Pigeon Messenger: Pigeons have been used a messenger since time immemorial.
Even before the military discovered their unique ability to deliver messages many civilizations have been training and using these domesticated birds for their messaging service
Pigeon Messenger – Rock Pigeon
There are many varieties of pigeons and one with the most innate homing ability is the wild rock pigeon. This means that they have the ability to return to its own nest and its own mate. This is the reason why they are relatively easy to breed.
An adult wild rock pigeon measures about 32-37 cm. long with a wingspan of 64-72 cm. this pigeon species is very identifiable because of its white lower back and the two black bars on its pale grey wings.
A wild rock pigeon is distinctively strong and very quick; it can dash out of sea caves and fly low over the water.
This ability to fly fast and strategically is the main reason why wild rock pigeons are chosen as pigeon messengers. If a pigeon is properly trained, it can be counted on to do its job well.
Pigeon Messenger as a Carrier Pigeon
Using a pigeon as a carrier pigeon may sound easy to others, but it can actually be a little tricky. During war, pigeons have been used to deliver messages through the enemy lines. Messages were written in thin papers and rolled into a tube that is to be attached to the pigeon’s leg. The trick is for the bird to bring the messages to the other fort. This can only work if the pigeon is actually going home. This means that a bird can only go to a place where it is mentally marked on the bird’s bird as its home. So, a carrier pigeon can only bring a message to its owner; in other word’s the sender will be releasing the receiver’s pigeon.
Pigeon Messenger in World History
Pigeons have been part of mankind’s history since about 3,000 years ago when the Egyptians and the Persians used them as carrier pigeons. Genghis Khan also used pigeons during his entire successful domination.
During World War I, one very famous pigeon, Cher Ami, was awarded the French Croix de guerre. The bird’s heroic deed was to deceiver a dozen vitals messages even though it was badly injured.
Thirty-two carrier pigeon have been awarded during World War II among them are; the American G.I. Joe, the Irish Paddy and the English Mary of Exeter. These birds have been acknowledged because of their bravery and gallantry; many lives have been saved because of them.
Many more pigeons have been used during this long war, and most have been dropped from the sky like the 82 homing pigeons that were dropped into Holland as part of Operation Market Garden.
Hundreds of carrier pigeons from the Confidential Pigeon service were also airdropped into Northwest Europe. The Invasion of Normandy was also a great success because of many brave pigeons’ ability to deceiver vital information that couldn’t be delivered on radio for fear of enemy interception.
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I have been breeding pigeons since teenage days. In my hometown in Virginia, I have about 60 pigeons in my loft, all performers. Some of them I have given away to friends and people who want to get started with this hobby .To know more about my background just take a look at the "about me" page.
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