any of a variety of pigeon trained to carry messages and to return to its home after traveling long distances
A pigeon trained to return to its home roost.
(plural homing pigeons)
- The term carrier pigeon is often used, especially in newspaper and magazine articles, for a homing pigeon or racing pigeon that carries messages. Many pigeon fanciers (particularly homer men and homer women) consider this to be a misnomer because the term is outdated and originally referred to the ancestors of present-day Old English carriers. These "carrier pigeons" were formerly used to carry messages before the modern homing pigeon was developed in the 1800s (initially in Belgium and Britain), but is today strictly an exhibition pigeon or show pigeon that has mostly lost its strong homing instinct. The "carrier pigeon" was also one of the breeds used to develop the modern homing pigeon and therefore does have some "carrier blood" in it.
terms etymologically related to homing pigeon
- pigeon fancier
- pigeon fancy
- pigeon loft
- pigeon post
- pigeon race