[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 August 2006, 11:42 GMT 12:42 UK
Lost pigeons saved from islands
Racing pigeon on St Kilda (Pic: National Trust for Scotland)
One of the storm ruffled racing pigeons
Racing pigeons have been rescued from a remote Scottish island archipelago after being blown off course by storms.

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS), which owns St Kilda, said the pigeons faced starvation or falling prey to wild birds if they stayed.

Staff managed to catch five and they were taken to Harris, about 41 miles away in the Western Isles, by boat.

Nine pigeons have been spotted on St Kilda so far this year. One was killed by another bird, a great skua.

Those that do not fall prey to predators struggle to find food because of a lack of suitable vegetation.

The trust said it was believed some of the birds had started out from as far away as France.

'Can't fight'

The five lucky pigeons were taken to the Western Isles by Angus Campbell, who runs Kilda Cruises.

Sarah Money, NTS seabird and marine ranger said "They seem to get caught up in bad weather and that's what sends them so off-course, as they can't fight the gusts.

"They stand more of a chance of survival being let off on Harris than keeping them here on St Kilda."

St Kilda has dual World Heritage status from Unesco in recognition of the islands' natural and cultural heritage.

St Kilda rubbish sold on internet
26 Jun 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Bird experts rescued from island
21 Jun 06 |  Highlands and Islands
International refuse on St Kilda
12 Jun 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Remote phone engineer disconnects
07 Jun 06 |  Highlands and Islands
New children's guide to St Kilda
31 May 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Probe launched into petrel crisis
26 May 06 |  Highlands and Islands

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific