More than 2,000 homing pigeons disappeared for unknown reasons in one day during two races held in the USA. Out of 1,800 birds in a 320-kilometre race from New Market, Virginia, to Allentown, Pennsylvania, about 1,500 vanished. And in a 240-kilometre race from western Pennsylvania to suburban Philadelphia, 700 out of 900 pigeons were missing. The few birds that returned were exhausted and it was obvious that they had been flying lost for hours.
In 2000 in the UK, it was estimated that only 7.5 percent of homing pigeons were killed by raptors out of the 52 percent that failed to find their way home. The rest get lost or fly into pylons.