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Pigeons' Part in Winning War
Uncannu.lnstinct of Homers Saved Lives of Manu Soldiers Durino Struoole Just Ended HE records of this war nre replete with stories of the courageous work performed by currier pigeons while saving the lives of our soldiers, but no Incident better Illustrates what they have accomplished than their activities in the battle of Bethun court nnd Dead Man’s hill. An en tire French regiment was cut off from * T their coinnides, completely surroundwl for four (hi.vs. jiml with no method of coinniunlcntlnK word i.r’’their plight to the general In command. That fourth night one of the men scooting In No Man’s l.jind stumbled over n dead comrade on whose Ii;i« k wax strapped n basket carrying two little pigeons that during the four-day battle had been safeguarded by the body of their caretaker. Ten derly the scout brought the basket and birds hack to the colonel on the hill. Early the next morning messages were written, affixed to, the hgs of the birds, which, exhausted and dust soiled, but Imbued with Indomitable spirit and pluck, were liberated—wafted Into the air by the prayers and wishes of the regiment, bearing with ihcin the only remaining hope for these thousands of men and the happiness of other thousands In iheir families at home. Shortly afterward both birds fluttered wearily into thqlr loft hack at headquarters; and In n sortie ordered by the gen eral the enemy was driven hack and the regiment saved. £)ne of the officers of that regiment is now In" Washington, and he has promised hlinself that now the war Is over he will have a loft of tbs best birds he can get. and the best care and nt i« tit lon that is possible will he but n slight part of his measure of appreciation nnd gratitude to ilie little feathered messengers to whom he and Ids comrades owe their lives. Those little birds have been used In almost every conceivable way to get word hack to the reserves or to headquarters when all other means of communication failed. farrier pigeons are not only used by the In fantry nnd the navy, hut are used frequently by the air service. At the Dunkirk hydroplane ata . tion they have an enviable record. There has not been a single accident to a plane, nor the loss of a plane in combat, where word of the occurrence was not brought hack by the pigeons which are a part of the equipment of the planes. Instances of the value of the messengers' could he multi plied without uumber, but It Is more interesting to recount how these birds are bred, reared and housed under war conditions. The pigeon’s ability to do all of these wonderful tasks lies in Its faculty of orientation, that is. Its power to know as soon as It Is released In what direction Its home loft Is and to fly directly to It. The perfection to which orientation is developed In the highly bred and trained homer was recently demonstrated at a pigeon fly conducted by' tha pigeon section of the signal corps, when 3,100 homing pigeons were released in Washington for n fly to New York city, 224 miles. To a single bird, these pigeons ran out of their coops and nros* In the air- with the speed of an express train, and after taking a half circle to get their hearing were off for New York. Every one of the pigeons was reported to have arrived prompt ly and the first arrival made the trip In 5 hours and 40- minutes. Burely It did not stop to read many sign posts on the way. Just how the homing pigeon developed this power of orientation Is a moot question, but It Is certain that it has beta cultivated through cen turies until now It Is almost uncanny. What guides the pigeon back to the loft where It first ‘•took to the air”- is a quality called by many names, and you will And that each person knows that he has the answer to the riddle. Some call It Innate love of home; others attribute it to fac ulty, atmospheric conditions, sight, or memory. Personally. I cannot call It anything more or less than instinct, highly developed. We find it In ie»»ei degree in horses, dogs and cats, and In other birds It seems to be developed a little less markedly, but with sufficient accuracy so that they migrate annually thousands of miles without the aid of any other compass than their Instinct. When we remember the potent power of selec tion and think of the years and generations