How Much Can a Pigeon Carry? Surprising Facts!

We often see in the newspaper that pigeons are caught carrying tiny objects or smuggling goods. So you might wonder, how much can a pigeon carry?

A pigeon can carry about 10 percent of its weight or even more.

However, they do not help only in offenses; they work for greater reasons also! Scroll below to know more.

How Much Can a pigeon carry

How Much Weight Can a Pigeon Hold?

A pigeon can hold up to 10% of its body weight. Pigeons usually weigh about 300-500 grams. So, a pigeon of 500 grams can carry up to 50 grams of weight. However, if you train them well, they can even carry up to 75 grams.

pigeons are flying

Uses of Pigeons as a Weight Carrier

Use of pigeon as a messenger bird

Massanger pigeon on the rooftop

Messenger pigeons are selectively bred homing pigeons who can find their way home from very long distances using magnetoreceptors. They have been used as messenger birds from ancient times for their extraordinary navigational abilities.

Homing pigeons were a popular means of communication before the invention of telecommunication. The Egyptians used pigeon posts by 3000 BC. In both World Wars, the France-Prussian war and the Battle of Waterloo, pigeons were widely used for military communication where radio communication was not always possible.

The homing pigeons are at first raised in the recipient’s place. They are taken to a destination afterward and attached with messages to their legs or back. When they become free, they will return to their home (first place), flying, and the recipient will get the messages there.

Use of Pigeons in the drug business

Drug dealers and smugglers are now keeping pigeons for supplying drugs worldwide. The drug dealers train the pigeons to deliver the substances attached to their bodies.

Carrier pigeons have been spotted in many countries while transporting drugs. Since they can fly very high, it is not always possible to spot if they are carrying drugs and fire them.

Argentine police found carrier pigeons with small tubes of Marijuana attached to their legs in a peripheral city of Buenos Aires.

According to the Al-Rai newspaper, a carrier pigeon had been caught red-handed by the Kuwait customs officials while carrying 178 drug pills in a miniature backpack.

In Western Iran, 100 carrier pigeons were caught by anti-narcotics officials while transporting drugs in small plastic bags.

Use of pigeons in crimes

Gangsters and criminals are now raising and training pigeons to use them to communicate with their partners and give and take orders to commit crimes.

In Combita prison, Boyaca, Colombian police captured a trained pigeon who was carrying a cellular phone’s external card on its back.

At the Danilo Pinheiro prison of Sorocaba, two carrier pigeons were caught with a mobile phone charger and components of small cell phones. The police have expressed concern since the criminal gang leaders, drug traffickers, guerrillas, and other notorious criminals are secretly communicating and continuing crimes from inside the jail.

In Sarajevo, Bosnia, police have traced a trained carrier pigeon to supply heroin and cocaine to the prisoners in a high-security jail.

Many countries are using this feathered creature to spy on their rival nations. In 2008, Iranian police arrested two spy pigeons near the uranium enrichment facility at Natanz.

What Is ‘Bird’ in Drugs?

In drugs, the word ‘Bird’ refers to a large amount of cocaine. In some cities, a kilo of cocaine is addressed by the word ‘Chicken’, and ‘Bird’ is used for one kilogram of raw powder cocaine.

Other birds used in crime

Besides pigeons, criminals choose some other birds to smuggle things or conduct deals. Birds are preferred for shoplifting, spying on the borders, tapering evidence, etc.

Criminals and drug dealers train their parrot army as lookouts. When the police or other threats try to sneak in at their places, these well-trained, feathered armies alarm their owners.

Drug syndicates prefer parrots as they can talk, alarm the owner about potential threats and deliver messages to the destination.

In Vancouver, British Columbia, a crow is blamed for tapering evidence from a crime scene.


Pigeons are reliable carriers because they will try their best to return home (recipient’s place), whatever the situation is. We have already known how much a pigeon can carry. But we cannot imagine what else they can carry!

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