Hawks, ravens, seagulls, cats, rats and raccoons are some of the predators these captive-born and raised homing pigeons encounter. “Some aren't killed outright but are spooked off course and get lost. Some are hit by cars,” Young said.
Even with ideal training, homing pigeons getting lost is inevitable, Young said. “Even perfectly trained domestic pigeons are vulnerable when used to fly tens and sometimes hundreds of miles home from someplace they would never, by choice, be,” she said. “Lost and injured pigeons are inevitable.”