The bird arrived at Kevin Chelli-Bird’s Officer home in a worn out state, thirsty and in need of some food.
“It was pretty emancipated so I crushed up some biscuits … gave it some dry biscuits ,” Mr Chelli-Bird said.
The next day, the pigeon was back and has been there ever since, striking up friendship with local residents.
The exhausted bird had a tag attached to its leg, prompting Mr Chelli-Bird to do some digging.
He tried to track down the pigeons origin, but when its band wasn’t registered locally, he turned to the internet for help.
“It showed up it’s American racing pigeon union and it’s registered to someone in Motntgomery, Alabama,” Mr Chelli-Bird said.
His research suggests the pigeon was in a race on October 29th – but never made it to the finish line, instead flying from Alabama to Officer – a journey of some 15,000 kilometres.
“For some reason he’s chosen our backyard.
“Should have turned left at Alburqerque I think,” Mr Chelli-Bird said.
Greater Melbourne Pigeon Federation vice president Rod Churchill said this was the first he’d heard of a journey this big.
“I’ve never heard of a pigeon flying that far … never.”
Mr Churchill suspects the bird may have had some help in it’s trip across the globe.
“I’d say it’s hitchhiked.
“I’d say it’s had a pretty big, strong wind blow it off course and out to sea … it’s got on to a ship and it’s eventually found it’s way here in Australia,” he said.
The American tourist has even been given an American name – Joe.
“She was gonna call him Donald, but we thought that might not be politically correct so she called him Joe instead ,” Mr Chelli-Bird said.
The pigeon foster parents have reached out to Joe’s American owner but is waiting to hear back, the next question is just how to get this homing pigeon home.
“That’s gonna be a long parcel post isn’t it?”