10 Types Of Pigeon Breeds You Must Know

types of pigeon breeds

How many species of pigeon are there?

Some call them “The Bird of Peace” or the “The Messenger”, or “Rats with Wings”.

But Pigeons are one of the most common birds found living among Human habitats. Pigeons belong to the bird family Columbidae.

There are hundreds of pigeon breeds. Some are the commonly seen domestic types and some are wild. Let’s look at some of the most common, from the most beautiful to the most bizarre pigeons.

Feral Pigeons:

This is the most commonly found, blue and greyish toned pigeon found around civilized human communities and buildings. They have adapted to living around us, at times considered friendly and at times a nuisance.

King Pigeons:

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King pigeons are larger than most types of pigeons and are usually bred for food. They are pure white in color and possess pink beaks. They’ve tamed enough to be accustomed to human contact, so much so that if left in the wild, they will not survive.

Racing pigeons:

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Similar to the wild feral pigeons, these have a bluish to greyish tone to their feathers. They are strong flyers and very good at homing. They’ve been used for ages in many cultures for racing events. They were also used for delivering messages in certain cultures.

Fancy pigeons:

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Humans have a tendency to customize things to their preference, whether business or leisure. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop at just things, even the creatures that they share the earth with are bred to suit their needs.

Fancy pigeons are one of those creatures. Some are kept by hobbyists for showing off at events, or as pets, or by collectors. Some of the most bizarre species are hybrids

Here are some examples:

  • Brunner pouter pigeon – The collectors say that the best specimen should appear like a ball of feathers on a stick. Brunner pouters are known for their round inflated chest area and are sold based on how round it is.
  • Ice pigeon – Called so because of the color of its feathers, the Ice pigeon has whitish dust on it, somehow and sports some of the longest feat feathers ever known.
  • Barb Pigeon – The barb pigeon has some unusual features, but is a favorite among collectors, for the very reason. It takes a couple of years for its eyes and beak to form a fleshy ring around them that almost looks like a flower.
  • The Jacobin – Named after the Jacobin monks out of Cyprus, the Jacobin has a hood of feathers that resemble the hood worn by the monks.
  • Florentine – The Florentine is also known as the hen-pigeon, as it resembles a hen. This strikingly large bird and is found to have darker shaded feathers than other types.

Pigeons are remarkable birds with a rich history of domestication and breeding. Over centuries, pigeon enthusiasts and breeders have developed a wide variety of pigeon breeds, each exhibiting unique characteristics in terms of appearance, behavior, and purpose. Whether you’re a pigeon fancier, aspiring breeder, or simply intrigued by the diversity of pigeon breeds, this article will introduce you to some of the fascinating pigeon breeds you must know.

1. Homer Pigeons

Homers, also known as Racing Homers, are among the most popular and iconic pigeon breeds. They are renowned for their exceptional homing instincts and speed, making them ideal for pigeon racing. Homers have a compact and streamlined body, often in various colors and patterns. Their strong flight capabilities and navigational skills have been honed through centuries of selective breeding.

2. Fantail Pigeons

Fantails are characterized by their distinct fan-shaped tails, which are carried in an upright and elegant manner. They have a slender body and a proud, alert posture. Fantails come in various colors and patterns, and their tail feathers can be long and flowing or shorter and more compact. They are primarily bred for exhibition purposes, valued for their graceful appearance and distinctive tail display.

3. Tumbler Pigeons

Tumblers are a group of pigeon breeds known for their acrobatic flight abilities. They have the remarkable ability to perform backward somersaults, spins, and dives during flight. Tumblers come in different varieties, including Birmingham Rollers, Oriental Rollers, and West of England Tumblers. These breeds are often bred for their tumbling skills and are popular in pigeon flying competitions.

4. Jacobin Pigeons

Jacobins are known for their striking appearance, characterized by a large hood of feathers that covers their head and neck, giving them a regal and distinctive look. They have a compact body and short beak. Jacobins come in various colors and patterns and are primarily bred for exhibition and ornamental purposes.

5. Modena Pigeons

Modenas are renowned for their elegant and compact body shape, resembling a miniature bird of prey. They have a rounded head, short beak, and a broad chest. Modenas come in a variety of colors and exhibit a smooth feathering pattern. They are primarily bred for exhibition purposes and valued for their aesthetic appeal.

6. Roller Pigeons

Rollers are pigeon breeds that possess the ability to perform backward somersaults in mid-air, known as rolling or somersaulting. They have a stocky body, strong wings, and a well-developed musculature that allows them to execute these rolling maneuvers. Roller breeds include Birmingham Rollers, Parlor Rollers, and Donek Rollers. They are often bred for their rolling skills and are popular in competitions.

7. Owl Pigeons

Owls, also known as Owl Pigeons, are distinguished by their unique facial features that resemble an owl’s face. They have large, round eyes, a short beak, and a prominent forehead. Owls come in various colors and patterns and are primarily bred for exhibition and ornamental purposes. They are valued for their distinctive appearance and calm demeanor.

8. Trumpeters

Trumpeters are known for their unique vocalization, producing a deep, resonant cooing sound that resembles the sound of a trumpet. They have a medium-sized body with a broad chest and short beak. Trumpeters come in different colors and patterns and are primarily bred for their melodious calls and exhibition purposes.

9. Pouters

Pouters, also known as Pigeons of Fancy, are distinguished by their exaggerated and elongated crop, which gives them a distinctive inflated appearance. They have a slender body, a slender neck, and a prominent chest. Pouters come in various colors and patterns and are primarily bred for their ornamental value and unique postures.

10. Dragoons

Dragoons are characterized by their robust and muscular build, resembling miniature birds of prey. They have a broad chest, strong wings, and a short beak. Dragoons come in various colors and patterns and are primarily bred for exhibition purposes. They are valued for their powerful appearance and commanding presence.


These are just a few examples of the diverse pigeon breeds that have been developed through selective breeding over the years. Each breed possesses its unique characteristics, reflecting the passion, dedication, and creativity of pigeon fanciers and breeders worldwide.

Pigeon breeding and exhibition is a fascinating hobby and sport that continues to captivate enthusiasts around the world. The remarkable diversity of pigeon breeds showcases the immense potential for variation within a single species. Whether admired for their beauty, agility, vocalization, or specialized traits, pigeon breeds offer a captivating glimpse into the wonders of avian diversity.