FEATHER-brained pigeon Bob flew 5,000 miles to the US after taking a wrong turn in a race.
Owner Alan Todd thought his prize-winning bird was a goner when he failed to arrive home three weeks ago.
But Bob turned up in a garden in Mexia, Alabama, and was handed to an animal shelter when he refused to fly away.
Carers bought him food, scanned his microchip and realised he belonged to 60-year-old Alan, of Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.
Alan, who confirmed his identity via a Zoom call, said: “I couldn’t believe it.
“He’s looking thin but OK for what he’s gone through. I can’t wait to get him back.”
Bob had set off from Guernsey on June 11 and was supposed to race the 380 miles homes in a day.
Married dad-of-two Alan, who keeps 120 pigeons, wonders if Bob ended up on a ship.
He added: “When pigeons go missing, you worry they’ve been killed by an animal, or wonder if someone’s stolen them.”
Animal shelter worker Megan Bryan, 32, said it had been contacted by an elderly homeowner.
She added: “We thought the bird must have been sold from the UK but we didn’t realise it could have flown from there.
“When we showed Bob to Alan he was cooing and cocking his head trying to look at him — he definitely knew him.”
Alan plans to travel to the US to bring back Bob, a blue pied cock pigeon worth about £1,000.
The four-year-old has won racing awards including West Durham Amalgamation Old Bird of the Year 2019.
In 1931, a pigeon flew a record 7,200 miles from France to Vietnam.
Source: The Sun