The pharmacokinetics of ronidazole and the bioavailability of a prolonged release tablet were studied in the homing pigeon. After intravenous administration of 5 mg ronidazole, the drug plasma concentration profile fitted a one-compartment open model. The mean half-life of the drug was 11 h and the volume of distribution was 0.86 I/kg. Total body clearance was 0.056 I/h/kg. A sustained release matrix tablet exhibited prolonged drug release in vitro. After oral administration of the matrix tablet to pigeons drug absorption was nearly complete. When given on an empty stomach, the tablet failed as a prolonged release system. Administration to previously fed pigeons resulted in an increase in tpmAX and a decrease in Cpmax.