Animals & Plants Fact List

32 Interesting Facts About Pigeons

Here are 32 Interesting Pigeon facts.

1-5 Pigeon Facts

Image credit: en.wikipedia.org

1. In 2009, a pigeon named Winston raced Telkom, South Africa’s largest ISP, to see who could deliver 4GB of data to a location 60 miles away the fastest. By the time Winston arrived with the 4GB flash drive, Telkom had transmitted only 4% of the data. – Source

2. Mike Tyson first got into fighting when another boy ripped off the head of one of his pet pigeons. – Source

3. Nikola Tesla used to feed pigeons, bringing injured ones into his hotel room to nurse back to health and one-time spending over $2,000 to fix a pigeon’s broken wing and leg, including building a device that comfortably supported her, so her bones could heal. – Source

4. The Coast Guard trained pigeons to assist in finding people lost at sea. They sat in a dome attached to a helicopter, pressing a lever after spotting life preservers or debris. They had a 90% success rate in initial trials. – Source

5. A flock of passenger pigeons 1 mi (1.5 km) wide and 300 mi (500 km) long was once spotted in southern Ontario. The flock took 14 hours to pass overhead and held in excess of 3.5 billion birds. – Source

6-10 Pigeon Facts

6. A pigeon named Cher Ami was awarded the Croix de Guerre for its service during WWI. Cher Ami delivered the S.O.S. message of a lost, encircled battalion despite being shot through the breast, blinded in one eye, covered in blood, and with a leg hanging only by a tendon. – Source

7. The reason you never see a baby pigeon is because they live in the nest for 30 days, at which point they look like adult pigeons. – Source

8. Wimbledon employs a bird of prey, Rufus the Hawk, to keep pigeons away from the tennis courts. – Source

9. Wilhelm Neubronner used pigeons to deliver medications from his pharmacy when neighboring villages received their own pharmacies his son patented the invention of aerial photography by attaching the camera to the pigeons. – Source

10. An encrypted note sent on June 6th, 1944, was found attached to a pigeon skeleton in 2012. The message has not been deciphered. – Source

11-15 Pigeon Facts

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11. A WWII pigeon named Mary of Exeter survived an assassination attempt by a German Warhawk, was shot, hit with shrapnel, and survived a bombing of her loft while delivering messages across the English Channel to France. – Source

12. A whitewater rafting company trained a flock of the carrier pigeons to carry rolls of film containing pictures of the rafters back to the base to be developed and available for purchase by the end of the trip. – Source

13. Researchers trained pigeons to discriminate between paintings by Picasso and by Monet. They won the humorous Ig Nobel Prize in psychology for their work. – Source

14. During the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, 25,000 pigeons were released during the opening ceremony. When a cannon was fired, the pigeons begun to poop on the spectators watching the ceremony below. – Source

15. A man “walking oddly” in Baltimore in 1989 was stopped by police. He was found to have 21 live homing pigeons stuffed in his trousers. – Source

16-20 Pigeon Facts

Image credit: en.wikipedia.org

16. Parlor Rollers is a breed of pigeon that can’t fly but can roll or do somersaults on the ground. – Source

17. A pigeon was held in India and kept under police guard on an allegation of spying for Pakistan. – Source

18. Pigeons can develop superstitions like walking counter-clockwise or shaking their head in order to get food. – Source

19. Because birds such as pigeons have a much higher threshold for detecting movement, they would likely see a movie shown at today’s industry standard frame rate as a series of flashing slides. – Source

20. A Dove is just a white pigeon. – Source

21-25 Pigeon Facts

21.  Reuters was founded by Paul Reuters, who in 1848 established a route of carrier pigeons to transmit information about stock news that was faster than the postal trains of the time. – Source

22. The first U.S. aircraft carrier the USS Langley (CV-1) originally came equipped with a pigeon house for messenger pigeons. – Source

23. During the Black Death in England, physicians would cut pigeons from breast to back, break them open and apply them (while still alive) to the buboes to stop swelling. – Source

24. There’s a pigeon contraceptive: a kind of “pigeon kibble” you feed pigeons that cuts down on overpopulation. Apparently, it’s worked well for businesses in Hawaii. – Source

25. In the 1900 Olympics in Paris, live pigeons were used in several of the shooting competitions with the winner being the one who shot the highest number of pigeons. Nearly 400 of them were killed and they’ve been replaced with clay pigeons (disks) ever since. – Source

26-30 Pigeon Facts

26. Pigeons have trace amounts of haematite within their sensory organs found within their beaks that help them navigate using the earth’s magnetic fields. – Source

27. In 2014, Chinese officials searched the anuses of 10,000 live pigeons in fear bombs may have been planted in them to sabotage the Chinese National Day. – Source

28. Pigeons live in cities because the tall buildings provide a similar habitat to the rock cliffs they evolved on. – Source

29. A dovecote or dovecot /ˈdʌvkɒt/ (Scots: doocot) is a structure intended to house pigeons or doves. They generally contain pigeonholes for the birds to nest. Pigeons and doves were an important food source historically in Western Europe and were kept for their eggs, flesh, and dung. – Source

30. In Spain, there are pigeon races and the owners hand-paint their birds in neon colors and send them off to woo a female. – Source

31-32 Pigeon Facts

31. G.I Joe was a carrier pigeon in 1943 who was single-handedly responsible for saving the lives of an entire village and the infantry division occupying it. – Source

32. Pigeon King International was a Ponzi scheme in Ontario where a man sold breeding pigeons to farmers, promising to purchase the offspring for racing or for the pigeon meat. – Source

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