COMBINED LOCKS — The friendly pigeon has grown quite a social media following after cozying up to customers for at least a month at the Combined Locks Kwik Trip at the roundabout on County Highway CE.
But the longer the bird hung around, the more people wondered where it came from and worried about its fate.
Now, the bird will head into 2022 with a brighter future after being rescued last week by RoseBerry Bird Rescue of Little Chute.
The mystery of the friendly Kwik Trip pigeon began Dec. 10, 2021 when two people posted to the Kaukauna Community Facebook group wondering if anyone knew where the bird belonged.
Dozens of comments followed from others who were familiar with the pigeon.
Group member Tanya Pfeiffer posted photos of the bird sitting on her side mirror while she was filling up in early December.
“Anyone missing a pigeon? It’s been hanging out at Kwik Trip. It has a tag on the foot but they looked it up and doesn’t have any info. It’s very friendly and greets everyone,” she wrote.
“It was so nice to me this morning around 9:30. Stayed on my car and looked at me through the sun roof until I left,” another group member commented.
Then last week, a customer tipped off Jessica Brasch, manager of RoseBerry, who was able to capture the bird and bring it safely to the rescue.
“He ate and drank nonstop that day and now is just a joy and cruises through the house,” Brasch said.
She’s named the bird Jade and says they are working with their veterinarian, Sarah Wolfe, to place him in a proper situation with other pigeons.
Brasch said she’s done some research, but still doesn’t know where he came from.
“It sounds like racing pigeons typically have two bands — one metal and one plastic,” Brasch said. “He only has a plastic band. If the metal was removed, it’s typical that they are retired from racing or could be sent to be butchered. So not sure if this guy escaped from that situation.”
Brasch says the pigeon has continued with its friendly ways.
“Right now, Jade has been my buddy,” she said. “Sleeps on me, follows me to the shower so he can shower and is often following right behind in my footsteps.”
Not a bad way to start the year.