of careful breeding and selection which the homing pigeon has undergone It la not so wonderful that they have developed tha homing instinct to a high degree. I have-seen their cousins, the fan-tailed pigeons, bred to such a degree of fineness that they weighed only a few ounces apiece nnd were so nervous that they could not stand still—they were like the hair-spring of a watch, constantly preening und ducking nnd on the move. In ver.v early* times homing pigeons were In vogue In Egypt, Greece nnd among the Homans. Kadng pigeons has been a royal and national sport In Belgium. France, Italy, Turkey. Egypt nnd Eng land for hundreds of years. It was Introduced Into this country In the seventies and has enjoyed a fair and steady growth until now there are three national homing pigeon associations with a membership of more than 2,000 breeders. Much time Is spent in teaching the pigeon all of the tricks which count when the bird Is actually racing In competition with other pigeons. It is taught to enter the loft Immediately upon Its re turn, for a bird that does not enter so that th«* message It carries can he taken from It Is of very little value ns a messenger. Nothing Is more exasperating to the faucler or racer than to have the pigeon return and cool Its nnutoiu.v und view the scenery for a half hour before entering the loft. It Is nearly sufficient cause to inuke the trainer of pigeons lose his faith In pigeon nature; besides It gives the neighbors n chance to make remarks about the fullgrown men playing with hlrdles. Once the bird Is inside the loft It can not emerge, since each loft Is equipped with n trap through which the bird can enter at any time but cannot go out unless the trap Is set for exit. The ordinary barn variety of pigeon or those bred for the production of squabs for market und the racing homing pigeon should not he con fused. They are as distinct and have as ninny points of difference as have the big draft liorae nnd the high-strung, nervous racing horse. The ordinary pigeon has very little homing ability, whereas the homing pigeon Is kept and bred ex clusively for that faculty. They are also bred for speed, and every muscle which Is used In flight Is developed almost at the expense of the other muscles of Its body. In races the actual speed recorded Is almost' beyond belief. Speeds of 1.8. V) to 1.000 yards per minute, or 90 miles per hour, have been made for short distances, and It is not extraordinary for a bird to cover In excess of .KJO miles In a single day. The record for 1.000 miles Is 1 day, 11 hours, 24 minutes and 11 seconds, and was made by a bird named Bullet, and the longest successful race was 1.689 miles from Denver, Colo., to Springfield, Mass, (time 22 days, B hours. 22 minutes), although Instances nre recorded where birds sent from New York to the Pacific coast as breeders, have, on liberation or escape, returned from California, over the mountains and. plains to their old homes In New York. At various times in this country the army and navy have decided to use use carrier pigeons In their work, but with indl fferent success until the recent war.- The old reports are rather amusing when considered in the light of present-day knowl edge of what can be done with the birds when handled properly. Pigeons were used In the navy more than 20 years ago. hut failed through lack of proper care. At the time of the Mexican bor der trouble pigeons were again tried, but with little success for the same reason und through lack of time for acclimatization. Homing pigeons were first put on a business like basis In the army In March, 1017. in the eastern department. In November of that year the pigeon section of the land division of the sig nal corps was organized, and since then rapid progress has been made in this country -and THB MUC MOUZTZm PILOT. by E.B. Reid hinting the necessity of writing the messages. However, the- pigeon might have something to sn.v about the matter. One of tl«c most, difficult parts of the work of Introducing pigeons into the army service was to lustlll Into the minds of the officers and men the fact that the pigeons are reliable. That they nre reliable Is proved by the experience overseas, where the birds are retained In forward |M»sltlons while any other method, whether telephone, tele graph. induction buzzers, wireless, wigwag