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 (82)
  • fstiffler1147325
    5/27/2014 - 10:23 a.m.

    glad to hear that the pigeon was OK and that none got hert and that she is back home i hope there wont be anymore scared people so i bet she could not wait untile she got home

  • leslieb-Koc
    5/27/2014 - 11:20 a.m.

    So many people hate pigeons they call them rats with wings. But I think it cute that the little girl has taken care of this pigeon for so long. I also think it's really amazing that the bird went to the little girls school after being gone.

  • ThomasinIndigoQ4
    5/27/2014 - 02:38 p.m.

    I think it's amazing how that pigeon found its owner! It must have been hard to fly that long, whata cool bird! I wonder how Foresta managed to find Tara.

  • AlexisRainbowQ4
    5/27/2014 - 02:40 p.m.

    Thats pretty cool. I wonder how it knew where her school was though, because I doubt the she had taken the bird there before. That's pretty crazy.
    I think that the flight was described as 5 air miles because the bird has to go up high, then straight in the air & then down where as when we travel a mile, we don't have to go up and down. I'm just guessing.

  • MadisonPurpleQ4
    5/27/2014 - 02:46 p.m.

    That's really cool that the pigeon knew where the kids school was and followed her there. It really weird that the pigeon even knew where she went to school though.

  • ArceliaPurpleQ4
    5/27/2014 - 02:46 p.m.

    That's so cool that the pigeon flew all the way back just to see his owners, pretty incredible. That just shows how much owners mean to pets just as they mean to us.

  • nvega20
    5/27/2014 - 02:49 p.m.

    That you are in the air instead of on the ground. Since the pet was the bird it traveled in the air, that's why they said air miles.

  • JaydonJblueQ4
    5/27/2014 - 04:39 p.m.

    It is kind of cool to have a pigeon fly on a teachers head they probably did not get homework that night then. Pigeons have a way to always know where home is.

  • GavynBlackQ4
    5/27/2014 - 04:41 p.m.

    Homing pigeons are really cool because the way they can find you without ever being in that area is just remarkably awesome, and the fact that the pigeon arrived at the school is just funny.

  • RyanSOrangeQ4
    5/27/2014 - 04:42 p.m.

    It's amazing how a bird would fly five miles to kid, it must be attached to that kid. How does the bird know were the kid is? That is one smart pigeon.

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