Pigeons (with backpacks) are monitoring air quality over London

Pigeons to Monitor Pollution Levels in London

LONDON -- A tiny flying army has been unleashed as the latest salvo in the war against the capital's pollution.

A flock of pigeons equipped with tiny backpacks containing pollution sensors and GPS trackers flew out over the city Monday, charged with monitoring air quality and reporting back their findings.

Curious residents can tweet to @PigeonAir for a reading around their home or office.

SEE MORE: Here is a pigeon wearing a bagel

The Pigeon Air Patrol were released from a rooftop in east London by expert Brian Woodhouse as part of a project by the marketing agency, DigitasLBI.

See more about the project (and their tweets below!)

Pigeon air patrol over London
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Pigeons (with backpacks) are monitoring air quality over London
Photo courtesy: Twitter
And we're off! The first #PigeonAir patrol flies from Brick Lane, monitoring air pollution as we go! https://t.co/W8KnyrxnCe
We're seeing lots of areas showing high levels of air pollution right now. Stay safe, London! #PigeonAir https://t.co/gT1K7FKB5P
Introducing the #PigeonAir patrol team: Norbert, Coco and Julius. At your service! https://t.co/N1vg5tZZak
Our #PigeonAir patrol are all roosting and we're signing off for tonight. Goodnight London - see you in the morning! https://t.co/R8MkU1Gz1V
Our backpacks measure Nitrogen Dioxide, Ozone and other volatile compounds in the air as we fly. #PigeonAir https://t.co/0fsrX1qv9R
Our friends @AsthmaUK say reducing air pollution could be the biggest single thing to improve the life of asthma sufferers. Time for change.

Their backpacks were created by air quality start-up Plume Labs and monitor nitrogen dioxide, ozone and volatile compounds. A vet was on hand to ensure the birds' welfare.

The pigeons' three-day stint over the city is aimed at drawing attention to the quality of London's air, which has dropped at times in recent months.

Last March, London landmarks even appeared to vanish after they were obscured by pollutants.

"It is a scandal. It is a health and environmental scandal for humans – and pigeons. We're making the invisible visible," Pierre Duquesnoy from DigitasLBI said, according to the Guardian.

The birds were resting Monday night after a hard day's monitoring, ready to do it all again Tuesday.

We've tweeted the pigeons for an update about the air quality around Mashable's London offices, we'll update the story if they get back to us.

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