Printer Friendly

Call goes out to protect hero pigeons.

Viewed by many as nothing more than a pest, the humble pigeon has a glorious tradition of serving mankind.

During the First and Second World Wars forces on both sides used homing pigeons to pinpoint enemy positions and carry messages.

In the Second World War bomber crews even carried the birds aboard their aircraft and pigeons featured in all the major theatres of the conflict, including Burma and Egypt.

They were also used in the D-Day landings.

With 32 Dickin Medals ( awarded by animal charity the PDSA and dubbed "the animals' VC" ( the pigeon is believed to be the most decorated of any animal. Tom Dawson, president of the North of England Homing Union, says: "A lot of people owe their lives to pigeons.

"We shouldn't forget the service that pigeons have given in times of need."

NEHU secretary Dave Power has been invited to this year's Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph and will take part in the procession which marches past the Queen ( herself a keen pigeon fancier.

Pigeons were a protected species at the end of the Second World War and the NEHU believes this should be reinstated. Many homing pigeons are killed each year by predators such as peregrine falcons and sparrowhawks ( birds which do enjoy protected status. Tom says: "Our pigeons could be worth a lot of money, but the sparrowhawk comes along and says `thanks for breakfast'.

"Insurance companies won't insure pigeons either.

"There was a bird in Scotland called Lodge Express which was killed by a sparrowhawk. It was worth pounds 10,000, but there was nothing the owner could do."

Dave adds: "If a pigeon fancier killed a hawk we would not support him in any way whatever. I'm a bird lover.

"We have to work together with the authorities and have got to have independent people looking at it.

"Our racing pigeons are like pedigree dogs."
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 4, 2004
Previous Article:It's a flight of fancy for rich and royalty.
Next Article:Millionaire fancier plays chauffeur.

Related Articles
Play your part in a glory night.
Homing in on cash.
pounds 18,000 'nests' to curb pigeons; COUNCIL OFFERS SOLUTION TO TOWN CENTRE PROBLEM.
D-DAY REMEMBERED: Pigeon carried the first news; D-DAY JUNE 6, 1944.
JEDI STAR FLIES HIGH: MAY THE FORCE BE WITH DOO; Ewan plays bird in pounds 27M film.
Pigeon power.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters