LEWISTON, N.Y. - A bird in the hand is one thing - but in your pocket?

Border agents at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge found four live birds inside the pockets of a pigeon collector and his travelling companion who were trying to enter the United States from Canada on the weekend.

The pair were stopped Sunday crossing from Ontario to New York state.

A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the two men told inspectors they were on their way to visit an uncle who lives outside Rochester.

The spokesman says the men -- from Uxbridge, Ont. -- were asked during a secondary inspection to remove their coats.

He says that's when the pigeons were found, wrapped and taped from neck to tail, in inside pockets.