A pigeon trained to return
home from a distance. Homing pigeons are used for sending back
messages or for flying races. By carrying the birds away and releasing
them at gradually increasing distances from home, they may be trained
to return with more or less certainty and promptness from distances up
to four or five hundred miles. If the distance is increased much
beyond this, the birds are unable to cover it without stopping for a
prolonged rest, and their return becomes doubtful. Homing pigeons are
not bred for fancy points or special colors, but for strength, speed,
endurance, and intelligence or homing instinct.
© Webster 1913.