This group of pigeons from Budapest arrived in Evansville exactly 55 years ago
They were issued in December 1957, but mailed in Feb 1958, so not an FDC, but I liked the envelope design so have included it.
the stamps were designed in honour of the International Pigeon Fanciers Exhibition
Nemzetközi Galambkiállítás - Budapest 1957
I had a bit of trouble translating and finding information on each of these pigeons and ended up lost and - may I admit - quite engrossed in pigeon fanciers web pages and photos.
A few years ago, I went the same way with chickens. One thinks of them (chickens and pigeons) as one dimensional and basically whitish, but truly there are hundreds of amusing varieties.
The homing pigeon was the original air mail carrier having been used for millenia.
Pigeon post was the world's fastest communication system for all the centuries of the Dark and Middle Ages, and remained so until Samuel Morse's invention of the telegraph in 1844 and Guglielmo Marconi's invention of radio in 1895. Stockbrokers and bankers relied on pigeons through much of the nineteenth century. London banker Nathan Rothschild made a killing when a pigeon brought early news of Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. In 1840 the European news agency Havas ran a London-to-Paris pigeon news service with the promised flying time of six hours. In the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, a gap existed in telegraph lines between France and Germany. Julius Reuter bridged it with pigeons and made the fortune he used as the basis of what is now Reuters, one of the world's great news agencies.
you can read more here
Here is an interesting article on a modern attempt at using pigeons for delivering mail.
and, of course, more stamps can be found here