Local News

Homing Pigeon Finds New Home in Cumberland County

Posted May 21, 2007 8:01 a.m. EDT
Updated May 22, 2007 8:17 a.m. EDT

— One of the newest members of a Cumberland County high school is only a year old, but she's already spreading her wings in the big world.

Angel is loved by everyone, especially the students in Lee Ward's special-needs class at Jack Britt High School. Ward first spotted the bird in the morning before class, pecking at the parking lot, looking for food. Ward saw her again the next morning.

Using the Internet and the numbered bands on Angel's legs, Ward traced the bird to her owner: Seth Burke, who raises pigeons outside Beckley, West Virginia -- more than 230 miles north of Jack Britt High School.

It turns out Angel flew heavenward with a flurry of white birds during an April 15 funeral and it is believed that she was the only one that did not return to the flock.

"One of the things you always hear people talking about is 'eating like a bird.' She eats like a hog. She flat devours food," said science teacher John De Weese.

"She's even flown away when people have scared her, and she has come right back," Ward said.

Burke said 98 percent of his birds fly right back home after being released. He believes it is the farthest any of his pigeons have traveled. He said the school is welcome to keep Angel.