Flock of homing pigeons falls from truck on Florida interstate, causing 3-hour shutdown

Volusia County Animal Services seeking tips to locate owner

FHP troopers herd homing pigeons on I-95 in Daytona Beach on June 29. (Images: FHP/Volusia County Animal Services) (WKMG 2021)

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A flock of homing pigeons fell from the back of a vehicle on a busy Florida interstate Tuesday night, causing officials to shut down the highway as wildlife officials and troopers attempted to round up the misplaced fowl.

According to Volusia County government officials, the incident started around 11 p.m. when the sheriff’s office began receiving calls from drivers saying “500 white doves” were flying at cars on I-95 near the International Speedway Boulevard exit.

Volusia County Animal Services, the Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission all flocked to the scene and the exit ramp was closed for about three hours as teams worked to round up the lost birds.

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Officials later determined the flock fell from a crate in the back of a truck causing it to burst open and because pigeons roost at night they remained on the road until they were flustered by the bright lights of oncoming traffic. The pigeons then flew the coop, creating a flap for drivers.

A Volusia County Animal Services officer holds some of the homing pigeons rescued from I-95. (Image: VCAS) (WKMG 2021)

FHP Orlando shared photos of the white and gray pigeons on the side of the highway as troopers attempt to capture the birds.

More than 70 pigeons were recovered and are now in the custody at Volusia County Animal Services but officials say unfortunately these homing pigeons aren’t able to use their skills to find their way home. Officials are now asking for the public’s help finding their owners. The birds aren’t banded and it’s unclear who they belong to, officials said.

“Our job is to help animals find their way home, whether they’re covered in fur, scales, or in this case feathers,” Volusia County Animal Control Officer Alicia Dease said. “We’re hoping someone out there might have information on where these birds came from or the truck that was carrying them. While homing pigeons aren’t as common as dogs or cats, they are cared about by someone and we want to ensure they’re returned to their rightful owner.”

Anyone with information regarding the pigeons is asked to call Volusia County Animal Services at 386-248-1790 or email ADease@volusia.org.

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