Step aside, fashion chickens, it’s time for pigeons to stand in the spotlight and shine! The pigeons that we see in cities are just the tip of the feathered iceberg—there are lots of beautiful and unusual pigeon species that many of us haven’t ever heard of.
To show you what we mean, Bored Panda has collected photos of the rarest and most fashionable pigeons for you to enjoy. Scroll down, upvote your faves, and let us know which fashion pigeon you loved the most and why. We also know how much you love other animals, dear Pandas. So when you’re done enjoying this cool (or rather coo’) list, check out our other posts about gorgeous unusual animals right here, here, and here.
Pigeons are downright interesting when you start learning more about them. For example, some scientists argue that the common city pigeon (aka the rock pigeon) might have been the very first birb that hoomans have ever domesticated. They’re featured as figurines, in mosaics, and on coins from ancient Mesopotamia since at least 4500 BC. Bored Panda reached out to the Royal Pigeon Racing Association to learn more about these birds. Scroll down for our interview with them.
The Nicobar Pigeon
The RPRA told us that pigeons are incredibly skilled and are able to get up to speeds of over 70 miles (nearly 113 kilometers) per hour.
“They have been used in both world wars due to their skills in speed endurance and their homing abilities,” the RPRA said.
The Association agrees that pigeons most likely were the first birds that humans domesticated because of their trusting nature and calmness.
“They also have the ability to return to a central location so they are easy to keep—they always return. Meanwhile, pigeons have the ability to deliver messages; Julius Caesar used them in his battles to send messages to and from his troops and occupied areas.'
Brown Frillback Pigeon
Some of us may have thought on more than one occasion that pigeons might be a bit on the dumb side. But that isn’t the case! Researchers published a study in 2017 that proved that pigeons understand the concepts of space and time. A lot like humans and primates.
Pigeons are also expert navigators. They can find their way back to their nests from 1.3k miles (nearly 2.1k kilometers) away. The coolest part is that they’re able to do this even if they’ve been taken from their nests and moved in complete isolation and rotated so they don’t know which direction they’re moving in.
Scientists are still unsure why exactly pigeons are so awesome at this. But one thing’s for sure: humanity has known about pigeons’ navigational skill since at least 3000 BC. People used to set caged pigeons free and then follow them to nearby land.
What’s more, the ancient Greeks used to train pigeons to carry the results of the Olympics—so sports fans were always in the know! Pigeons truly are mysterious and beautiful birds and we’re still finding out new things about them every year.