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Speaker Series: WAR PIGEONS: Winged Couriers of the U.S. Military, 1878-1957
July 17, 2021 @ 1:00 am - 3:00 pm$20
For more than seven decades, homing pigeons provided the U.S. military with its fastest most reliable means of communication. Often, they were the only means of getting messages through. In the book WAR PIGEONS: Winged Couriers of the U.S. Military, 1878-1957, author Elizabeth Macalaster chronicled the service of this extraordinary bird in American armed forces, from its fledgling beginnings after the Civil War, to the birds’ invaluable role in communications in every branch of the military through both World Wars and beyond. There is no other animal as much a part of American heritage as the homing pigeon.
About the author:
Although Elizabeth Macalaster grew up among barnyard birds, she started her career as a marine biologist, studying North Atlantic cephalopods. She turned to science journalism and worked for the U.S. Department of Interior and EPA on water quality issues. Elizabeth now writes primarily science and history articles for newspapers and magazines.
Under the pen name, Ryan Ann Hunter, Elizabeth collaborated with Pamela D. Greenwood on award-winning nonfiction books for children and young adults. Their YA book, In Disguise! Undercover With Real Women Spies, reveals the achievements of unsung heroines throughout history. While researching this book, she came across information about homing pigeons making reconnaissance flights with tiny cameras strapped to their chests. The swift and strong little bird snagged her curiosity, and she began her foray into the world of homing pigeons.
Elizabeth is also the author of Reckoning At Harts Pass, an adventure/thriller in which homing pigeons play a covert role. A sequel is underway where Naomi, the main character, is being hunted by jihadists and the FBI.