Meet the hero carrier pigeon that saved US troops during a WWI battle 100 years ago

Meet the hero carrier pigeon that saved US troops during a WWI battle 100 years ago

In the third floor hallway of the Pentagon, just outside the Army Chief of Staff’s office, there is a pigeon.

That pigeon’s name is “President Wilson” — an unsung hero of World War I that made a daring flight to save U.S. troops exactly 100 years ago on Friday.

President Wilson was a military carrier pigeon, one of many in the U.S. Army Signal Corps that delivered messages between commanders and troops on the front lines. The pigeons were especially useful tools of communication during World War I when the telephone and telegraph were still unreliable new technologies.

According to U.S. military accounts recorded in the U.S. Army Center of Military History and the National Archives, Wilson was born in France and first assigned to the U.S. Army’s newly formed Tank Corps, delivering messages to Tank Battalions commanded by Col. George S. Patton in the Battle of Saint-Mihiel.

But soon afterward, Wilson was assigned to an infantry unit conducting operations near Grandpré during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

On the morning of Oct. 5, 1918, his unit came under attack, and Wilson was dispatched to send a message that the unit needed artillery support. During the 25-mile journey, German soldiers spotted him and began firing into his flight path. (It should be noted that some accounts of Wilson’s heroics place the event as occurring on Nov. 5, but multiple historians reached by ABC corroborated the Oct. 5 date.)

Wilson was hit several times, losing a leg and suffering a wound to his chest, but he managed to deliver the message in a record 25 minutes.

Surviving his wounds, Wilson was retired and sent to the U.S. Army Signal Corps Breeding and Training Center at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, where he would live another eleven years.

After his death, Wilson was taxidermied and presented to the Smithsonian Institution before being transferred to the custody of the U.S. Army in 2008. Now, located in the prestigious halls of the U.S. military’s headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, Wilson serves as a reminder that these simple birds — often considered a nuisance by the general public — were once war heroes.

Carrier pigeons were used by both the Allied and Central Powers during World War I and could even provide updates to military commanders when launched in midair from planes.

“Launched mid-mission, the birds would fly back to their coops and update ground commanders on what the pilots had observed,” the National Archives wrote in a blog post in January. “Quick updates like this were essential for leaders to know what the battlefield looked like and what the enemy was doing in its own trenches.”

“Tanks carried the birds in order to relay the advance of individual units. Even after the introduction of the radio, pigeons were often the easiest way to help coordinate tank units without exposing the men to dangerous fire. Without a radio set, the soldiers would have had to leave the relative safety of their tanks to relay or receive orders,” the Archives said.

When the pigeons weren’t in use, they were stored in mobile units, often converted horse carriages or even double-decker buses.

The birds are thought to use low-frequency sound waves to map their environments and find their way from location to location.

Another famous World War I pigeon was known as Cher Ami — his moment of heroism came during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in the fall of 1918.

The German Army surrounded elements of the 77th Division for five days, at one moment confusing the Americans as they accidentally shelled their own men in an attempt to fire at the enemy.

Messages were unable to get to U.S. commanders, so Cher Ami was released as the division’s last hope. Like Wilson, Cher Ami flew through a barrage of gunfire, also sustaining injuries to his leg and chest. But he successfully delivered the message, ending the friendly fire.

The French even awarded Cher Ami the Croix de Guerre with Palm, a military decoration, for his service.

Military carrier pigeons were again used in World War II. In that war, 32 pigeons were awarded the United Kingdom’s Dickin Medal for their heroic actions.

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Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Bird Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products ten years in a row.

Contact us at 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD, (604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca

Pigeon/Pigeon Patrol / Pigeons Roosting / Vancouver Pigeon Control /Bird Spikes / Bird Control / Bird Deterrent / Pigeon Deterrent?  Surrey Pigeon Control / Pest /Seagull deterrent / Vancouver Pigeon Blog / Birds Inside Home / Pigeons in the cities / Ice Pigeons/ What to do about pigeons/ sparrows , Damage by Sparrows, How To Keep Raccoons Away,  Why Are Raccoons Considered Pests/ De-fence / Pigeon Nesting/ Bird Droppings / Pigeon Dropping/ woodpecker control/ Professional Bird Control Company/ Keep The Birds Away/ Birds/rats/ seagull/pigeon/woodpecker/ dove/sparrow/pidgeon control/pidgeon problem/ pidgeon control/flying rats/ pigeon Problems/ bird netting/bird gel/bird spray/bird nails/ bird guard

