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War pigeon
War pigeons are homing pigeons used in military service. They have long played an important role in war, often being used as military messengers. Before the advent of radio, carrier pigeons were used on the battlefield as a means for mobile forces to communicate with stationary headquarters. A metal canister containing the message was attached to the bird's leg. This photograph, in the Swiss Federal Archives, shows Swiss Armed Forces personnel preparing a pigeon for a mission during World War I. The Swiss army made extensive use of carrier pigeons, finally disbanding its pigeon section in 1996.Photograph credit: unknown; restored by Adam Cuerden

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