These days, spying is often confined to the world of technology, but authorities in India are worried about a different kind of threat. A white pigeon bearing a stamped message and a wire-like object crossed into the village of Manwal in Punjab on May 27, The Times of India reported.
The rural village is about two miles from Pakistan’s border, and just days before the bird’s arrival, the Intelligence Bureau had warned of spies in the area.
The bird, which also had Urdu markings on its tail, landed at barber Ramesh Chandra’s home in the evening. Chandra’s 14-year-old son took the bird’s to the nearest police station.
The message in Urdu read, “Tehsil Shakargarh, district Narowal,” according to the Irish Examiner. Along with the message was what appeared to be a landline telephone number in Pakistan's Narowal district, The Times of India stated.
Police took the bird to a veterinary hospital in Pathankot to be examined.
"Nothing adverse has been found, but we have kept the bird in our custody," said Rakesh Kaushal, Pathankot senior superintendent of police.
"This is a rare instance of a bird from Pakistan being spotted here," he added. "We have caught a few spies here. The area is sensitive, given its proximity to Jammu, where infiltration is quite common."
During World War II, pigeons were often used to carry messages over the battlefield.