Loved or loathed, feral pigeons as subjects in ecological and social research

Loved or loathed, feral pigeons as subjects in ecological and social research

The feral pigeon (Columba livia) carries with it a reputation that runs counter to conservation: it is feral, exotic and invasive and even considered down right filthy. But upon closer inspection, the pigeon could be a subject worthy of study for both ecological and social science purposes and highlight the importance of urban species in ecology. This insight on pigeons occurred during an urban ecology study that focused on habitat and population dynamics of the birds and is also supported through an extensive literature review. As a nearly ubiquitous species, we discuss how important pigeons are as a prey-base for numerous raptors and underscore our position by highlighting several studies on the biological uptake of environmental contaminants that may have benefited from including the pigeon as part of the research. We further our stance on the importance of pigeons in urban ecology by highlighting additional concerns such as zoonotic disease and climate change. We expand our case by turning to the social construction of nature, the importance of public participation in conservation. Once again, the ubiquitous presence of pigeons lends itself well to citizen science in ecology and conservation, especially to show trends across a range of geographic locations. In short, this commentary strives to reconceptualize the feral pigeon, promoting the bird as a valuable asset to ecological and social research in ways that raise awareness for conservation concerns and advance our scientific thinking.

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Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Bird Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products ten years in a row.

Contact us at 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD, (604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca

Pigeon/Pigeon Patrol / Pigeons Roosting / Vancouver Pigeon Control /Bird Spikes / Bird Control / Bird Deterrent / Pigeon Deterrent?  Surrey Pigeon Control / Pest /Seagull deterrent / Vancouver Pigeon Blog / Birds Inside Home / Pigeons in the cities / Ice Pigeons/ What to do about pigeons/ sparrows , Damage by Sparrows, How To Keep Raccoons Away,  Why Are Raccoons Considered Pests/ De-fence / Pigeon Nesting/ Bird Droppings / Pigeon Dropping/ woodpecker control/ Professional Bird Control Company/ Keep The Birds Away/ Birds/rats/ seagull/pigeon/woodpecker/ dove/sparrow/pidgeon control/pidgeon problem/ pidgeon control/flying rats/ pigeon Problems/ bird netting/bird gel/bird spray/bird nails/ bird guard

Contesting Tradition: The Deep Play and Protest of Pigeon Shoots

Contesting Tradition: The Deep Play and Protest of Pigeon Shoots

Pigeon shoots are examples of “contested traditions” that invite comparison with other controversial spectacles of killing animals, such as cockfights and dogfights. In the United States during the late twentieth century, mass protests of America’s largest public pigeon shoot occurred in Hegins, Pennsylvania. This article offers a folkloristic perspective on the contested tradition by analyzing how the protest rhetorically served to present tradition as a “problem” in the ethical modernization of society. The clash between animal rights protestors and supporters of the shoot became a moral drama based on a clash of rural and cosmopolitan values in modern America that derives from fundamentally different views of human dominion over the land and its creatures. The interpretation of the event hinges on a semiotic layering that takes into ethnographic consideration the different meanings of symbols for various participants in the event. Compromise became impossible in controversies over pigeon shoots because the sides perceived symbols so differently. For protestors, the shooters represented predatory, phallocentric rapists who promoted violence for its own sake, whereas, for supporters, they symbolized a pioneer and biblical heritage based on human dominion over the bountiful land. For protestors, the process of the ritualized shoot perpetuated cycles of abuse and patriarchy; for protestors, it acted to regenerate the land, confirming the wholesomeness of agrarianism. The pigeons could be symbolized as profane, dirty pests or sacred doves of peace. The widely publicized controversy implied larger questions, and fundamental conflicts in America, about the role of tradition in modernity.

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Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Bird Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products ten years in a row.

Contact us at 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD, (604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca

Pigeon/Pigeon Patrol / Pigeons Roosting / Vancouver Pigeon Control /Bird Spikes / Bird Control / Bird Deterrent / Pigeon Deterrent?  Surrey Pigeon Control / Pest /Seagull deterrent / Vancouver Pigeon Blog / Birds Inside Home / Pigeons in the cities / Ice Pigeons/ What to do about pigeons/ sparrows , Damage by Sparrows, How To Keep Raccoons Away,  Why Are Raccoons Considered Pests/ De-fence / Pigeon Nesting/ Bird Droppings / Pigeon Dropping/ woodpecker control/ Professional Bird Control Company/ Keep The Birds Away/ Birds/rats/ seagull/pigeon/woodpecker/ dove/sparrow/pidgeon control/pidgeon problem/ pidgeon control/flying rats/ pigeon Problems/ bird netting/bird gel/bird spray/bird nails/ bird guard

Messenger / Homing Pigeons & Their Applications

Messenger / Homing Pigeons & Their Applications

Homing pigeons are called messenger pigeons when they are used to carry messages. Messages have to be written on light, thin paper (such as cigarette paper) and rolled into a small tube that is attached to the bird’s leg. This is called “pigeon post.

