HOWTO wrap a pigeon for aircraft drop

If you need to wrap a pigeon for aircraft-drop, this will help. From the surprisingly useful Pigeon Service Manual, Air Ministry, 1919 (featuring "Some meritorious performaces," "Writing the message," and more).

Could prove useful


  1. For some unfathomable reason, I thought the box the pigeon was being put into was a microwave machine. And I kept thinking to myself “Nooo pigeon nooo.”

    1. “We didn’t receive any messages, and Captain Blackadder definitely did not shoot the delicious plump breasted pigeon!”

  2. I’d like to see the raven manual from the GAME OF THRONES-verse, because I can’t fathom how their ravens-as-postal-system setup would work….

    1. Reasonably sure its roughly explained at some point in the books. Basically the same way carrier pigeons are used. Each bird is trained to fly back and forth between two points carrying small written messages. So you’d have one or more bird for each place you needed to communicate with. Messages could also be passed in a relay fashion. I send a bird to you, you send a bird to the next guy and so forth. 

      1. I remember it being said (I think in a Bran chapter in the last book) that the ravens are more intelligent (maybe slightly magical?) and you tell them where to go. 

        1. Wasn’t that a discussion of how things were in the past though? Like white ravens could carry on a conversation, and black ravens could repeat a spoken message. Both could be sent to any given location. But then magic went AWOL and now all the birds are dumb. I know in numerous parts of the books there’s references to ravens being tied to specific destinations. Like so and so brought two cages with him, one for the Kings Landing ravens and one for the where ever else ravens. But its been a bit since I read any of them so…

      2.  Except that’s not the way carrier pigeons work.   Which is why they’re being parachuted in, in the above instance.
            I realize the answer is basically “they’re magic ravens!”  

        1. Basically similar though. If I’m remembering right carrier pigeons only really know how to return to a single set location. So pigeons are a one way dealy, where as ravens would be 2 way. But your still talking about simple point A to point B message runs, with messages being relayed along to a broader area.

      3. At least on earth ravens are not homing birds, so would be utterly useless as message carriers.

        Of course obviously game of thrones is not on earth. But then how come they’re ravens? So they must be related to earths ravens. But if they’re related they probably have pretty much the same behavior.

        So its essentially just a story device because pigeons aren’t “cool” enough and whatnot.

  3. /would pay to see a cluster bombing. Oh shoot, now I have an image of that “turkey drop” episode of ‘WKRP in Cincinnati’. 

  4. I thought the whole point of pigeon mail was that you should let them fly with your messages — instead of putting themselves in the regular mail.

    1. If I’m not mistaken, they can only fly one way (hence “homing pigeon”) and alternative means must be used to get them out in the first place.

  5. Wait… So it’s in a box, and then you throw the box out of an airplane. And then what?  Are there parachutes involved at some point in this process or something?  It seems an overly-complex approach to just assassinating a pigeon.

    1.  I do have to think of, those times when the ground crew couldn’t recover the parachuted box —- that poor pigeon!

      Or did The Hun ever recover the box, and then attempt to send false messages or taunts (“IM IN UR BASE STEALING UR PIGEONS”).

    1. Carrier pigeons aren’t extinct, in fact they’re a domesticated animal. Passenger pigeons are extinct.

  6. Simpler, more innocent times.  Drone strikes and bunker busters were many years away, and all you had to worry about in wartime was an errant boxed pigeon falling on your head, or a little mustard gas wafting your way.

  7. Every time I see this graphic I can’t help wondering how many pigeons’ tailfeathers were snapped off trying to execute step 4. 

Comments are closed.