An aptly-named courier firm has helped reunite an avid pigeon fancier with his beloved bird after it became stranded 100 miles away from home.
Eagle Couriers, which is based in Bathgate, safely returned the racing pigeon – now nicknamed ‘Fife Frank’– after it was blown off course during the Berwick Old Bird race.
Despite going off route, one-year-old Frank continued to fly more than 100 miles until he reached Cupar in Fife.
Worried about the bird’s safety, owner Scott McArdle called in delivery specialists Eagle Couriers to bring him home.
Scott said: “When we realised that Frank had gone missing we were extremely worried about his well-being. Thankfully, a Mr Wallace reported Frank to the Scottish Homing Union in Motherwell who then notified me.
“As soon as we found out about his whereabouts we called Eagle Couriers with the hope that they would be able to bring him home safe and sound.
“The service was top notch – they retrieved him within three hours of my call and brought him back to Lanarkshire. To get our pigeon back the same day as losing him meant so much to us.”
Pigeon races can vary in length anywhere between 30 and 530 miles. Routes are also known to be dangerous, with participating birds often challenged with harsh weather conditions and obstacles such as birds of prey.
Like most sports, serious sums of money are exchanged as pigeons are purchased and sold.
In 2013 a racing pigeon was sold for £260,000 but, for Scott and his wife Anne, getting Fife Frank back was priceless.
Scott added: “I have been training pigeons for around nine years now and currently own around 50 birds.
“Eagle Couriers really went out of their way to ensure our pigeon was safe and securely returned to us at speed.”
Eagle Couriers has picked up and delivered a number of different types of birds over the years, including eagles and parrots.
However, this is the first time that the company has transported a stranded racing pigeon back to its owners.
Fiona Deas, co-director of Eagle Couriers, said: “We have come across some unusual deliveries during our time, but it’s the ones like this that you remember.
“He is such a friendly little bird and clearly made an impression with our drivers – they even gave him the nickname ‘Fife Frank’.
“We were delighted that Scott could depend on us as we pride ourselves on providing a fast and reliable service, whether the package is in a box or has wings.
“Eagle Couriers would like to wish Fife Frank all the best in his future racing career and hope that he pops in soon for a visit.”