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Czech carrier pigeon makes emergency landing on drilling rig

Earlier this week, a carrier pigeon sought refuge on the Leiv Eiriksson drilling rig in the North Sea. After intense efforts by a number of people, the pigeon has now safely returned to land.

The crew on board the Leiv Eiriksson drilling rig discovered the pigeon on the deck. The rig is currently on a drilling assignment for Lundin Norway in the central part of the North Sea.

They thought the pigeon seemed rather exhausted, but also relatively tame and used to interacting with people. And the bird was banded, which meant there was a chance the crew could find out where it actually belonged.

The support team quickly got involved; first in the form of catering with water and sunflower seeds on the menu. Contact was made with the Bristow helicopter company to arrange for transportation to land. The captain in the company approved the somewhat unusual cargo manifest. It was an all-inclusive package tour in its truest sense, in a cardboard box with air vents.

At the same time as transportation was being organised, contact was made with the Norwegian Carrier Pigeon Association. One of their members in Stavanger came to the helicopter terminal at Sola to receive the passenger. The latest reports indicate that the pigeon has been bathed and attended to, that it has a healthy appetite and its condition is improving.

From the Czech Republic
The banding reveals that this is a carrier pigeon from the Czech Republic, hatched in 2013, which means that this is an experienced bird.

The representative from the club thinks that the bird was “dropped” somewhere in Western Europe, but that it went off course due to wind and ended up in the North Sea.

There are high hopes that the carrier pigeon can return to its dovecote in the Czech Republic, and active service.

Passenger ready for (card-)boarding.