Hero Pigeons and their Rescue Missions

Hero Pigeons and their Rescue Missions

(Columbidae – Please see also Doves)

Pigeon InformationPigeon Intelligence and Amazing FactsSpecies / BreedsBreed Photo Gallery

A team of navy researchers trained pigeons to save human lives at sea as part of “Project Sea Hunt.”

Pigeons have better eyesight than humans and are, therefore, uniquely qualified for search-and-rescue missions. They were trained to identify the red or yellow life jackets of people floating in the water.

The pigeons were carried by helicopters and when they saw a life jacket, they pecked a keyboard, which set off a light. Then the helicopter moved closer until the humans were able to see the life jacket.

The pigeons were not only found to be more reliable than humans but they were also many times quicker than humans when it came to spotting survivors from a capsized or sinking boat. The pigeon can see color in the same way that humans do but they can also see ultra-violet – a part of the spectrum that humans cannot see.


War Pigeons


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Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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