As this is mainly a bird blog, I thought I would also remind people of the role of the selectively bred Rock Pigeons (Columba livia) during World War I and II. Also called the Domestic Pigeon, Homing Pigeon and Rock Dove, the United States Army Pigeon Service or Signal Pigeon Corps was a unit of the United States Army assigned to train the birds for communication.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia writes: “During WWII, the force consisted of 3,150 soldiers and 54,000 war pigeons, which were considered an undetectable method of communication. Over 90% of US Army messages sent by pigeons were received. The pigeon G.I. Joe received the Dickin Medal for gallantry that saved at least 1,000 lives.From 1917 until 1957, the US Army Pigeon Breeding and Training Center was based at Fort Monmouth, N.J. The US Army discontinued using pigeons as message carriers in 1957.”
Watch the video at: http://youtu.be/kSKrRlD7qOg
After the war GI Joe was sent to the Detroit Zoological Gardens where he died at the age of eighteen. For more information on the use of the domesticated Rock Pigeon from over 3000 years ago to today, go to Wikipedia Homing pigeon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homing_pigeon