Ten Facts About Pigeons That May Challenge Your View (Wit Pictures)

5. Have A History Of Assisting Humans During Wartime

There are many things that tend to get left out of the history books, and pigeons are one of them. Here’s a story that’ll let you in on one of the most remarkable facts about pigeons. During the Franco-Prussian war, Paris came under siege. In 1870-71, pigeons were smuggled out of the city in balloons and later used to transmit messages across France. This was not the first time that the talents of the pigeon have been used during wartime: doves were used to transport important wartime messages as early as 2500 BC in Sumer, Mesopotamia.

Homing pigeons were used extensively over the course of World War I, since messages transmitted via carrier pigeon traveled faster than telegraph messages at the time. Due to a variety of factors, less than 10% these birds survived. Many of those that did survive were awarded medals. The Dickin Medal is a medal which is awarded to animals that have shown admirable bravery during wartime. 55 Dickin medals have been awarded so far, and out of these, 32 of the recipients have been pigeons.

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