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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.