While I'd long assumed that carrier pigeons had been shelved with other antiquated mail systems (like the pony express and the pneumatic tube), I was stunned to learn that the birds are still being used today! Of course, the process has gotten an upgrade. Instead of sending letters and wartime messages, the birds are being used to carry thumb drives!
According to a Daily Mail article, Rocky Mountain Adventures -- a company that runs white water rafting tours in Fort Collins, CO-- puts their carrier pigeons through a rigorous 7 month training program. And the birds end up being a real time saver. Instead of having to drive the tourist's photo files over winding roads from the base of a river to the company headquarters, the company just sticks a memory card to a bird and pats it on its way.
Of course, while I love the idea of pigeon mail, if that was my disk of photos being sent, I'd be nervous. The company loses 5 birds a year to hawks and eagles. Read more atÂ The Daily Mail.