Types of Pigeons

Published on: Dec 31 2010 by Shenron

Pigeons and doves exist on this planet long before the humans come. For instance, ‘Rock Doves’ are known to have originated in Southern Asia several millions years ago whereas humans first appeared about 120,000 years ago.

Rock dove pigeon is considered as the ancestor of all the species of pigeons. It is not possible to name all the species of pigeons across the globe as the numbers are huge. There are several varieties of pigeons present across the globe with unique shapes, colors and sizes.

It is estimated that over 200 varieties of pigeons are present on the globe and each of them has its own particular size, shape and color. It is not possible to cover all those 200 varieties in this article. Some of them are given below in an alphabetical order:


These are given the name after city in Belgium. It is assumed that these birds first appeared in Antwerp (Belgium) in 1860s. These birds are short, medium or long faced depending on the length of the head from the center of the eye to the top of the upper part of the beak. Normally, the face of the bird measures around 1 3/8 inches. Antwerp is found in many different colors, having red eyes, a black short beak and legs with crimson feet.


Some people think these pigeons belong to Russia and others think from Asia. This a small size pigeon found in several colorful varieties. These birds have a very slender neck and body along with attractive plumage. This pigeon is found with crest or without crest, you can breed both varieties.


Barb is considered as a very old breed of domestic pigeon. It is believed that this pigeon is of Europe, England and North African origin. This pigeon has a medium size with short, thick curved beak. This pigeon has a long body and comparatively a short neck. The knobby flesh around the eyes of the pigeon often called as cere is of coral red color. The pigeon is found in red, black, dun, yellow and white color.


This is known as a utility pigeon of Belgium and French origin. It is also called as a show bird because of its short, compact, heavy-set broad breast. It is found in red, yellow, dun, white and black colors. It also has large eyes with a smooth, flesh colored cere. A medium length beak and a V-shaped wattle are its other prominent features.


It was referred to as the ‘King of pigeons’ for long time in the past. It is of Persian origin and was breed for two reasons, i.e. to carry messages and for homing ability. The carrier has a large body with huge wattle around its beak. Plumage is tall and closely fitted. It is found in black, dun, yellow, blue and white colors.


These birds are originated from France and are taken as the ancestors of the Racing Homer. This pigeon has a medium size, full chest with a well proportioned body. It has short legs and normally found in only white color with exception of few having red flecks on neck and head.


Dragoon is a variety of pigeon originated from England. It is a cross breed between horseman and Tumbler. This pigeon has a wedge shaped head, a short blunt beak with a peg-shaped wattle. It is a very poised bird with short legs, a thick short neck and a wedge-shaped body. This pigeon weighs around 20 ounces.


Fantail is of Indian origin and commonly known as broad-tailed shaker. It has a fan-shaped tail and it is for this reason it is called as fantail. It bears a small body with a small head, a slender neck. Most of them are white but there are fantails with yellow, dun, saddle, red, blue, silver, black and checker colors. Fantail is known as one of the most beautiful pigeon.


It is of Italian origin and is often called as a hen pigeon because of its hen like shape. It has a large body with a colored head, colored wind coverts, and tail. This pigeon is found in many different colors like black bars, red, yellow, blue and black.


Homer pigeons are found in several different varieties:

  • Exhibition Homer: It has a straight stout beak and is lighter in weight. It is originated in England.
  • Genuine Homer: It is considered as the exhibition counterpart of the Racing Homer and is originated from England.
  • German Beauty Homer: It is of German origin. It is comparatively thinner than the Racing Homer.
  • Giant Homer: It is a kind of utility pigeon that comes in many different colors, especially with blue and silver checks.
  • Racing Homer: These are originated from Belgium and England. These birds have varying appearance and not often beautiful.
  • Show Homer: It is a large pigeon with a long unbroken, well-arched curve from the tip of the beak to the back of the head. It comes in many different colors and is of England origin.


It is a cross breed between Florentine, the Swallow and other pigeons. It is of Austrian origin. It comes in several colors and is a large, hen-type pigeon.

Ice Pigeon

This pigeon is from Germany and is of light blue ice like color. It has two types: clean legged and muffed.


This pigeon is from Cyprus. It is called Jacobin because it has a hood of feathers similar to the one worn by the Jacobin monks. It is found in different colors such as yellow, blue, red, silver, and white.


It is of American origin, found in a variety of colors such as silver, blue, yellow, dun and white. This pigeon is a cross of Dragoon, Florentine, Swiss Mondaine and Duchess. It has a well rounded head, with a bright red cere and legs. It is a medium sized pigeon with a weight of about 35 ounces.


These are given this name after the city Lahore in Pakistan. This pigeon is found in Lahore and usually have feathers on its legs and feet. It is large in size and is used as utility breed.


These are originated from Germany. These birds have two sub varieties: the Coburg Lark and the Buremberg Lark. This is a large, broad breasted and long bodied bird.


Magpie is of German origin. It is a small, graceful and streamlined pigeon that has a shallow body, snake neck with small head. It usually comes in white color, but there are certain colorful varieties like yellow, blue, red, silver, cream and dun.


These birds belong to Germany and Austria. It is bred as a show bird. It is a large bird with a hen shaped body. It has a long neck, straight tail feathers and long, straight legs. It is found in many different colors such as yellow, silver, blue, white and red.


This bird is found in Italy in variety of colors. It is a large bird with about 10 inches in length. It has a very graceful appearance.


It is a utility pigeon, mostly found in France. It has a broad back and a long breast. This pigeon is comparatively longer in length.


Of German origin pigeon, a very friendly bird with a shell crest and markings which make it more attractive than other varieties of pigeons.

Oriental Frill

These birds are found in Turkey and one of the beautiful varieties. This pigeon has a frill of feathers on the breast, a short beak and peaked crest. This pigeon has some varieties that include: Satinettes, Oriental Turbits, Blondinettes and Turbiteens.


This type‘s origin is Asia. They have frills of feather on the breast, plain heads and clean legs. They are found in blue, black, silver, white, yellow and red colors.

Pouter and Cropper

Pouter and Cropper make up a very big family. English Pouter, Pigmy Pouter, Dutch Cropper, Old German Cropper, Brunner Pouter, and Holle Cropper are included in their family. These birds have their own identity in pigeons as they known to b most amusing ones.

Runt- can weigh up to 2 1/2 pounds, it is the oldest of all domestic pigeons. They are found in blue, silver, red yellow and black color.


Scandaroon found in Bagdad, they are alike Carrier in bearing. They are found in white, black, and red and in yellow color also have markings that are similar to the magpie


This type is very famous as a fancy breed which originated in Austria. Its head, neck, wings, and tail are colored with colored feathers on back. Black lace, lark colors, blue, blue barred, black or white barred, blue checkered, red or yellow are the colors in of this type.


Its origin is in Germany, it is a field pigeon with colored head, top and shell crest. Swallow found in black, blue, silver, red and yellow color.


It is originated in Europe. They are found in different types that are English Short-Faced Tumbler, Long-Faced Tumblers, Birmingham Roller, Flying Tippler, Parlow Tumbler and German Tumbler. It is famous for its performance and flying ability.


This type is found in England, France or Germany. It is famous because it is one of the most attractive pigeons. Its body is white and wings are of black, red, blue, dun or yellow color.

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