or run ner is available, and oply when everything else falls, and only the birds remain, then through barrage, gas, and every other of the diabolical inventions of war, more than 07 per cent of the messages Intrusted to our pigeons are safely and speedily delivered by them to headquarters. These messengers are carried to the front In especially constructed wicker basket** which can he carried lmndlly by the soldier Intrusted with their care. Back of the lines the pigeons nre kept in either of twu-kinds of lofts or home, station ary or movable, but the essential feature of each Is the same. Every effort Is made to make each 1,1 hi comfortable, happy and attached to its home. This Is done most effectively by the method of feeding, ns the approach to the bird’s affection Is through Its stomach, the same ns with genus homo. Each lpft Is equipped with a trap through which the birds nre tuught to enter and leave without fear. Each time the bird enters the trap an alarm Is automatically rung, notifying the attendant of the return of the bird, that the mes sage mny he Immediately obtained and forwarded lo liendquarters. Before the late war if you had told a pigeon fancier that you could move his pigeon loft us far ns 50 miles and that the pigeons would return to It swiftly and accurately he would probably have laughed at you nnd said something about your being u novice In the pigeon racing and breeding game. The movable loft Is one of the ndvamres in pigeon lore that the war has brought out. Tills Is a very Important development, us It Is highly desirable that the lofts always he near to military headquarters and available for Instant removal with headquarters as conditions may re quire. These movable lofts nre very well con structed nnd are Interesting homes for these Itin erant messengers. They ure outfitted with nesting boxes, traps, storage space for fee*!, water, "and accommodations for one or two at tendants who are constantly on duty. In fact, they remind one of thb circus wagons that travel with the smaller circuses about the country. Another Innovation developed was the “owl ex press.’’ There were pigeons at the front that developed the faculty for seeing at night nnd these were called veritable human night owls. In fact, they caqie home much more steadily and accurately than some of their civilian brethren, who were went to be habitual riders of the “ov.! express.*’ The sport of racing and breeding pigeons. Is due to receive an Impetus as a civilian sport now that ilie war Is ended, nnd the progress made under war conditions should not tie allowed to lapse. Thousands of soldfers will have become familiar with the birds and will have a warm regard for them. There will be many who will share the feeling of the officer who was mentioned In tnc first part of this article as having been saved by the pigeons In the battle of Bethuncourt and Dead Man's hill. nbrond. Hundreds of lofts have been built and equipped In this country, nufl In the early days many pigeons were ship |a*d overseas. Men have been selected and trained In the science of pigeon breeding, rearing and fly ing. Many of these have already found . service overseas in the care of lofts and the birds of our armies. It has been nec essary to train a large number of people In this work, as It was practi cally new to each person who took It up. The training of officers und men In the use and cure «>f the birds ut the front and in the. forwarding of messages all took time. Unfortunately the pig eons could only fly **utl could not talk, necessitat ing the writing of the messages/ Some wag has promised to Improve the pigeon by crossing It with a parrot, thus elira- WESTERN MINING AND OIL NEWS Western Netvnpaper Union Now* Sirvic*. Denver Metal Prices. Bar sliver, $1.01*4. , Copper, per lb., 25%c. Lead,'s6.oo. Spelter, s7*so. Tungsten concentrates, unit, $17.00© 22.00. Arizona. In spite of high cost of materials and labor and of various other retard ing influences, new equipment with value of more than ten million dol lars was brought into mining service in Arizona last year. The largest sin gle Item in the total represents the new United Verde Extension in the Verde district. New Cornelia Copper Company, which in a year and a half has leaped to the front ranks of the American producers, made its copper last year