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HOMING PIGEONS - JUNE 25, 2003

 

This quirky news article got me thinking about homing pigeons. Apparently, there is a lot more to them that I could ever have imagined. This website is an excellent resource on the topic of homing pigeons and other specially trained varieties.

 

I was initially under the impression that all pigeons could home, but apparently, a homing pigeon is a specially bred and trained pigeon descended from a centuries old line of proven homers. All pigeons have some ability to home, but homing pigeons have this trait especially enhanced though breeding and training. 

 

There seem to be various theories that try to explain the capability of homing in these birds. Theories range from physical, biological, astronomical to even para-normal!

 

Besides homing, pigeons can be trained to be "racing pigeons", "roller pigeons" and "show pigeons". Of course, there are those classic "carrier pigeons" (post-office pigeons) that we have heard and read a lot about. There were days when carrier pigeons formed the backbone of the postal system in many nations. But if you think those days are gone, think again!! Pigeons are here to stay. In fact, they are going to play a major role in the next-generation all-IP telecommunication networks. Read IETF RFC 1149 and RFC 2549.

 

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I clicked this picture during my hike to Dragon's Tooth last weekend. I must admit, the bird in the frame was a fortunate coincidence.

 

 

 

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