This carrier pigeon (I assume it’s one! looking at the rings on its feet) landed on my hotel balcony. I suppose it’s taking a little break from its travel back to its home. The homingpigeon.com website features a solar wind meter (indicating the strength of disruptions caused in the earth magnetic field by flare-ups on the surface of the sun) .. but there is evidence that the birds actually use freeways and man-made structures to navigate with.
In September 2009, a South African IT company based in Durban pitted an 11-month-old bird ‘Winston’ armed with a 4GB memory stick against the ADSL service from the country’s biggest internet service provider, Telkom. The pigeon took 1 hr 8 mins to carry the data 80 km (50 miles). That turned out to be vastly quicker than the ADSL connection could deliver the data ! (I believe the ADSL connection speed will beat the pigeon today).