for Inside* 13 cents per pound, exclu sive of depreciation, taxes and deple tion. The company stands to earn net operating profits of $5,450,590, or more than $S per share on 1,800,000 shares. Colorado. Deeper tunnel development will fea ture the mining activity of the Snef fela-Telluride quadrangle during the coming year. Cripple Creek dividends paid during December amounted to $167,000. as follows: Creason Consolidated, $122,- 000; Golden Cycle, $46,000. The New York assay office is now selling platinum at $lO5 an ounce, the same price at which it was buying the metal until the cessation of hostilities. The total production of the Cripple Creek district for the year was 1,087,- 029 tons, valued at $10,509,705 —a con siderable falling off from the 1917 yield. One of the most Important and rich est gold discoveries of the past year has been made on the Longfellow group of the Stratton Cripple Creek Mining and Development Company, on the southeastern slope of Bull hill. An increase of $131,057 over the previous month was the December record of the mines of the Cripple Creek district. The output was $826,- 021.20, the bullion value of 87,160 tons of ore—an increase of 18,684 tons over the November production. From Falrplay, Park county, comes a report that the Fanny Barrett, which is located on Mt. Loveland and an old silver producer of the early days, aft er being idle for the last twenty years, is again on the list of the working mines of that section. Exhaustive examinations made by government and state geologists and by well known and reputable mining engineers have disclosed vast areas of workable beds which will yield fif ty gallons of crude oil and thirty pounds of sulphate of ammonia per ton of shale treated. In some of the beds examined by the author In the De Beque and' Grand Valley fields In Garfield county, distant about 400 miles from Denver, there are three workable strata which will yield at least one barrel, or forty-two gallons of crude oil per ton. The best meas ures lie from 800 to 1,500 feet above the valley floors, according to the depth of the valley erosion. Montana. Since the first of the new year near ly the full capacity of the elctrolytic zinc plans of the Anaconda Copper Company has been attained. This per mits a production of 12,000,000 pounds of high-grade spelter monthly, or an annual yield of 144,000,000 pounds. New Mexico. Money, generally speaking. Is seed ing investment, and already signs are manifest of a mining revival in this section with the coming of spring. Another active company In the Han over district is the probable outcome of the purchase of an Important group of mine claims by the Black Hawk Mining and Milling Company. Grant county kept up Its patriotic pace in the production 6f copper all through the war period, and now that the great conflict is over there will be no abatement of production until the demand shows signs of falling off. Activity In the -oil district about Lakewood is on the increase. The Illi nois Producing Company is down 1,100 feet and has found. It is said, the came oil sand aa was found at Dayton. They are pumping ten barrels of oil daily. There la also a speeding up of leasing in the Van Horn country across Crow Flats to the Guadalupe Peaks. An expert by the name of Horne from Wichita Falls, Tex., has been in the Pecos Valley the past week considering taking over the man agement and development of leases In the Dayton country. Wyoming. Gypsy Oil Company will enter the Warren oil field. - Lance Creek oils teat higher than oil at Salt Creek. The Bessemer company got a gusher In the Salt Creek field. A large manganese mill will be erected In Albany county. The Ohio Oil Company has opened a new oil Held In Hot Springs county Permanency of Big Muddy oil field attested by first wells flowing at nor mal rate. LATE MARKET QUOTATIONS Western Newspaper Union News Service. DENVER MARKET. Tattle. Fat steers, grassers, choice to i#Hme 113.00® 14.10 Fat steers, grussers, good to choice 11.50® 12.50 Fat steers, grassera, fair to good 10.00® 11.50 (Heifers, prime 8.75® 0.50 Cows, fat. good to choice.. Mo® 0.25 Cows, fair to good 7.25® 8.55 Cows, medium to fair 6.50® 7.25 Cows, 6.00® 6.25 Bulls 6.00® 7.00 Veal calves B.oo® 12.00 Feeders, good to choice... 10.50® 12.00 Feeders, fair to good 9.60010.50 Stockers, good to choice... 