For a long time we have grown used to seeing birds in TV and films taking messages from one person to another. We see ravens carrying evil plots and doves carrying love letters, but can birds actually deliver messages accurately and securely?
Not All Birds Can Deliver Messages
Surprisingly, the ravens we most commonly see carrying messages in the media would never be the first choice for this in the real world. They do look mysterious and have been proven to be exceptionally clever, being one of the only birds in the world to exhibit the use of tools!
The thing with ravens may be that are simply too clever to want to do any work for us, so humans many years ago found a much more reliable messenger bird.
Pigeons are Incredible at Delivering Messages
Yes it is in fact on of the biggest pests in the world that could be our biggest allies if we were to lose all technology. Pigeons have a number of qualities that make them excellent messenger birds and have been known to fly for distances up to 1800Km! Pigeons will always return home to mate, so making them send messages home is very simple, in order to get messages back the process gets a bit trickier.
Pigeons are Easy to Train
By training pigeons to know food is in one place and home is another, we can make sure they go between 2 locations, not too tricky for such clever birds, but what happens along the way?
Pigeons have an internal compass that helps them find their way home even if they lose their eyesight! This and the fact that they migrate means they can be trained in flocks and used for effective messaging, though it’s still easier to send an email nowadays.