Great Birdbrains in History

During World War I, homing pigeons played a vital role in communications due to their innate ability to find their way home. However, one wayward bird, nicknamed “Wrong-Way Coogan,” proved his worth by constantly getting lost. After discovering his singular skill, British commanders gave him a message with fake invasion details, and when released the bird immediately flew into enemy territory and was captured. The ruse worked, and although the pigeon never returned, he is honored with a simple statue, appropriately facing the wrong way.

(Hyup, I’m going to be where the birds are, I am I am!)

.H norahS yb dettimbuS

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9 thoughts on “Great Birdbrains in History

  1. Arne September 18, 2017 / 10:00 am

    .tnaillirb yletulosba s’tahT

    • Meleo1 September 18, 2017 / 11:09 am

      .ti evoL

  2. Smartypants September 18, 2017 / 11:12 am

    Love the homage to “Wrong Way Corrigan”!

    • Gigi the cat lady September 18, 2017 / 11:20 am

      Bravo! I doubt many people would catch that.

      • Smartypants September 18, 2017 / 2:19 pm

        Thank you!

        I just realized that the “Wrong Way Roger” character in the Richard Scarry children’s books is based on him too. Never thought of it when I was little.

  3. N. Fritz September 18, 2017 / 11:41 am

    Reminds me of the scene in “The King of Hearts” where Alan Bates’ character sends a homing pigeon back to headquarters. But he forgets the most important part of the message and has to send a second pigeon. One of the pigeons gets shot down by the Germans, but the message is basically nonsense leading the Germans on a wild goose chase.

    …Or something like that!

  4. allein 🐾 September 18, 2017 / 12:01 pm

    At least he’s pretty!

  5. EdmundH September 18, 2017 / 12:33 pm

    That reminds me of a scene in “The Longest Day” when a couple of reporters on the beaches of Normandy during D-Day were trying to file a report by using carrier pigeons and the pigeons flew towards the German side instead of England, with the British reporter exclaiming “Damn traitors!”

  6. Kar September 18, 2017 / 4:35 pm

    I had no idea that there actually were awards for military pigeons, or that so many had received them.

    Ddn’t one actually WALK to Hq with his message tied to his leg?

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