Homing pigeons were often used to send messages. In World War II alone, the UK used an estimated 250,000 homing pigeons to discretely get messages out from troops behind enemy lines. The British upped the ante by training a small force of peregrine falcons to patrol the coast of Great Britain and intercept outgoing homing pigeons. The project was successful, at least two enemy pigeons were captured alive.
In this debut film, director Alessandro Croseri delivers a stunningly beautiful ode to combat pigeons and their pigeoneers. The documentary follows Col. Clifford Poutre at age 103 during the final year of his life and examines his innovations in the training of homing pigeons for combat missions during World War II.
In 1907, German apothecary Julius Neubronner invented an aerial photography technique known as pigeon photography. By affixing a lightweight time-delayed miniature camera to an aluminium breast harness, Neubronner attached his design to homing pigeons who would then be able to capture aerial photographs during their flight.