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homing pigeon

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n homing pigeon pigeon trained to return home
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In New Jersey it is illegal to delay or detain a homing pigeon.
    • 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.
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Usage

In literature:

We have only to think of the achievements of homing pigeons to know that this cannot be true.
"The Outline of Science, Vol. 1 (of 4)" by J. Arthur Thomson
Now I didn't like pawin' through the pigeon-holes or drawers; but when I happens to glance at the waste basket I feels more at home.
"Torchy" by Sewell Ford
The little pigeon hawk followed him closely, and was rejoiced and happy to think he had brought home something at last.
"The Myth of Hiawatha, and Other Oral Legends, Mythologic and Allegoric, of the North American Indians" by Henry R. Schoolcraft
Dawson would fly to a dropped handkerchief as a pigeon flies home; but he's very shy and doesn't think much of himself.
"We Three" by Gouverneur Morris
There was a kind of wild pigeon that built its home in a hole in the rock.
"An American Robinson Crusoe" by Samuel. B. Allison
Like an exiled cat or a carrier-pigeon, he was making a straight line for home, but did not know it.
""Where Angels Fear to Tread" and Other Stories of the Sea" by Morgan Robertson
Bees, like pigeons, go back to their homes.
"Special Messenger" by Robert W. Chambers
There is a wonderful type of woman, however, who goes as straight to the man she loves as a homing pigeon to its loft.
"'Oh, Well, You Know How Women Are!' AND 'Isn't That Just Like a Man!'" by Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb
His pigeons, he had his pigeons left; yes, and his home; but what was that compared with loving hearts?
"The Bill-Toppers" by Andre Castaigne
I want you to secure some of their eggs for me, and let my pigeons hatch them at home.
"The Humbugs of the World" by P. T. Barnum
With day, like homing pigeons, they had returned to the camp.
"The Pools of Silence" by H. de Vere Stacpoole
I ran home, carrying my pigeon in triumph.
"The True Story Book"
We made a division of our pigeons, and Davy and I started for home.
"Ben Comee" by M. J. (Michael Joseph) Canavan
When taken from their home a great distance, pigeons will fly straight back.
"Friends in Feathers and Fur, and Other Neighbors" by James Johonnot
Homing pigeons, Mr. Headland.
"Cleek, the Master Detective" by Thomas W. Hanshew
The homing instinct of the pigeon has also been ascribed to the same faculty.
"The Beauties of Nature" by Sir John Lubbock
Those on board the "Homing Pigeon" now adopted different tactics, and an inverted British ensign replaced the banner of the Dons.
"His Lordship's Leopard" by David Dwight Wells
Of course there were pigeons in that cage, homing pigeons at that, like the one Tom had shot!
"Air Service Boys Over The Enemy's Lines" by Charles Amory Beach
The carrier-pigeon always takes a few wide circles before he sets out on his unerring flight home.
"The Rubicon" by E. F. Benson
They have a great power of "homing" like pigeons, however far (for them) is their journey after favourite food.
"Our British Snails" by John William Horsley
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In poetry:

A humble home, where pigeons coo,
Whose path leads under breezy lines
Of frosty-berried cedars to
A gate, one mass of trumpet-vines,
Is all I ask for me and you.
"Content" by Madison Julius Cawein
At home the wife is waiting me
With smiles and pigeon-pie;
And little Zi-Zi claps her hands
With laughter loud and high;
And if there's cause to growl, I fail
To see the reason why.
"The Legless Man" by Robert W Service

In news:

Fears that Chinese mafia bumping off Belgian homing pigeons.
The world of Belgian homing pigeons is in a flap over fears that Chinese criminal gangs are bumping off their prized racers, after a gruesome discovery in the northern town of Antwerp.
Regarding "Council members allow racing pigeons to fly home," Daily Camera, Sept 30.
The pigeon 's skeleton was initially found in 1982 by David Martin, a retired probation officer, when he was cleaning out a chimney at his home in Bletchingley as part of a renovation.
The pigeon 's skeleton was initially found by David Martin, a now-retired probation officer at his home in Bletchingley, when he was cleaning out a chimney as part of a renovation.
It also goes on to say that police can search property with owner consent if the feral pigeons have become a nuisance near the homes.
Police said someone left a dead pigeon and a note at the home of Charleston Mayor Danny Jones.
Photos taken a few weeks ago showed hundreds of pigeons gathering at one home, a home whose resident, KOAT has learned, feeds the birds every morning.
The British Military would drop homing pigeons behind enemy lines so fighters could attach messages to their legs to send back to the UK, according to a release from Bletchley Park.
The story begins 70 years ago when not one, but two, carrier pigeons were released to fly to the top secret homing pigeon operation at Bletchley Park — then Great Britain's code breaking center — to deliver an as yet undeciphered message.
The Johnson County Sheriff says their car, checks, and cell phones are still at their home on Pigeon Creek Road in Oil Springs.
The moratorium would exclude the keeping of homing pigeons, which are kept in cages at all times.
PETA protests pigeon racing at Tyson's US home.
70, of White Pigeon, died Friday, Oct 26, 2012, at his home of natural causes.
In 10 years of delivering mail, Lisa Taylor has delivered an array of mail including homing pigeons, colored chicks and a wedding ring to a bride an hour before the ceremony.
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