So You Thought Carrier Pigeons Were Obsolete – Think Again

So You Thought Carrier Pigeons Were Obsolete – Think Again

Last Updated on by Catherine Tobsing

The significant contributions of Carrier Pigeons throughout history cannot be overlooked. In times when message delivery was uncertain, the urgency for swift and long-distance transportation of crucial messages led to the training of these avian messengers.

Throughout history, the course of wars has been influenced by a flock of agile aviators known as swift pigeons, adept at harnessing gales to soar at incredible velocities of roughly 60 miles per hour.

These remarkable birds originated in the ancient lands of Greece and Egypt, where they served as vital messengers, carrying news of significant events.

Their pivotal role extended beyond those distant eras, as they participated in diverse conflicts, where the timely delivery of messages held the power to shift the tides of battle.

We’ve been writing about birds in the military and birds that actually have vocations.

Thus it should come as no surprise carrier pigeons are still “employed” today by of all organizations, India’s police.

Carrier pigeons continue to play a significant role in the communication system of Odisha, a state located in Eastern India, where they are extensively employed by the police force for transmitting messages between different stations.

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Orissa, now officially known as Odisha since 2011, holds a significant position among the 28 states in India.

It occupies the eighth spot in terms of land area and ranks eleventh in terms of population, thus providing a substantial stage for its citizens.

Back in 1946, when telephones and telegraph systems were nonexistent, the police units of Odisha came up with an innovative approach by employing trustworthy pigeons as the primary medium for communication and delivery.

Approximately 200 homing pigeons were generously supplied by the Indian army to the state, aiming to establish effective communication networks between various stations.

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Surprisingly, even in this modern era, Odisha remains the sole region in the world where the ancient practice of utilizing carrier pigeons for message transportation is still prevalent.

Despite the prevalence of cell phones in our modern era, carrier pigeons played a crucial role in communication even as late as 1980 and 1982, amidst disastrous floods in the region.

These feathered messengers demonstrated their unwavering reliability and irreplaceable significance again in 1999 during the most catastrophic cyclone ever recorded in the area.

Slowly becoming a forgotten relic of the past?

Today, Odisha’s current program is facing a challenge, as it is criticized for being a futile expenditure at a time when wireless messaging has reached its pinnacle.

However, it is crucial to reflect upon recent occurrences such as frequent flooding, an ever-present menace in Odisha, as well as the devastating cyclone of 1999.

These calamities have demonstrated the vulnerability of communication systems to severe weather and other extreme conditions, resulting in crucial messages being lost or hampered.

The ongoing issue faced by government agencies regarding the pigeon program revolves around finances, given their present group of caretakers and approximately 150 pigeons.

These agencies often criticize the program, deeming it extravagant and frequently aiming to terminate its existence.

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Our hopes extend not only to these remarkable pigeons and their extraordinary talent for navigation in the skies but also to their overall welfare.

Pigeons possess innate abilities to pinpoint a specific destination. Consequently, they are well attuned to the place they perceive as home.

With their gentle temperament and effortless manageability, homing pigeons prove to be an ideal selection for message transportation, particularly during crucial historical eras when their utilization held extraordinary significance.

Despite the diminished relevance in our current era, one must not disregard the exceptional skills they possess, as they may prove invaluable when faced with a devastating scenario such as the disconnection of power grids.

This perilous situation looms ever so close due to the looming threats of terrorists and hackers who aim to interrupt electronic communication channels.

Kudos to the amazing Odisha assortment of domesticated birds that continue to perform their duties faithfully.

Written and approved by the Windy City Parrot Content team.

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