The ‘homing pigeon’ is one of nature’s phenomenon’s that humans have been able to harness. The pigeons ability to return to its original nesting place after thousands of miles has long been the source of study as well as the source of useful endeavor. It is essentially a pigeon that can find its way home while a ‘carrier pigeon‘ is a homing pigeon that delivers lightweight messages and packages from one destination to another.
It is one of the most unique yet old school birds for aviary enthusiasts. While there are numerous well founded theories that explain why the homing pigeon is able to find its way home from so far away, there are still some mysteries to the process that only nature can answer. Those mysteries are exactly what make these unique and special birds so popular among the pigeon community.
A pigeon homing to its full capacity means that it is well trained and has had a good amount of time and effort put into its training. There are various methods of perfecting a pigeon’s natural homing methods, and there are various schools of thought on the process. Some trainers feel that keeping a pigeon separated from its young until it proves it homing ability and using its natural maternal instinct as a reward is highly effective.
Other schools of thought state that there are many methods of proving that homing pigeons can be raised and trained without any type of physical or psychological cruelty toward the bird. There are pigeon trainers who have turned toward relational training. While this is still in its inception phase, trainers who have had success with their pigeons using relational methods are claiming a higher return rate than those recorded using other methods. Over time, there will be more evidence to either support or deter this line of thought.
Relational training for a homing pigeon is more time consuming. The theory was borrowed from the basics of dog training. When any animal feels that it is well cared for, and the trainer is able to establish a true relationship with the animal in question, the results are given more freely and thus are given with more consistency.
Fine tuning a homing pigeon’s sense of directional stability is first done within the 40 mile mark, often as a baby pigeon. As distances increase and the bird is able to find its way home from about 40 miles, it is believed that he or she will find the way home from just about any mileage. Training a baby homing pigeon is easier than training a full grown adult. Starting training too early is counter productive, as these little guys need a good 8 to 10 weeks to develop their senses. As early as just a few weeks, however, they can be introduced to the idea of the trap door for return flights.
The homing pigeon has been a serviceable and beautiful animal that has won heroic awards in wars as well as honorable awards in the hearts of humans. Serious pigeon enthusiasts have found that this pigeon is a fantastic bird that will long increase in popularity regardless of advancements in technology and entertainment. There are many ways that a pigeon can learn how to do what comes naturally. The true enthusiast knows that the homing pigeons hold one of those powerful life secrets that we all find intriguing.