The Homing pigeon is a variety of domestic pigeon which has an innate homing ability, meaning that the bird will usually return to it’s nest using magnetoreception.
This bird has derived from the rock pigeon. And these birds were selectively bred for their ability to find their home over extremely long distance.
This ability has made the breed relatively easy to breed from the birds that repeatedly found their home over long distance. Flights in the competitive pigeon racing have been recorded as long as 1,100 miles by these birds.
Average flying speed of the Homing pigeon over moderate distance is around 50 mph, but speeds of up to 90 mph have also been observed in top racers for short distances.
Mainly because of the flying ability of the Homing pigeon it was used for carrying messages as messenger pigeons in the earlier times. These birds are usually referred to as ‘pigeon post‘, or ‘war pigeon‘ during wars.
They are often incorrectly categorized as carrier pigeons, a breed of fancy pigeons selectively-bred for its distinctively rounded hard wattle.
Homing pigeons are an ancient breed of domesticated pigeons. They were used to proclaim the winner of the Olympics. The sport of flying these birds was well-established as early as 3000 years ago.
And the messenger pigeons were used as early as 1150 in Baghdad. Pigeons carried messages only one way to their home historically. And before another flight, they had to be transported manually.
However, pigeons have been trained to fly back and forth up to twice a day reliably, by placing their food at one location and their home at another location, covering round-trip flights up to 100 miles.
The Homing pigeons were still employed in the 21st century by certain remote police departments in Odisha state in eastern India. They were used for providing emergency communication services following natural disasters.
But it was announced that India’s Police Pigeon Service messenger system in Odisha was to be retired in March 2002. It was stopped mainly due to the expanded use of the Internet.
Today Homing pigeon is entered into competitions. And the winner is receiving prize money at the end. Size, color, body type, weight etc. can vary depending on the type of these birds. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
|Can vary depending on the variety
|Beautiful birds, strong and hardy
|Depends on the variety
|Many, depends on the variety
|Country/Place of Origin
|Depends on the variety