A dog-walker was shocked after she spotted what appeared to be a fluorescent pink pigeon under a railway bridge.
It was seen by a woman from Darlington, who said: "I just couldn't believe my eyes.
"For a moment I had to look again, and again, just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating.
"The pigeon looked like something from Madagascar, and definitely not from Darlington."
After examining the pictures Nik Shelton of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds(RSPB), said: "The bird has clearly been dyed.
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"It is likely to be a captive dove and we have had reports of these being dyed strange colours and released at special events.
"This one has clearly not returned to its owner afterwards."