Homing Pigeon Find Right Address, Wrong Country

Something seems strange about this story. A homing pigeon took off from Malung, Sweden. It was supposed to head for Tangenveien, Norway. Instead it ended up in Tångenvägen, Sweden. It went to the wrong country, but it found a nearly identical street address. Could the bird have been reading street signs? I doubt it, but that's what the media is suggesting. From what I've read, researchers still don't completely understand how homing pigeons navigate, but some believe they follow landmarks on the ground (such as roads). But even if this is the case, I don't think they can read.

Animals

Posted on Mon Aug 22, 2005



Comments

If it's not a hoax, I'll simply chalk it up to synchronicity. Pigeons probably go a-wandering all the time, it's just notable when it happens to this degree. It's not like Sweden and Norway are that far apart; practically walking distance.
Posted by Bobcat  on  Mon Aug 22, 2005  at  10:03 PM
Thanks to Boo, we already know that pigeons are incredibly stupid...and crash into bridges and things. I'm surprised this one even got itself into the air!
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Tue Aug 23, 2005  at  05:22 AM
No bird is that smart, except mine...'nuff said
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Tue Aug 23, 2005  at  12:37 PM
Right, Wrong...let's not squabble...squab ble...forget it
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Tue Aug 23, 2005  at  12:58 PM
you know the reporters of this story are a bit loony when it starts with

"A homing pigeon bound for Norway landed in Sweden instead, but the bird's mistake showed signs of unusual intelligence."

unusual intelligence?? unusual intelligence for a pigeon means it was the one that got out of the way of your car this morning, the ones with usual intelligence are the ones who did not.

Also, I am confused, the story states that the bird ended up at a house with a nearly identical street address but no mention of the street in question. The only similarities i see are the town names Tangenveien, Norway and T
Posted by Chuck  in  Rhode Island  on  Tue Aug 23, 2005  at  01:47 PM
I don't think I want to dignify the question of whether birds can read with a response.

Nonetheless, the story could be true (but not because the pigeon read street signs!). Enough pigeons surely get lost every day that sooner or later one is likely to stumble onto a street with a similar name by sheer random chance, especially if it's a common street name (in Anglophone lands, for example, nearly every town has a street called Main or Elm or Wood).
Posted by Big Gary in Dallas  on  Tue Aug 23, 2005  at  04:16 PM
The same thing happened to me in Minneapolis- St. Paul once. I think it's definitely possible. BTW, pigeon is good eatin'. Vote for Pedro!
Posted by booch  on  Tue Aug 23, 2005  at  05:35 PM
If it was a numbered street (5th, 42nd) it would be even more common.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Wed Aug 24, 2005  at  07:27 AM
Uhm, Chuck, the end veien/v
Posted by Mikkel  on  Thu Aug 25, 2005  at  02:27 AM
The chain of events interests me: firstly, why pick up a pigeon and check where it's supposed to be going to...is this normal behaviour for anyone?

secondly, why report this to the press, and why would the press make an ass out of themselves by printing it as true fact?

I'm thinking somebody is after self-publicity. maybe the owner is a pigeon breeder and wants his pigeons to be thought of as super smart.
Posted by David  on  Mon Aug 29, 2005  at  07:51 AM
Doesn't it make more sense that homing pigeons are used as a delivery service of sorts and that the person filling out the paperwork and the person selecting the pigeon had different ideas about what city to go to?

Homing pigeons, as far as I know, go to one spot all the time. That bird was trained to fly to that address. This suggests to me that whoever intended it to go to a different address selected the wrong bird.
Posted by Dave  on  Tue Aug 30, 2005  at  08:24 PM
If it went off course so far, how did they even find it to know it went to the wrong place? Did they follow it?
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Tue Aug 30, 2005  at  10:57 PM
I seem to remember that, under a NATO exercise, some hundred Italian soldiers made a similar mistake. They were supposed to occupy the airport of Kristiansand in Norway but flew to the airport of Kristianstad in Sweden. Since Sweden isn't a NATO member, it was a bit embarrassing. 😛
Posted by Mikkel  on  Wed Aug 31, 2005  at  07:02 AM
Strange coincidences DO happen. It would be weird if they did not.
Friend of mine wanted to buy a boat, and found one one the Net. He called the seller, and it turned out they both lived on the same floor, the same street, and the same street number. Only on opposite sides of the country.
I don't see the need to attribute this totally useless coincidence to "synchronicity" or any other theory. In fact, I fail to see why it needs to be explained at all.
Posted by eovti  on  Sun Sep 04, 2005  at  12:36 PM
The story is absolutely true. The pigeon mentioned belongs to a neighbour of mine. You can call it a strange coincidence if you like, and it may so be, but so called syncronicities happens far too often in many peoples lives to be mere coincidences. The odds are greatly stacked against it. The psychiatrist Jung wrote a book dedicated to the subject.
Personally, I think it can be explained by the syncronizing factor the occultists call Higher Self, The Buddhists; Universal Mind, Hindus call It Brahman and Jesus called it Father Within. I'd say Oneness is a good word for It. The Conscious Substance of All form and phenomena. Pretty simple to understand right?:)
Posted by Mr. K  on  Sun Apr 09, 2006  at  03:45 PM
I live in Tangenveien, Norway and the people mentioned is my neighbours. The story is true, but i dont have any stupid explination. Only a funny coinsident.

Obvisly this mr. K. is an crazy neighbour of mine, and even more strange, i dont have a clue who mr. K is. I am pretty shure i know most of my neighbours pretty well, its not so many of them here. Im not shure he is for real...

You are free to check my adress online.
Posted by Geir K  on  Sat May 10, 2008  at  02:29 AM
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