Peculiar Pigeons

Most people only know pigeons as the gray birds who fly around cities and poop on the statues. Those pigeons are mostly Rock Pigeons and are what our more exotic birds are descended from. In many places of the world hobbyists keep Pigeons as pets and often breed very exotic looking animals, some of which would have poor functionality in the wild.


Gimpel (Archangel).jpg

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These are also known as Gimpels and are an older breed. They are noted for the metallic sheen on their feathers. Some birds have crested heads, feathers that go upwards instead of down, making for an even more unusual appearance.

Brunner Pouter

Brunner Pouter.jpg

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This bird does not look like a pigeon at all, rather it looks like a pigeons head stuck on a crows body. It is in the group of pigeons known as “blowers”. The pouters have large chest areas.

English Trumpeter

English Trumpeter.jpg

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Truly one of the most fancy looking pigeons, and also one of the most difficult to breed. Ideally they have feathering on their feet, known as muffs, as well as the crest of feathers on their head, and a tuft. They come in a variety of colors.

English Short Face Tumbler

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There are many Short Faced Pigeons, and many Tumblers. Clearly short face refers to its odd facial build, and tumbling refers to its style of flight. They roll and can tumble over backwards.  Tumblers are a more entertaining bird when given the room to fly.


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Quite popular, these pigeons have a lovely tail, which is always open. The tail exhibits this shape because it has up to four times as many feathers as a regular birds tail would. They are often used to train the flying birds to return home because they are placed at the home to call to the other birds for their return.


Frillback pigeon.jpg

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These birds feature unusual curling of the feathers that are on their wing shields. This curl should also carry down to their feathers around their feet, known as their muffs. Truly an exotic looking variety.


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These are white bodied birds with a small patch of color on their head, being their helmet, they also can be crested which really accentuates the helmet itself.  Our friend in the photo above is a crested bird.


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This bird couldn’t even find a statue to poop on if it tried. With the elongated and upright feathers around its head its vision is very limited. The feathers around its face are known as the “hood” and in some birds can get so extreme you can only see the birds eyes if you are directly infront of the bird.

Reversewing Pouter

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Like pretty much every other bird on this list, this isn’t a pigeon you are likely to see in your neighborhood park anytime soon. This variety has brilliant markings but an appearance I otherwise find odd.

Keeping Pigeons

I have only kept pigeons one year, and it appears the trio my wife and I bought were all males. However they are enjoyable birds making pleasant sounds and are fun to watch. They require shelter and room for flight, however should not be set free for at least a month to allow them to bond to your home. Pigeons can range in price from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars.

Related articles:

Keeping Outdoor Pets
Pet Chickens
Breeds of Chickens
Peafowl as Pets

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21 Responses to “Peculiar Pigeons”
  1. ken bultman Says...

    On August 29, 2009 at 4:21 am

    Fascinating pictures and a fun post to read. Buy a couple more. Bound to get a hen sooner or later. Are girl pigeons called hens?

  2. ducroisjosef Says...

    On August 29, 2009 at 4:45 am

    Wow, I never knew there were so many exotic varieties of pigeons. Great pictures.

  3. Katien Says...

    On August 29, 2009 at 4:49 am

    What amazing birds! I do feel sorry for the ones that look unable to have a normal life though. We had some fantail doves when I was a child – they didn’t last very long though, living in the countryside they just got shot.

  4. OhSugar Says...

    On August 29, 2009 at 5:41 am

    Beautiful pigeons. I never thought they were any color but the gray. These are quite interesting to look at.

  5. lindalulu Says...

    On August 29, 2009 at 8:04 am

    Interesting article!

  6. Daisy Peasblossom Says...

    On August 29, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Well written. I have given some thought to keeping pigeons since city life does not lend itself to keeping chickens. But sober common-sense asserted itself, and I have decided to wait till I retire, return to the country and keep peacocks. :)

  7. Lostash Says...

    On August 29, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    What a great varitey of different species!

  8. raman13 Says...

    On August 30, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Well Written


    Best Regards

  9. Louie Jerome Says...

    On August 30, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Very interesting. I had no idea that pigeons came in so many varieties. The Archangel at the top is very beautiful.

  10. Leonardo da Vinci E. Says...

    On August 30, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    I’m always facinated by watching the behavior of these birds. I learned from your article that they come with more variety than I might have guessed. Thanks.

  11. Darla Beck Says...

    On August 30, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    A fascinating article to read and very beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  12. LoveDoctor Says...

    On August 30, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    I like it. nice images. I love pigeons. this is what I love most about going to the beach and sitting there watching them surround me.

  13. selvan Says...

    On August 31, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Even though large varieties herein india whitebreed is much demand due to its beauty with eyes specially . How it coordinates with human and specific place to locate and live with owner really amazing and unbelievable. Like humanrights herein in northindia we use to grow and feed such as a friend of us. Also a myth as such gods messenger.

  14. Ruby Hawk Says...

    On September 2, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Pigions are facinating birds, I have never seen any others just like yours. The curly feathered one is different all right.

  15. BradONeill Says...

    On September 16, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Sky Rats!

  16. c j walker Says...

    On April 24, 2010 at 7:18 am

    The pictures are interesting; I’m reading the book Pigeons by Blechman and he mentions some of the birds you have pictured. I don’t fully understand breeding to change the nature of something (that includes dogs & cats or people) but breeding ones to the point that they can not survive independently I don’t have an understanding or appreciation for why someone does this.

  17. Rajesh Says...

    On May 9, 2010 at 3:33 am

    Very interesting……nice article… MarkGB

    Mark are you a breeder? can u tell me where can i find Reversewing Pouter…

    thanks in advance

    byee… have a g8 day

  18. Mark Gordon Brown Says...

    On May 17, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    to Rajesh

    I keep them but am not a breeder as such.

    I find Pigeons in my local area at bird auctions but there are also bird clubs, try to find a pigeon club in your area, your local livestock store or veterinarian might know if their is a pigeon club.

  19. Puppy dog lover Says...

    On September 25, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Wow, nice information…thanks for sharing…Jacobin and Reversewing Pouter my favorites…

  20. Robert Burn Says...

    On January 25, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    If you are reading this and would like to learn more about pigeons and the hobby you can visit the websites of either the Canadian Pigeon Fanciers Association –
    or the National Pigeon Association in the US –

  21. Says...

    On April 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I personally believe that all pidgeon haters should take a moment to look at the beauty of these birds. I am a superintendant and they are a nuisance. The owners of the apartment building pay thousands of dollars to get pidgeons off of the balconies of tenants. Recently, I had a tenant move out. He was feeding them. The poo on his balcony in areas was four inches high with a sixteen inch base. I wore gloves to scrape off the decade collection and have had a hard time keeping food down for the past two weeks. Just after he left, a female laid two eggs inside one of his folding chairs. I didn’t have the heart to kill the female nor destroy the eggs so I caught her and placed her in a dog pen with the eggs. Here in Canada, poisons are feed to the birds or they starve to death in traps. I have two proposals, if you raise pidgeons keep it to a minimum. Don’t just set them free in mass for others to deal with when you are tired of your hobby. Secondly, the Canadian government should encourage apartment owners to build in the balconies with screens and maybe they should provide a deduction tax shelter for all new and old buildings. I am going to try to catch several of the pidgeons out of fifty and transport them four hundred miles into the bush with lots of seeds in a month or so. All of this could have been avoided if hobbists didn’t raised the limits of how many they were breeding.

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