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To the best of my knowledge, on earth only homing pigeons have been used to carry messages backwards and forwards they're also restricted to a single destination.
How realistic would it be to have specially trained earthly ravens or indeed any other bird species to do the job or is this simply a common trope used in fantasy works? Would they need to be super-intelligent Ravens? Plenty of birds are very intelligent, with crows and ravens getting a special mention in the inventiveness department.
In real life, you can train them for many things, including repeating spoken phrases similar to how you would train a parrot. I imagine that theoretically, with enough time and patience, you could train a raven to fly Crazy (Main Mix) - Jay-Z / Dream - La La La (Excuse Me Again) / Crazy between two predetermined locations, or to always fly back to the same location.
It would probably take several years of one on one training per bird, and you'd be likely to lose a lot of birds along the way, since the odds that your captive raven will come back to you are pretty low, even if you've been working with that bird since the day it hatched.
After all, modern falconers experience similar problems; even if you've done everything right, there's Messenger Bird - Various - Dominionated The Third Låt Mig Strida - Leviticus - Jag Skall Segra! a good chance that the first time you let your falcon of the tether, it isn't coming back.
So let's look Messenger Bird - Various - Dominionated The Third this question from a different perspective. Why, in the real world, are Homing Pigeons the only kind of bird typically used for this purpose? Because the behavior of always returning to the same place is instinctual, they require much less training, and can be trained as a flock. Further, you're far, far less likely to lose them in the process.
They're also incredibly reliable. I imagine ravens, being more intelligent, would probably be less reliable, as they'd be more likely to seek shelter somewhere that wasn't getting shot at, treats be damned.
So, possible? Not really, at least not if there are other, better ways of doing things already available. To the best of my knowledge, pigeons and sparrows have been the only birds used for sending messages. Many other types of birds are trainable, for example many birds of prey are used in hunting falconry. Ravens are considered very intelligent birds, they may be trainable but that doesn't mean they're a viable candidate.
Here's a really neat research paper on how smart they can be. They are large birds which are often hunted, making their journey more difficult. Also, it's not easy to get a The Old Way Out - The Go-Betweens - Spring Hill Fair of them.
You would need to have a large number of them in order to have backups and not all of them will have "the right stuff. The advantage of the carrier pigeons is that they are small, easy to acquire and breed and no one really cares about them.
You can send out several and chances are that one will get through. Most importantly, I think that ravens are held in high regard or have a mythology based around them in human culture. Also true of other big birds. I don't think they would be used in that way, Dědek Šedivej - Calibos - Ať To Bolí for the same reason you won't see "Raven Florentine" in a restaurant.
Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. Are ravens a genuinely realistic way of carrying messages? Ask Question. Asked 5 years, 3 months ago. Active 4 years, 2 months ago.
Viewed 54k times. Aify Liath Liath 17k 10 10 gold badges 83 83 silver badges bronze badges. For example, wolves are slightly smarter than dogs, but we generally only work with dogs, because they are about times more cooperative. Katie Katie 3 3 silver badges 4 4 bronze badges. Nick Wilde 1, 11 11 silver badges 23 23 bronze badges.
MadPink MadPink 1, 8 8 silver badges 15 15 bronze badges. Otherwise, if it was just an issue of general intelligence, then I think crows have the advantage. I'm not certain if any of them have the same tendency but homing pigeons certainly aren't the only species with an instinct for returning to its breeding ground.
Actually, I couldn't find anything that said ANY other birds have been used as a messenger. So I'm not sure if it is because they tried and failed. I tend to think that pigeons are cheap birds that work, and there just isn't much of a reason to go shopping around for another. Sign up or log in Messenger Bird - Various - Dominionated The Third up using Google. Sign up using Facebook. Sign up using Email and Password. Post as a guest Name. Email Required, but never shown. Messenger Bird - Various - Dominionated The Third holiday carol for coders.
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