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Occassionally we receive fancy breeds of pigeons at my work – some have been injured but some are unharmed, having either escaped or become lost. In general, fancy breeds of pigeons don’t do well in the wild because many have exaggerated features and reduced ‘street-wise’ instincts, and are therefore easy targets for sparrowhawks, cats and people with pellet guns.

Here are the ones we’ve had so far this year. Although I have searched the net and through my pigeon breed encyclopedia book, I found it difficult to find out what breed of pigeon they all are. So please look kindly upon me. And help me out if you know I’m wrong.

All of these pigeons are doing well in their new homes:

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No idea what breed but maybe a Turkish Takla (tumbler)? I haven't seen it fly though.

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Juvenile Indian Fantail that was caught by a cat.

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Lahore pigeon

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I'm guessing Antwerp breed?

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Haven't identified this one. Mixed breed?

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Garden Fantails

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A type of highflier or tumbler? I'm leaning towards a Szegediner tumbler (Hungarian highflier), but truthfully, I have no idea.

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Archangel breed

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West of England Tumbler

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Any ideas? She's pure white with feathered feet.

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Apricot colouring but is she a specific breed?

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He has a high forehead so I think he's a fancy breed. Which though?

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Same with this one. High forehead and lovely colouring.

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Garden white pigeon (a.k.a. white dove).


Just wanted to update you on the progress of the pigeons and doves at my work that I have previously mentioned.

  • Widget and his collared dove friends have been released. Hooray! We wish them all the luck in the world that they stay safe!
  • Dotty is almost ready for release (it’ll happen in the next week or so). She’s grown well and is no longer interested in humans and is currently chilling out with other collared doves in an aviary.
  • We have found a home for the 6 fantail pigeons. Yay! We are satisfied that they can fly well and they have good predator awareness (I observed their behaviour to determine this). The lady who is taking them will keep them enclosed for a few weeks while they get used to the area and see the existing flock she feeds and cares for, and then they will be free flying around her home.
  • The young stock dove is in an aviary with collared doves (because we don’t have any other stock doves at the moment), and will also be released later this month when we’re happy that he’s old enough (we’ll wait a bit for the iridescence to appear on his neck). He has reverted back to his wild state and doesn’t want anything to do with us humans, which is great because we can release him without having to worry that he’s tame! Here’s a photo of him:
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Stock dove with a collared dove (right). 27th October


Today six fantail pigeons were brought to my work. The gentleman who owned them didn’t want them anymore and after having problems finding homes for them he was directed to my work to see if we could help. Although my workplace is a wildlife rescue centre and does not take in domestic animals, occasionally we take in fancy pigeons in need of care or rehoming if domestic rescue centres cannot help – which was the case with these six fantails.

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Upon opening the boxes I found four young adult fantails and two baby fantails. Apparently the father of the two babies was amongst the four adults – so I put the two babies and their father in one aviary and the other three fantails in the aviary next to them.

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I have to admit I initially found these fantails very dopey and clumsy. They didn’t seem to have mastered the art of flying and found it hard to fly to the top perches in the aviaries. But my heart melted when I watched the father fantail feed his young – the babies squeaked and shrugged their wings – and the father fed them with the usual gusto you see in parent pigeons. Since I fell in love with pigeons from having been in contact with feral pigeons not fancy ones, I find ferals to be prettier and more interesting than the fancy breeds. (Am I a feral pigeon snob?!) But I think the fancy breeds are starting to seep into my thoughts. … And these fantails are a good start! :)

When I got home I searched the net for a bit more info on fantails (I knew these ones aren’t show fantails). It seems the name for them is “garden fantail doves”. I’ve never seen these type brought to my work before, usually the white garden doves are brought in (are they more popular than the fantails?). Although breeders and enthusiasts state that they are suited for dovecotes and can fly well and evade predators, I have my doubts about the four adults that we now have. I’ll have to watch their behaviour a bit more before we decided if they are to be in an aviary or free flying.

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