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Carrier pigeon

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A carrier pigeon is a pigeon (specifically a domesticated Rock Dove, Columba livia) trained to carry messages from a release point back to their home loft. To send a message from A to B, one first transports a carrier pigeon whose home loft is at B to the location A, attaches a message to their leg, and releases it; it will then return to B.

Carrier pigeons were used as early as 1150 in Baghdad and later also by Genghis Khan. They were used extensively during World War I. One carrier pigeon Cher Ami was awarded the French Croix de Guerre[?] for his heroic service delivering 12 important messages, once after being shot. Carrier pigeons were still employed in the 21st century by certain remote police departments in eastern Orissa state of India to provide emergency communciation services in cases of natural disaster.

The humorous RFC 1149 is an Internet protocol for the transmission of messages via carrier pigeon. This protocol has been used once to transmit a message in Bergen, Norway.

Currently the carrier pigeon is kept as the racing pigeon, also called homing pigeon. This is used in a sport which involves releasing pigeons at a distant location so that they can race back home.

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