A Bird's Wonderful Flight

Boston Herald

Carrier pigeons have been in use for ages for the purpose of taking messages from distant places to their homes. Long before the invention of the railway and the telegraph, pigeons were the swift message-bearers of mankind, and to-day even they prove of great service in carrying news from besieged cities, or from parts of the world where the telegraph and the railways are not.

Among the remarkable exhibitions of the speed and endurance of homing or carrier pigeons was a journey made not long ago by a bird named Wilkins, owned by Mr. Lautz of Buffalo. The pigeon was taken to Lawrenceburg, Tenn., a distance of seven hundred miles, and liberated. The bird first flew straight up, then circled a few times, and finally started flying rapidly in the direction of Buffalo. A southwest wind was blowing at the rate of about thirty miles an hour, and a thunder storm was approaching. Likely enough the approaching storm frightened the pigeon, and caused it to try to reach home ahead of the deluge, and likely enough the wind helped it greatly. But the bird flew faster than the wind, and reached its home loft in thirteen hours, twelve minutes, and forty-one seconds from the time of its liberation. Consequently, the homing bird flew but a little less than a mile a minute, or at the rate of 1,567 yards a minute—a record hardly equalled by the fastest express trains. After this wonderful flight of seven hundred miles the bird seemed only a little tired, and the next day it was as lively as ever.—Boston Herald.

The Lectures
March 15, 1900

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