They have also been used to carry small light-weight packages, in including smuggling drugs into prisons.

RACING

In recent history, they are mainly used for the sport of pigeon racing. They have been bred for racing and can reach speeds between 60 – 80 miles per hour. They can fly up to 80 to 600 miles in one single day.

In 2010, Jose Ledesma’s pigeons finish a personal racing season in Canary Islands with amazing resultss. Two young birds raced 3 times each from African coast in Morocco. Long Distance Races + 1st Regional Price against 1312 pigeons (National race equivalent in Belgium). Jose made an amazing movie of these pigeons flying over mountains, seas and deserts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAGKflxwxwI … Further information can be found on his website: http://www.joseledesma.com/ – J. Ledesma, Tenerife – Canary Islands

THE CARRIER OF MESSAGES

During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871, the Prussians had surrounded the city of Paris preventing mail from entering or leaving the city. During the course of the siege, pigeons and mail were regularly taken out of Paris by hot-air balloons. The letters that were sent to Paris were first reduced in size by photography, so that 30,000 letters could be carried on film placed inside a canister. These canisters were attached to pigeons and these birds then flew into Paris. Thirty-five birds carried the same letters, so that if any were shot down, at least one would reach Paris. In Paris, the film was projected on a screen, and the letters were copied by hand and delivered to homes in the city.

These birds have been used to transport short messages across long distances. In fact, historically well-known leaders, such as Julius Caesar and Genghis Khan, have used them to carry important messages across long distances.

One of the world’s best known news agencies, Reuters, started its European business by using 45 trained birds to carry financial news on the continent in 1850. They carried the latest news and stock prices from Aachen in Germany to Brussels in Belgium, travelling the 76 miles in a record-breaking two hours – beating the railway by four hours.

The Chinese used them to deliver mail as long ago as 1000 B.C.

Source

Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Bird Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products ten years in a row.

Contact us at 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD, (604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca

Pigeon/Pigeon Patrol / Pigeons Roosting / Vancouver Pigeon Control /Bird Spikes / Bird Control / Bird Deterrent / Pigeon Deterrent?  Surrey Pigeon Control / Pest /Seagull deterrent / Vancouver Pigeon Blog / Birds Inside Home / Pigeons in the cities / Ice Pigeons/ What to do about pigeons/ sparrows , Damage by Sparrows, How To Keep Raccoons Away,  Why Are Raccoons Considered Pests/ De-fence / Pigeon Nesting/ Bird Droppings / Pigeon Dropping/ woodpecker control/ Professional Bird Control Company/ Keep The Birds Away/ Birds/rats/ seagull/pigeon/woodpecker/ dove/sparrow/pidgeon control/pidgeon problem/ pidgeon control/flying rats/ pigeon Problems/ bird netting/bird gel/bird spray/bird nails/ bird guard

 

The pigeon has landed

The pigeon has landed

I have written before about the widespread fear of German paratroops in Britain in May and June 1940. Here’s a sterling example from somewhere in London, as described in the Ministry of Information’s Home Intelligence report for 7 June 1940:

A false alarm on a housing estate of parachutists occasioned by a flock of pigeons resulted in about half the tenants rushing to the roof and the rest rushing to the shelters in the basement. In the melee several women fainted. These people are normally calm and collected. They seem to need more advice as to what to do and how to do it on such occasions. 1

It’s hard to imagine how an ordinary flock of pigeons could be mistaken for descending parachutists. But if there’s one thing I’ve been hammering over and over on this blog, it’s this: fear can make people see danger in the innocuous, whether it’s footpaths, meteors, motor cars, Venus, Venus, weather balloons, or even nothing at all. Having said that, there’s less evidence of widespread misperception of this sort (as opposed to rumours, of which there are many, though with frustratingly few details) in the MOI reports than I might have expected.

