Be proud of homing pigeons


Published: Sunday, January 11, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 11, 2004 at 12:14 a.m.

Only once in the Sun's article, "Birds bring business," of Jan. 4, is it mentioned that the birds used by the Florida Dove Company for release at weddings, memorials and special occasions are "basically homing pigeons." Your article then returns to referring to the birds as doves.

We understand that referring to the birds as doves has a wider marketing appeal in the yellow pages and that some readers may associate pigeons with nuisances on city buildings and under bridge overpasses. However, these birds are not basically homing pigeons; they are homing pigeons. We do not believe rightfully naming the birds would have made your article less interesting.

Throughout time, homing pigeons have made many honorable contributions. Pigeons have served alongside soldiers in both World Wars and the current war in Iraq, even being credited with saving lives of soldiers. Homing pigeons have served as a method for communicating with others by carrying messages great distances. The intelligence of pigeons, along with their homing instinct, has led to valuable research on magnetic fields of the Earth, color-distinction and predicting weather disturbances.

Racing homing pigeons is an under-recognized sport with loyal members, decades of tradition and prizes for top speed birds. Showing not only homing pigeons, but the hundreds of fancy pigeon breeds (pouters, fantails, rollers, etc.) has provided direction to many youth through 4H Clubs, state and county fairs throughout the nation.

In no way do we question the beauty of doves, but it is homing pigeons being released at your special event. Be proud to have them there, as they represent honor, service to our country, a strong desire to return home and serve as a reminder to communicate with the ones we love.

Alena Trella, John Trella Jr., John Trella Sr.,

Gainesville

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