Pigeon flies 5 miles to meet 5th grader at school Tara Atkins holds her pet pigeon, Foresta, in Helena, Montana
Pigeon flies 5 miles to meet 5th grader at school
Lexile

Everyone has heard of homing pigeons, but Montana fifth-grader Tara Atkins apparently has a "schooling pigeon."

The pet bird named Foresta had disappeared Tuesday from Tara's home in the Elkhorn Mountains near Montana City, but it was back in her arms Wednesday after it showed up at her school about 5 air miles away in Helena.

"This pigeon has never been to town before," Atkins' mother, Krys Holmes, said. "We got her as a baby, and she just hangs out at home."

The bird caused a ruckus when it arrived at Central-Linc Elementary, first sitting on teacher Rob Freistadt's head, the Independent Record reported.

Staff members and a police officer tried for an hour to corral the bird that Principal Vanessa Nasset said was just "sky-bombing everyone."

Nasset asked Tara for help catching the bird after a parent remembered she had a pet pigeon.

Tara recognized Foresta by her distinct coloration and the blue band around her leg.

"I was pretty happy," Tara said.

But as Tara tried to catch her pigeon, the school bell rang and students poured outside, delaying the capture again.

Fellow fifth-grader Owen Cleary finally caught the bird by throwing a blanket over it while it sat on his head.

Holmes said she doesn't know how the bird ended up at her daughter's school.

"It is the most amazing thing," she said.

Critical thinking challenge: Why was Forestas flight described as 5 air miles instead of 5 regular miles? Whats the difference?

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COMMENTS (28)
  • aaronh-Koc
    5/27/2014 - 09:35 a.m.

    I did not know that people were still using pigeon or even as pets. I wonder how the pigeon knew where to go or to find it's owner. That pigeon must really be connected to its owner. Good thing someone at the school was able to recognize the pigeon and help return it

  • EDUARDOA-ZDE
    5/27/2014 - 09:52 a.m.

    I wish I had a pigeon like that a pigeon that will comeback and be at my side forever just shows the relationship between people and animals.

  • savannahf-5
    5/27/2014 - 04:02 p.m.

    This article is about a pet pigeon. A fifth-grader in Montana has a pigeon named Foresta. On Tuesday night, the bird fly up into the mountains. At school on Wednesday, the bird showed up at school! It took a while to capture the pigeon but eventually Owen Clearly, finally caught it. I think that's so cool that Tara has a pet pigeon! That is incredible that it showed up at school and found Tara!

  • John0724-YYCA
    5/27/2014 - 07:48 p.m.

    Why couldn't the bird show up at the owner's house not the owner's school. The girl should be really happy that she found her lost bird. If I found something that got lost before then I will be really happy. Just like me Kara is really happy.

  • brentho66
    5/27/2014 - 08:25 p.m.

    A pet pigeon by the name of Foresta disappeared from the owners home in Elkhorn Mountains near Montana City, but it showed up at the girls school which took the bird 5 miles of flying. The bird is a pigeon and was foreign to that part of the city. The bird caused mischief by desecrating on people all around the town but the owner later recognized the bird and now it is home again. This story is very cool and I do not think a pigeon would be able to do this but it did. I would never have a pet pigeon I would just get like a parrot or something if I was to get a pet bird. I don't think pigeons are tamable but i guess this one is.

  • SARAHL-ZDE
    5/28/2014 - 02:45 p.m.

    That is a very endearing story. Clearly that bird loves its 5th grader mom. However Owen could have caught it a better way, it is very good that he caught the bird at all.

  • LucasP-1
    5/29/2014 - 10:31 p.m.

    This article is about a pet pigeon named Forresta. A fifth-grader in Montana named Tara Atkins is the owner, but keeps her at school. On Tuesday night, the bird flew away from her home and up into the Elkhorn mountains, near Montana City. At school on Wednesday, the bird showed up at school, 5 miles form Helena! It took a while to capture the pigeon but eventually Owen Clearly, finally caught it. I think that's so cool that Tara and her family have a pet pigeon. I think that it is incredible that it showed up at a school that she has never gone to.

  • DominicK711
    5/30/2014 - 11:02 a.m.

    I cant believe that a pigeon could be five miles away from their owner and still be able to find them. I think pigeons are pretty smart if they are able to do this.

  • alexus053
    5/30/2014 - 11:07 a.m.

    It's very cool how the bird just showed up at her school, I bet she was extremely happy. I'm glad she got her bird back.

  • Kait07
    5/30/2014 - 11:08 a.m.

    This article is about a pet pigeon. A fifth-grader in Montana has a pigeon named Foresta. On Tuesday night, the bird fly up into the mountains. At school on Wednesday, the bird showed up at school! It took a while to capture the pigeon but eventually Owen Clearly, finally caught it. I think that's so cool that Tara has a pet pigeon! That is incredible that it showed up at school and found Tara!

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