon

A WOOD pigeon rescued and reared 11 years ago by a wildlife centre has returned for treatment.

The bird flew into Mallydams Wood Wildlife Centre in Fairlight and appeared dazed.

Richard Thompson, wildlife officer at Mallydams, said: “He could have flown into a window or been involved in a territorial dispute with another bird. They do tend to hit each other with their wings.”

The pigeon was looked after for 24 hours at Mallydams, before being well enough to be released.

He was ringed at Mallydams in 2000, and a wood pigeon with a ring has often been seen at feeders, but it was not possible to identify which bird it was, Mr Thompson added.

Wood pigeons live on average for three years, but the longest ever recorded lifespan is 17 years, eight months and 19 days.

Pigeons are the second most frequent species of bird treated at Mallydams.

Last year, the centre treated 229 wood pigeons, 168 town pigeons and 156 collar doves, which are a related species.

Mr Thompson added: “Pigeons are the sort of bird that we all overlook because they are so common in urban, suburban and rural areas.

“The main thing that limits life span of wood pigeons is predators and shooting.

“Many wood pigeons will be shot while others are taken by peregrines, sparrow hawks and various mammals if the opportunity arose.”