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Fancy Pigeons to Make You Think Twice About the World's Most Hated Bird

Themed Collections

27 November 2017

Posted by Charlotte Dart

Unaffectionately dubbed the “rats of the sky”, there’s few birds less popular than the common pigeon. Pigeons have lived alongside for humans for thousands of years and while some breeds of pigeons were once regarded as the bringers of miracles, today they’re rather less well-regarded.

Pigeons are famed for their robustness and incredible homing skills, making them invaluable during the first and second world wars where they were trained to carry important messages across enemy lines. Specially bred racing pigeons are still popular today, where the best birds can reach speeds of up to 110 miles per hour! Take a look at a selection of the fanciest, prettiest pigeons to see if we can change your mind about this famous fowl.

A pretty speckled pigeon with red colouration around the eyes and ombre plumage.

A pretty speckled pigeon with red colouration around the eyes and ombre plumage. Read less

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John Doherty

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A crowned pigeon with beautiful red and grey feathers sits in a park in Malaysia.

A crowned pigeon with beautiful red and grey feathers sits in a park in Malaysia. Read less

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Timofey Tararin

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Technicolour doves fill the street in Thailand.

Technicolour doves fill the street in Thailand. Read less

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Timofey Tararin

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A German Helmet Pigeon pokes his brown head out of a collar of pretty white feathers.

A German Helmet Pigeon pokes his brown head out of a collar of pretty white feathers. Read less

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Life on White

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A mottled Spinifex pigeon hops on a rock in the Australian outback.

A mottled Spinifex pigeon hops on a rock in the Australian outback. Read less

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Pete Haskell

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A pair of colourful pigeons sit on a branch like a feathered Romeo and Juliet.

A pair of colourful pigeons sit on a branch like a feathered Romeo and Juliet. Read less

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Niney Azman

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This white and brown pigeon is a cross-breed between a common feral pigeon and a white dove.

This white and brown pigeon is a cross-breed between a common feral pigeon and a white dove. Read less

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Janusz Pieńkowski

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Pink Pigeons in Mauritius were once critically endangered but are now recovering well thanks to conservation projects.

Pink Pigeons in Mauritius were once critically endangered but are now recovering well thanks to conservation projects. Read less

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HJDWood

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An Australian Crested Pigeon shows off its striped wings.

An Australian Crested Pigeon shows off its striped wings. Read less

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Tomislav Vucic

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A pair of chubby African Green Pigeons perch atop a thorny bush.

A pair of chubby African Green Pigeons perch atop a thorny bush. Read less

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Tony Davies

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This sophisticated bird is actually a collared dove, with a dark ring of feathers around its neck.

This sophisticated bird is actually a collared dove, with a dark ring of feathers around its neck. Read less

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Iordache Magdalena

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White pigeons strut their stuff on the dusty ground.

White pigeons strut their stuff on the dusty ground. Read less

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3quarksmedia

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The Budapest Highflier pigeon is cursed with a perpetually surprised expression.

The Budapest Highflier pigeon is cursed with a perpetually surprised expression. Read less

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Life on White

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The Sulawesi Green Imperial-pigeon has delicate pink chest plumage which contrasts against its dark green wings.

The Sulawesi Green Imperial-pigeon has delicate pink chest plumage which contrasts against its dark green wings. Read less

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Andy Dean

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The Comoro Olive-Pigeon found on remote African islands has a total population of fewer than 10,000 individuals.

The Comoro Olive-Pigeon found on remote African islands has a total population of fewer than 10,000 individuals. Read less

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AGAMI

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With striking red tail feathers, eyes and feet the Madagascar Blue pigeon is one of the prettiest pigeons on this list.

With striking red tail feathers, eyes and feet the Madagascar Blue pigeon is one of the prettiest pigeons on this list. Read less

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AGAMI

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