Source

Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Bird Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products ten years in a row.

Contact us at 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD, (604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca

Pigeon/Pigeon Patrol / Pigeons Roosting / Vancouver Pigeon Control /Bird Spikes / Bird Control / Bird Deterrent / Pigeon Deterrent?  Surrey Pigeon Control / Pest /Seagull deterrent / Vancouver Pigeon Blog / Birds Inside Home / Pigeons in the cities / Ice Pigeons/ What to do about pigeons/ sparrows , Damage by Sparrows, How To Keep Raccoons Away,  Why Are Raccoons Considered Pests/ De-fence / Pigeon Nesting/ Bird Droppings / Pigeon Dropping/ woodpecker control/ Professional Bird Control Company/ Keep The Birds Away/ Birds/rats/ seagull/pigeon/woodpecker/ dove/sparrow/pidgeon control/pidgeon problem/ pidgeon control/flying rats/ pigeon Problems/ bird netting/bird gel/bird spray/bird nails/ bird guard

 

Lost pigeon going back to its owner

Lost pigeon going back to its owner

PLEASANTON — It turns out Homer’s odyssey ends in … Hayward.

The homing pigeon that walked into a Pleasanton bar on Memorial Day almost made it home from a race in Nevada — but didn’t quite get there. An injury or exhaustion landed the bird at the Y’all Come Back Saloon, where he surprised patrons with his brazen entrance into the neighborhood bar.

After an unsuccessful attempt to release the pigeon — he fluttered to the ground and didn’t go anywhere — Castro Valley resident Carol Batten tracked down a Medford, Ore., man whom she thought was the pigeon’s owner. And since Homer wasn’t going anywhere on his own, bar owner Maureen “Puff” Carpenson had lined up a ride to Oregon for the wayward pigeon.

But the day before the bird, christened Homer, was to leave for Oregon in an air-conditioned automobile, Batten and Carpenson learned the bird actually had been shipped to a new owner — a Hayward resident — last year.

Reese Bishop said he was surprised to hear from his friend, a pigeon breeder in Oregon, on Thursday night, asking if he had lost one of his birds. In fact, one of his pigeons did not make it back from the Lovelock, Nev., race over Memorial weekend.

He was even more surprised to learn that his pigeon was now famous as the bird who walked into a bar.

Bishop was expected to reunite with his bird late Friday. He laughed when he heard it had been dubbed Homer; since he owns 200 pigeons, it is impossible to name them all, he said.

Bishop has been racing pigeons for five years, and he says he has lost birds in the past.

“It happens,” he said. “Two years ago, I had a bird who was found in Los Angeles. He was supposed to be heading to my house from Nevada.”

After the first story appeared in MediaNews newspapers on Thursday, Carpenson said she received several phone calls from individuals warning her not to return the bird because it is considered useless to the owner.

“That is not true,” Bishop said. “We care about our birds. We put a lot of time and effort into them. There are a lot of feelings toward them.”

Larry Cook of the California State Racing Pigeon Organization noted that racing pigeons, depending on their breeding, can be worth anywhere from $500 to $1,000.

Cook, who has been racing pigeons for 29 years, said he has had pigeons get lost, then found and subsequently shipped back to his Exeter home.

For now, Homer the pigeon will be “put out to pasture” so he can recover, Bishop said.

After that, Bishop will decide whether to breed him or hand him over to a racer just starting out in the hobby.

As for that pigeon who turned up in Los Angeles a few years ago? He’s racing again.

Source

Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Bird Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products ten years in a row.

Contact us at 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD, (604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca

Pigeon/Pigeon Patrol / Pigeons Roosting / Vancouver Pigeon Control /Bird Spikes / Bird Control / Bird Deterrent / Pigeon Deterrent?  Surrey Pigeon Control / Pest /Seagull deterrent / Vancouver Pigeon Blog / Birds Inside Home / Pigeons in the cities / Ice Pigeons/ What to do about pigeons/ sparrows , Damage by Sparrows, How To Keep Raccoons Away,  Why Are Raccoons Considered Pests/ De-fence / Pigeon Nesting/ Bird Droppings / Pigeon Dropping/ woodpecker control/ Professional Bird Control Company/ Keep The Birds Away/ Birds/rats/ seagull/pigeon/woodpecker/ dove/sparrow/pidgeon control/pidgeon problem/ pidgeon control/flying rats/ pigeon Problems/ bird netting/bird gel/bird spray/bird nails/ bird guard