with microfilm strapped to their ankles

All images © Charles Barten & magic-lantern.eu

A nice fact: during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) carrier pigeons were crucial for communication outside Paris, which was under siege. Pigeons were carried out of the city by balloon, with both official and private 'dispatches'. Correspondence was mainly in the form of microfilms, allowing for up to 21 letters to be documented on film and carried in a tube by a single pigeon. The microfilms, once they had arrived at their destination, were projected, read and copied by teams of clerks, using magic lanterns. The letters were transcribed onto special forms and often annotated with 'pigeon' before being sent on to the addressee.

If time and money were no issue, I'd send out a flock of pigeons with hand-drawn magic-lantern messages right this minute.
The Magic Lantern Slide Collection of Charles Barten in the meantime offers some beautiful inspiration, both in terms of material referencing birds, flight and other skirr-related activities but also for text-based and hand-drawn magic-lantern slides (see tomorrow's post). A big thank you to Charles Barten for allowing me to reproduce just a few of his slides here.