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Published October 21st 2019
Celebrating 125 years of flying
In an age where we rely on our satellite navigation systems (sat navs) to get us where we need to go and "SIRI" to give us reminders along the way, it's good to know that some more traditional and ancient forms of navigation are still the only way to fly. Enter the world of homing pigeons.
Yes, you read correctly. Homing pigeons. The remarkable feathered variety of navigators who have an incredible capacity for finding their way home, even from thousands of kilometres away.
Birds of War
Homing pigeons have been prized for their navigational abilities for thousands of years. They were valuable messengers since the time of the ancient Egyptians.
The first nation to have any pigeon records of pigeons is the Greeks, who may have imparted its knowledge of the powers of the birds to the Romans, who used them as message bearers, B.C120.
In more modern times, pigeons were used extensively in both World War I and World War II, where several birds even received medals for their service in delivering critical messages during the times of battle.
It has long been questioned how exactly pigeons navigate. Some scientists now believe that homing pigeons have both compass and map mechanisms that help them navigate home. The compass mechanism helps them to fly in the right direction, while the map mechanism allows them to compare where they are to where they want to be (home). True.
Photo courtesy facebook
Celebrating 125 Years of Flying Homing Pigeons have also left their in Queensland. This year marks the 125th Anniversary of the Queensland Homing Society. The Society was founded in I894 by Messrs H V Cottell, W H Cottell, and J Betid (Government Poultry Expert), with the objective of "improving the homing pigeon, that a quick despatch messenger may be of the service of the country if needed"
So in this, their 125th brthday, take a moment to consider the continued tradition of homing and the place it has served in our countries - both socially and for security. Today, the society is located at 46 Frasers Road, Ashgrove Qld 4060, Australia.