Do Pigeons Send Messages? 9 Facts You Should Know !

Saif Ali

Do Pigeons Send Messages? 9 Facts You Should Know !

Many people underestimate the intelligence of pigeons. Let us explore more about pigeons ability to carry messages.

Pigeons send messages as they have natural ability to homing. They were employed to deliver messages from the ancient times. Not just in ancient times, but also as early as the 1900s during World War I, pigeons were used for message delivery.

Pigeons are extremely intelligent and practical. In this post, we will explain how these birds have historically made excellent messengers and many more detailed facts around it.

How do pigeons send messages?

Pigeons were able to carry messages from one place to another. Let us find out how they deliver messages.

Pigeons send messages from one place to another using magnetic sense which makes them highly efficient at locating themselves and can locate their target from a great distance away. Messages are attached to the pigeon’s leg and were transported in cages to the destination.

The birds then use the earth’s magnetic field to find their way back home. They have an excellent memory and can easily recall all the routes they have taken before. Once they were able to remember the receiver’s address, the pigeons could carry the messages without a cage.

How to train a pigeon to send messages ?

It is not difficult to train a pigeon. Anyone may teach their pigeons to convey messages by taking a few simple steps.

Following are the steps given below by which one can easily train a pigeon:

  • A home base location needed to be built in order to train the pigeons.
  • The pigeons were taken away in cages(not so far) from where they had been nesting.
  • Then they are allowed to leave their cages and go back to their homes on their own.
  • As soon as the pigeons were mastered in memory recall of all the specific details of their birth location, then they are relocated in cage to a far-off area.
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How does a messenger pigeon know where to go?

Well, people used to train the pigeons to their deliver message to the recipient address, but how these birds accurately do this. Let us investigate.

Messenger pigeons can navigate using landmarks along established paths and can use visual cues. They can navigate using Earth’s magnetic field, a kind of magnetic sense known as  “magnetoreception.”

Messenger pigeons and other migratory birds have protein in their retina called ‘cryptochromes’. These proteins help them to produce electrical signal and make them able to see earth’s magnetic field. These feature make them to remember easily where to deliver messages and finding their way to home.

Do homing pigeons send messages ?

In ancient times, people mostly pet pigeon to deliver messages. Let us get to know about homing pigeons ability to deliver messages.

Homing pigeons are a specific breed of pigeon that are well-suited for conveying messages. Homing pigeons are renowned for their remarkable navigational skills, which enable them to find their way home despite changing landscapes.

Over moderate distances of 965 km (600 miles), they fly at an average speed of about 97 km/h (60 miles per hour). Due to this ability, homing pigeons were employed as messenger pigeons to deliver messages.

What kind of pigeon carries messages?

There are many species of pigeon but only few have the ability to carry messages. Let us find out.

Homing pigeons and English carrier pigeons are generally used to carry the messages. Both kind of pigeons are descendants of Rock Dove pigeon (Columba livia). Both kinds of pigeons are specifically bred for their extraordinary ability to navigate vast distances to get home.

Image Credits : English Carrier Pigeon (Blue bar) by Jim gifford is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

How do pigeons know where to send messages?

It is obvious no one can convey messages to the receiver without knowing or seeing the address. Learn how pigeons do that.

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Pigeons simply fly back home as it comes naturally to them; they have no real idea where to send messages. Humans took advantage of the pigeons natural tendency to fly home once released. They only had to work with a pigeon that resided in that location if they needed to communicate with someone who was located there.

How far can a pigeon carry a message?

The distances pigeons can fly are inconceivable to us. The following answer can be stated based on previously noted data.

Pigeon can carry messages upto 1100 miles (1800km) with an average speed of 50mph. In competitive pigeon racing, pigeons speed has been documented (particularly homing pigeons). Therefore, they can easily deliver the messages up to 1100 miles or may be more than that.

How to attach message to a Pigeon?

There are few ways by which you can attach a message to a pigeon. Let us explore more about it.

Small satchels are suitable for carrying the messages. These are light and simple to make, and they have cloth straps that go around the bird’s shoulder. The old-fashioned method also involves using tiny tubes with notes inside that are attached to the pigeon’s foot.

Pigeons have a carrying capacity of 10% of their body weight. The typical domestic pigeon weighs about 300–500 grams, thus it could fly with 30–50 grams more than that. Trained pigeons can carry weight upto 75 grams, so senders can attach the long messages to their body.

Do people still use the pigeon to send messages ?

“Carrier” Pigeons were used to delivered information during World Wars I and II. Let us find out whether they are presently employed for message delivery.

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People do not use pigeon to send messages these days but during ancient time, there is no other way to deliver the messages, so people use homing pigeons to convey their messages. But there still are many admirers who breed these birds for long-distance competitions.


In conclusion, pigeons were formerly the only way we had for communicating across great distances, and history will never forget it. The capacity to navigate has not been lost by pigeons, even if they are no longer used to deliver messages. Even from hundreds of kilometres away, a pigeon can locate its home.

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