Pigeon-Talk banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,553 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!

I was approached by the Agriculture department of the university I attend and they were wondering if they could use some of my racing pigeons to collect research data. Basically a gps tracker and an air quality device of some sort. The entire weight of everything is around 2 ounces, maybe 2.2 ounces but around 2.

Can racing pigeons carry 2 ounces of weight easily? What is the most they can carry? I've seen pictures of the pigeons used in the wars and some of them have these huge camera's attached to them. So I'm just wondering. Any input will be helpful!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,726 Posts
Don't know the answer but 2 oz seams like a lot. I have heard people joke about useing pigeons to fly drugs in from mexico.

Only way to find out is give it a try you might get a gps tracked for you troubles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,553 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
2 ounces may seem like a lot, but what needs to be taken into place is:

A) The birds will be released in the morning. The air is more dense at this time making it easier to fly in.

B) Releasing in the morning is better temperature (cooler) than releasing in the afternoon sun. So the birds won't be overly exhausted

C) The birds will only be required to fly home from 50 kilometers (31 miles). So it isn't a long distance.

D) The birds being released will be fully trained at the time they need to carry the extra weight. They'll be raced to around 300 miles. Then I'll probably do a few training tosses from 30-40 miles with just the little backpack. Doing this will make them a bit comfortable when they need to carry the extra weight. I don't want them to feel uncomfortable or scared of the backpack.


The data is required to test the air quality during the summer months here in Vancouver. There is a lot of smog/air pollution most of the times. I just want to help the agriculture department out with their project/experiment but I don't want to risk the health of my birds doing so.

I believe 2 ounces should not be a problem. A bird eats about 1.5-2 ounces of feed a day. So if they can eat that much, I think they could carry that much weight too? :confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
You will enjoy this video of Abraham the pigeon carrying 34 grams: http://youtu.be/i1VD53MHqUw

Some thoughts:

Some BOP can easily lift half their weight for short distances. An old (muscular) pigeon should have no problems lifting about 2/14 oz= 14% of their body mass.

However, keep in mind they are perfectly designed aerodynamic creatures. Any weight will effect flight characteristics and the increased drag from the attached object will slow the pigeon. Birds of prey (BOP) would find them easier targets.

Sounds interesting though, let us know how it goes.

Hello everyone!

I was approached by the Agriculture department of the university I attend and they were wondering if they could use some of my racing pigeons to collect research data. Basically a gps tracker and an air quality device of some sort. The entire weight of everything is around 2 ounces, maybe 2.2 ounces but around 2.

Can racing pigeons carry 2 ounces of weight easily? What is the most they can carry? I've seen pictures of the pigeons used in the wars and some of them have these huge camera's attached to them. So I'm just wondering. Any input will be helpful!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,553 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The weight will be carried in a specially designed backpack that fits comfortably around the wings. It will help to balance the additional weight in a manner that is the most comfortable for the birds. The backpack will be made of light weight, but durable material and won't be more than a few grams.

I will also be using the biggest and strongest birds for this experiment. Moreover, they'll be released when they don't have a headwind. Ideal conditions may include a nice tail wind.

Altogether, I don't think 2 ounces and the weight of the lightweight backpack will be too much for them to handle. It won't be a long distance anyway. Kind of like a training toss (About 25 miles).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,553 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah that was what I was thinking!

I'll probably just put on the backpack and leave the birds in the training basket for an hour a couple of times. Then release them with just the backpack a few times - from 5 miles, 15 miles, and then 25 miles. Then release them with half of the weight a few times.

Maybe it'll help them build up muscle too? Like weight training for pigeons haha
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top