Homing pigeon

Definition of Homing pigeon

any pigeon trained to return home from a distance. Also called carrier pigeon. Most are bred from the domestic pigeon Columba livia. Homing pigeons are used for sending back messages or for flying races. By carrying the birds away and releasing them at gradually increasing distances from home, they may be trained to return with more or less certainty and promptness from distances up to four or five hundred miles. The birds typically do not stop on their way home, and may average as much as 60 miles per hour on their return trip. If the distance is increased much beyond 400 miles, the birds are unable to cover it without stopping for a prolonged rest, and their return becomes doubtful. The record for returnig from a distance is close to 1,200 miles. Homing pigeons are not bred for fancy points or special colors, but for strength, speed, endurance, and intelligence or homing instinct. Although used since ancient times, homing pigeons have been largely displaced for practical purposes by radio and electronic communications, but they are still used in some special situations at the end of the 20th century. They were used in military operations as recently as in World War II.

See also: Homing

Related Words

Aquarius, Ganymede, Hebe, bearer, bheesty, busboy, caddie, cargo handler, carrier, carrier pigeon, carter, common carrier, conveyer, coolie, cupbearer, drayman, express, expressman, freighter, gun bearer, hauler, homer, letter carrier, litter-bearer, mail car, mail coach, mail packet, mail train, mail truck, mailer, mailplane, packet boat, pigeon post, porter, post boat, post car, post coach, post-horse, post-office car, poster, railway mail car, redcap, shield-bearer, skycap, stevedore, stretcher-bearer, the Water Bearer, transporter, truck driver, trucker, wagoner, water boy, water carrier
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Homesteader
homestretch
hometown
Homeward
Homeward bound
homework
homeworker
homey
Homicidal
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Homicide by misadventure
Homiform
Homilete
Homiletic
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Homilist
Homilite
Homily
hominal
Homing
-Homing pigeon-
hominian
Hominidae
hominine
Hominoidea
Hominy
Homish
Hommock
Hommocky
Homo-
Homobasidiomycetes
Homocategoric
Homocentric
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Homocerebrin
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Homodont
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