Pigeons With A Purpose

Pigeons with a purpose is an Iowa non-profit corporation, classified as a public charity. The purpose of raising money is to help our wounded warrior service men and women while at the same time, providing our donors with an entirely new and entertaining concept, a homing pigeon race. You can sponsor a pigeon and if your pigeon places as one of the top 5 finishers, you will win a portion of the race purse.

Homing Pigeons have served in wars for 5000 years. Starting with the Pharaohs through the European conflicts to the Pigeon Corp in WW1 and WW2 providing invaluable intelligence. Pigeons have long played an important role in American Wars. These American Homing Pigeons utilized by the U.S. Army Signal Corps, U.S. Air force and the United States Navy, were provided for military service by members of the American Racing Pigeon Union. Aircraft and war ships always carried military pigeons.


  • In the mid 1800's, the Reuters News Agency operated a live telex service using Homing Pigeons.
  • There are nearly 1 million pigeon fliers around the world today.
  • The ancient Greeks used Homing Pigeons to carry messages 5,000 years ago.
  • Homing Pigeons race from 80 to 600 miles at speeds of 40 to 60 mph over terrain they have often never seen before.
  • Homing Pigeons were used extensively as a highly reliable method of communication in military conflicts during the two World Wars and the Korean War. They saved thousands of lives in the military service.
  • Homing Pigeons were introduced to the United States in the mid 1800's. In the 1880’s, the first 500-mile race took place in this country.
  • Some international races award large cash prizes. In the United States, most races are held for good, clean family fun.


  • Walt Disney loved pigeons so much that for many years he released a flock of white Homing Pigeons as part of the daily ceremonies at Disneyland and Disney World.
  • Terry Bradshaw, former Pittsburgh Steelers’ Quarterback bred pigeons.
  • Ray Price, country singer, enjoys breeding Homing Pigeons.
  • Actors Yul Brynner and Roy Rogers raised pigeons.
  • Pablo Picasso, who also raised Homing Pigeons, named his daughter “Paloma,” spanish for dove.
  • Boxing champion, George Foreman, maintained a loft and bred Homing Pigeons.
  • Actress Joanne Woodward raised fancy breeds of pigeons.
  • Maurizo Gucci is a fancier of show pigeons who is on record for paying more than $10,000 for an American bird.
  • The British Royal Family has raised Homing Pigeons for centuries, and has an active racing loft yet today.


  • A combination of an extremely accurate internal “sunclock” and magnetic fields enable the athletes to return home.
  • The ability to hear sounds 11 octaves below middle C allow the pigeons to detect earthquakes and electrical storms.
  • The top national race, Snowbird Classic, awards a purse of $600,000.
  • The highest priced Homing Pigeon was sold for $225,000.
  • Homing Pigeons have pedigrees like racehorses. They are bred and trained with the same care bestowed upon their equine counterparts.


The American Racing Pigeon Union was founded in 1910 and is the largest pigeon association in the country. The AU sets race rules and provides members a code of conduct, as well as funds veterinary and scientific research to enhance the sport and assist its members.
For more information on how to join the nearly 10,000 American Racing Pigeon Union members across the United States, call 405-848-5801 or fax 405-848-5888.

Or write:

American Racing Pigeon Union, Inc.
P.O. Box 18465
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73154-0465
Visit our website: www.pigeon.org
Join the Sport of Pigeon Racing Today!