Someone call the pigeon detectives! Hundreds of birds go missing in Thirsk

Some of the lucky birds that found their way home Credit: ITV Calendar

Hundreds of racing pigeons have gone missing after being released in Thirsk in North Yorkshire.

232 birds released, but just 13 lucky birds made it the 20 miles home to Galashiels in Scotland.

Scottish pigeon racer Austin Lindores said: 'It was a disaster. There was one reported in newcastle. And the following day, one was found north of Inverness- from that race.

"A lot of people think it's something to do with the television masts, mobile masts, the windfarms. There's something distracting them"

It's thought the pigeons use magnetic fields, as well as sight, to navigate. All the birds are marked with rings so they can be identified and returned home if lost.

The number of summer showers is being cited as one possible reason that the birds are getting lost. Some think the weather could be sending the birds off course as they attempt to fly around the downpours. But an ITV weatherman said there wasn't anything greatly significant about the weather on the day the birds were released from Thirsk.

The birds are highly trained and can cost several hundred pounds each. But because of the numbers disappearing, some owners are thinking of stopping racing them altogether.