A Pigeon is still faster than the Internet

Jeff Geerling holding a homing pigeon

In 2009, a company in South Africa proved a homing pigeon was faster than an ADSL connection, flying a 4 GB USB flash drive to prove it.

Besides IEEE's speculative work, nobody's actually re-run the 'bird vs. Internet' race in over a decade.

Now that I have gigabit fiber, I thought I'd give it a try.


I published a video with all the details—and even more background on the graceful birds used in the experiment—over on my YouTube channel:

Snow Bird

During last week's record-breaking snowstorm in St. Louis, I was not motivated to brave the 10+ inches of snow and -20 (and lower) temperatures to get pictures outside of the comfort of my climate-controlled home. I did, however, snap some pictures of birds eating from the feeders in my backyard, which my wife wisely filled the day before the storm.

For a while, there was only one small bird eating from the sunflower seed feeder (there were a bunch of goldfinches on the thistle feeder):

Snow bird on feeder backyard winter

I'm not quite sure if this is a sparrow or finch, as the colors and contrast were affected quite a bit by the volume of snow falling between my lens and the feeder! This picture is retouched with a ton of extra contrast after the fact.

Whatever the bird, he was quite persistent!

Too Hot for the Birds!

Here in St. Louis, we're going into our second week of 100°+ temperatures, and even the birds are doing all they can to keep from burning alive! Case in point:

Too Hot for the Birds - Robin sunning wings
Nikon D7000 - 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 1/4000, ISO 800

This robin was sitting splayed out like this for at least five minutes outside my window. Another robin came over and started to do the same thing, but they both flew off after I accidentally hit one of the window blinds and they noticed my hulking 70-200mm lens.

Hummingbirds are also constantly popping back to the feeder my wife has very kindly kept full and fresh for the past couple weeks; I'm amazed these birds aren't just dropping dead in this crazy heat wave!

Some Crazy Bird Behavior - The Common Grackle

In my first attempt at posting flash video the the web, I'm putting up a rather strange clip I took using my Mom's PowerShot S3 IS of a 'common grackle' (kind of a fitting name for an annoying bird) making squawks while puffing up his feathers. I'm not too sure what prompts this behavior, but it seems that the grackles do it only when other grackles are around.