A survey of recent developments in a topic of general interest

In January, Venice announced that it was to introduce family planning for pigeons. Under a new city ordinance, the pigeons will be given only a special feed which will sterilise their eggs.

In February, inmates of Buga jail in Colombia were found to be receiving packages of drugs by carrier pigeon.

In July, hundreds of homing pigeons refused to fly home to Hong Kong as part of the handover celebrations.

And last week, Ireland's pigeon-racing community blamed mobile phones for disrupting the homing instincts of their birds and causing many to go missing in recent years.