Pigeon Mail: how did the birds find the addressee?

Until quite recently, just a few decades ago, pigeons with letters were not such a relic of the past as they are now, in the age of computers and the Internet. But have you ever wondered: how did carrier pigeons know where to deliver messages?

Of course, if you just release the pigeon, it will not find the necessary delivery place without a reference point. Therefore, pigeon mail worked on the principle of "return to the homeland". Pigeons, like many other representatives of birds, remember the location of their own house well. Thus, pigeon houses were kept at the postal stations, in which "their" pigeons and their "colleagues" from other stations lived. When there was a need to deliver a message, the birds were sent "to their homeland", and then from time to time they were transported between stations in order to send them home again if necessary.

The mechanism of the natural navigator
It sounds simple: pigeons remember their home. But how exactly do they do it? Until now, scientists are surprised by the mechanism that allows pigeons to navigate in space, remember the terrain, their hometown, the same street out of hundreds, and that single house out of thousands of similar ones.

From what is already reliably known about the superpowers of pigeons for orientation in space:
These birds collect and process huge amounts of information in the brain, they use highly developed sensory organs to get home. On the way to building the right route, pigeons are helped by their keen eyesight and excellent memory. But what is more interesting is that pigeons feel the magnetic tension of their environment. As soon as the chick hatches from the egg, it immediately determines and remembers this parameter with its "internal magnet".

There is also a version according to which pigeons are perfectly oriented on the roads. So, in ancient Rome there was a way from Italy to Gaul, all feathered representatives of pigeon mail adhered to it.

Do you want to learn more interesting facts about birds? Follow the project "Let's save the Red Book birds of Russia together!" and subscribe to the newsletter.

The project is being implemented with the support of the Presidential Grants Fund.


Read more

March 4, 2023

Development of ecological tourism

"Awareness of foreigners about specially protected natural territories (protected areas) Russia exceeds the knowledge of Russians about these places, the development of ecological tourism and educational work should correct the situation," said Irina Makanova, director of the Department of State Policy and Regulation in the field of development of specially Protected Natural Territories of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation.

The project of our Foundation "Donbass Extraordinary", which received the support of the Presidential Grants Fund, is aimed at solving exactly this problem, which was stated by Irina Makanova.

Popularizing the historical, cultural and natural heritage of the Russian Federation among the population is simply necessary. We must preserve and multiply for the future what we have inherited. After all, as the famous quote says: “We did not inherit the Land from our ancestors. We borrowed it from our children”.

Support the Foundation, publicity is the best way to save animals