Stowaway pigeon dies after long journey under car bonnet

News | Published:

AN ACCIDENTAL stowaway pigeon has sadly died after initially surviving more than 24 hours and 150 miles behind the grill of a car.

The unfortunate pigeon was brought to Guernsey inadvertently by Martin Stacey who was in the island visiting family and friends having driven down from his Gloucestershire home.

Mr Stacey journeyed down to the island last Wednesday.

‘I was coming down a country road travelling about 50 to 55mph and I could see this low hanging branch in the distance.

‘As I got closer I noticed a pigeon in it and as I met the branch it quite suddenly dropped out of the tree and I hit it.

‘There were feathers, and I thought I must have killed it – there were cars behind so I couldn’t stop and it was just one of those things.’

Mr Stacey continued down to his overnight stop in Southampton before making his way to the Portsmouth ferry early on Thursday.

‘I arrived at the terminal and customs did a routine check on my car.

‘I opened the boot and bonnet, explained I had hit a pigeon the day before, the officers shone their torch around, found nothing and sent me on my way.


‘I then had the car on the ferry for eight or so hours before arriving in Guernsey and going out for a bite to eat with family.’

The pigeon after it was removed from Mr Stacey's engine compartment following nearly 48 hours trapped inside. (26325158)

The next morning Mr Stacey visited his daughter and upon returning to his car he found a note on the windscreen.

‘Someone had a left a note after maybe hearing or seeing the pigeon making some commotion to tell me I had a bird under my bonnet.


'Sure enough, me and my daughter could see it but couldn’t see a way out for it either. I took the car along to Freelance where I bought it from to see if they could help me.

‘After a few attempts they took it into the workshop.’

The pigeon had been caught behind the grill when it returned to shape after the bird smashed through it with the force of the impact.

‘I was very surprised it hadn’t been cut to pieces coming through the plastic grill which is partly smashed and to only be eight or so inches off the ground for the length of time,’ added Mr Stacey.

The staff and Mr Stacey decided to leave the pigeon on the wall next to the garage to see if it would fly away.

After 20 minutes it had not made any attempt to leave and the animal shelter were called to take care of the bird.

Although the persevering pigeon survived the 150-mile plus ordeal without food or water for nearly two days it was left badly shaken by the incident.

So much so that the vet felt it best to put the pigeon to sleep after examination.

Yves Le

By Yves Le
News reporter

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