War squabs!

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Baby pigeons found on Royal Navy warship

A sailor found the two pigeon chicks in a hidden nest aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth, the largest aircraft carrier ever built for the Royal Navy.

Tweet on the ledge

The chicks – known as squabs – were discovered shortly after the warship sailed out of Portsmouth, headed for the US. The fluffy pair, estimated to be around 10 days old, were found huddled together after tweeting was heard coming from a remote ledge high up on one of the ship’s decks.

The chicks, christened F-35 and Lightning, were transported in a helicopter that was returning to RNAS Yeovilton and then taken to RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre in Somerset.

Happy sailors

When the news got back to the aircraft carrier that the squabs had arrived there safely, a great cheer went up in the ship’s dining room!

Bel Deering, Manager of West Hatch, says: “This little pair of pigeons are the first in my memory to be rescued from a Royal Navy warship! Our thanks go to the Royal Navy, who went out of their way to rescue these two vulnerable stowaways.”

Cool fact: The squabs are named after the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, a type of jet fighter plane that can land on and take off from HMS Queen Elizabeth.



Hello, I'm Christine and I'm part of the team who work on the Animal Action magazine. I've been at the RSPCA for quite a while and just love being part of such a great organisation. My most favourite animals are dogs and I have a soft spot for Westies.

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