St Mary’s Good Samaritan Appealing For Help With Racing Pigeons

Patsy Swanborough with a rescued pigeon

Patsy Swanborough with a rescued pigeon

It’s the start of pigeon racing season with more lost birds arriving in Scilly.

And St Mary’s-based Good Samaritan Patsy Swanborough is asking people to keep a look out and contact her if they find one.

Patsy says there was a big race from Penzance to Ireland last weekend. It coincided with the fog, which meant more pigeons than usual have lost their way.

They usually arrive exhausted and dehydrated, she says, while some are injured. Vet Heike Dorn is currently looking after a pigeon that’s been attacked by a peregrine.

Patsy says her phone hasn’t stopped ringing since the weekend, but she has a very efficient system in place to get the birds back to their owners.

They’re fed until they’re well enough to travel to the mainland on the Gry. In Penzance, pigeon fancier Gary Jacobs collects birds from all over Cornwall, before sending them back to the Royal Pigeon Racing Association in Cheltenham. They get them back to their owners via several different routes.

Patsy says a lorry is leaving for Ireland this Friday and she’s keen to round up any remaining pigeons on the islands.

Unfortunately, she says many die before they can be helped, but if you do find one, you should try to feed it and contact her on 07879 876716 before 8.30pm in the evening.

She’s also keen to find islanders who would like to help in her pigeon rescue work.