9.00 010.00 Stockers, fair to good B.oo® 8.76 Stockers, medium to fair.. 7.25® 8.00 0004 hOK. "*T"' $17.00*17.60 Sheep. _ Lambs, fat $1 4.750 16.2.• Lambs, feeders, good 14.60016.00 Lambs, feeders, fair 13.50014.50 Ewes, feeders 6.00® 7.50 Yearlings 10.000H.00 Wethers 0.00®10.00 Hay rat Urals Market. (F. O. B. Denver. Carload Price.) Hex- Buying Prices. Colorado, upland, per ton. .$22.00023.00 Nebraska upland, per ton.. 20.00021.00 Prairie hay. Colorado and Nebraska, per ton 20.000 21.00 Timothy, per ton 22.00024.00 Alfalfa, per ton 19.00020.00 South Park, per ton 22.00® 22.00 Gunnison Valley, per ton.. 21.00022.00 Straw, per ton 6.00® 6.00 Greta. Oata. Nebraska. 100 lbs., buying.. .$2.45 Corn chop, sack, selling 2.10 Corn. In sack, selling 2.06 White corn meal, per 100 lbs 4.00 Yellow-corn meal, per 100 lbs 4.00 Gluten feed, sacked, selling 2.24 Bran, Colo., per 100 lbs., selling... 1.72 Fleer. Hungarian Patent. 98 lbs., sacked. subject to discount $5.14 Hungarian. 48 lbs., sacked, subject to discount 2.57 Hungarian, 24 lbs., sacked, subject to discount 1-22 DRESSED POULTRY. . The following prices on dressed poul try are net F. O. B. Denver: Turkeys. No. Is 14 Turkeys, old toms 25 028 Turkeys, choice 18 020 Hens, lb 20 ktli Ducks, young 24 026 Geese 24 026 Boosters 12 014 LIVE POULTRY. Roosters, lb 10 Turkeys. 9 lbs. or over 29 030 Hens 16 019 Ducks, young 25 026 Geese 25 026 Springs 20 025 Broilers, 1H to 2 lbs 22 RABBITS. Jacks, dosen $2.000 2.50 Cottontails 2.2502.35 EGGS. Eggs, strictly fresh, case count 116.75017.00 Better. Creameries, ex. Ist grade, lb. •• Creameries. Ist grade, stor age 56 057 Creameries. 2d grade (cold storage), lb 52 063 Packing stock 40 041 Pralt. Apples, Colorado, box $1.500 3.60 Pears, cooking 2.25 02.76 Vegeta hire. Beans, navy, cwt 12.00 Beans, Pinto, cwt 7.000 7.60 Beans, Lima, lb .10 Beans, green, lb 25® .20 Beans, wax, lb 25 0 .20 Beets, new, cwt 2.000 2.50 Cabbage; new, Colo 2.000 2.50 Carrots, cwt 1.750 2.00 Cauliflower, lb 150 .17 Celery, homegrown, dot. .60® .75 Cucumbers, hothouse, dm. 1.500 2.50 Lettuce, head. Colo., dux. .600 .75 Onlone, table, dos 60® .65 Onions, cwt 2.00® 2.25 Potatoes, new. cwt 1.400 2.00 Radishes, long, hothouse .30 0 .25 Radishes, round, hoth'se. .25® .25 Spinach, lb 08® .99 Turnips, cwt. 1.50® 1.75 HIDE* AND KELTS. Dry Filet Hide*. Butcher, 16 lbs. and up 290 Butcher, under 16 lbs 29c Fallen, all weights 27c Bulls and stags 17c Culls 15c Dry salted hides. 6c per lb. less. Dry Filet Pelts. Wool pelts 20c Short wool pelts 25c Butcher shearings 18c No. 2 and murrain shearings 10c Bucks, saddles nnd pieces of pelts.. 15c Cireee Salted Hldea, Etc. Cured hides, 25 lbs. and up. No. 1..1<c Cured hides. 25 lbs. and up. No. 2..16c Bulls. No. 111 c Hulls. No. 2 10c Glues, hides and skins 9c Kip. No. 1 16® lie Kip, No. 2 14 016 c Calf. No. 1 26®28c Calf. No. 2 24 026 c Branded kip end calf. No. 116 c Branded kip and calf. No. 2 16c Part cured hides, lc per lb, lesedhen cured. Green hides, 2c per lb. less then cured. Green Salted Hereebldee. No. 1 $6.0009.90 No. 2 4.0006.00 Headless, 50c less. Ponies and glue $2.00 0 2.99 MISCELLANEOUS MARKETS. Denver Metnl Psleen. Bar silver. sl.Ol H- Copper, per lb.. 2S%c. Lena. SB.OO. Spelter. $7.60. Tungsten concentrates, unit, $17.90# 22.20. Llneeed. Duluth. Minn.—Unseed—s3.s9 H- Price ef Sngnr. New York.—Sugar—Centrifugal, 7.2*. Refined, eteady. Cut loaf. 10.50; crushed, 10.25; mould A, 9.50; cubea. 9.75; XXXX powdered, 9.20; powdered. 9.15. Caah Grata la MlaaeapnHa. Minneapolis, Minn.—Corn sl.so® 1.52. Oats—66® 66 He. F1ax—63.6003.62. Barley—B6o96c. Rye—No. 2. $1.55 H- Bran—s4B.oo. Chicago Lire Stack Raetatleaa. Chicago.—Hogs—Bulk of sales. $17.50 017.65; butchers. $17.65017.90: light. $16.90017. ?•; packing. $16.90017,66; throwouts. $15.75016.90; pigs, good to choice. $14.50015.50. Cattle—Beef cattle, good, choice and prime, $16.25019.75; common and me dium. $9.75 016.25; butcher atock. cowa and beifers, $8.40014.60; canners and cuttera, $7.5008.40; stackers and feed ers, good, choice and fancy, $10.50® 15.75; Inferior, common and medium. $7.70010.50; veal calves, good and choice. $16.76016.50. Sheen—Lambs, choloe and prime. $16.40 0 19.66: medium and Bood, $16.09 019.40; culls, $11.00018.69; ewea. choice and prims, $10.0010.75; me dium and good, $8.76010.69; culls. $6.0007.69.