There are many breeds of pigeons, you might want to know these breeds before deciding on a breed.
There are over 200 varieties of pigeons, these come in all sizes, colors and shapes. The ones listed below will be of help to you in your selection of variety or breed.
Antwerp- This bird came from Antwerp in Belgium in the mid 1860's. These 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. The face should measure 1 3/8 inches. This is a shapely, broad breasted, deep chested and a large pigeon with a long straight back and broad shoulders having tail feathers that won't touch the ground. The flight feather should be folded and short to rest on the tail. These come in many colors with red eyes, a black short beak and legs of medium length with crimson feet.
Archangel- Some think this pigeon was originally from Russia others say from Asia. This is a little pigeon, is very alert and small, comes in lots of color varieties. You can breed both the crested and uncreasted varieties. This pigeon will stand erect with its very slender neck and body with beautiful plumage.
Barb- This is a very old breed of domestic pigeons. It was originated from Europe, England and North Africa. This is a medium sized pigeon with short, thick curved beak, long body and a short neck. The knobby flesh around the eyes called the cere is coral red and the eyes are white with black pupils. The colors are white, yellow, dun, black and red.
Carneau- This is a utility pigeon from Belgium and also France. It is also a show bird with a short, compact, heavy-set broad-breast. It has large eyes with a smooth, flesh-colored or well cere and a beak of medium length and stout with a V-shaped wattle. The colors are yellow, red, white, black and dun color and the plumage is close fitting.
Carrier- Originated in Persia, was thought of for years as the "King of Pigeons". It was bred to carry messages and was raised because of the homing ability but now is just a fancy variety. It has a large body, enormous wattles around the beak and has close fitting plumage and is also tall. The colors are red, yellow, white, dun, blue and black.
Cumulet- This pigeon is originated from France. It is the ancestor of the Racing Homer, is a medium sized pigeon, has a full chest and a well-proportioned body with long wings and short legs. The color is usually only white but some have red flecks on the neck and head.
Dragoon- Originated from English. This is a cross between the Horseman and Tumbler and has a wedge-shaped head, with a short blunt beak and peg-shaped wattle. The colors are a dark reddish-purple in blues, checkers, grizzles, and silvers. This pigeon is poised, has a wedge-shaped boy, short legs and a thick short neck, is actually very heavy weight up to 20 ounces.
Fantail- Originated in India, is known as the broad-tailed shaker. It has a small head, slender neck, fan-shaped tail with a small body and a chest carried upright higher that it's head which rests on the cushion formed by the tail feathers. The most popular color is white, but other colors are yellow, red, blue, black, silver, dun, checker and saddle. This is one of the most beautiful of all pigeons.
Florentine- Originated in Italy, is called a hen pigeon as the shape is similar to a hen. This is a large pigeon and very striking with a colored head, colored wing coverst and tail and white wings. The colors also include red, yellow, blue, black and black bars.
Homer- There are several varieties of homer pigeons:
Exhibition Homer- Originated in England. It is lighter in weight than the Show Homer, has a straight stout beak.
Genuine Homer- Originated in England and is the exhibition counterpart of the Racing Homer.
German Beauty Homer- Originated from Germany, is an exhibition pigeon much like the Racing Homer but thinner.
Giant Homer- Originated in the United States, for its size and squab-producing ability. It is a good utility pigeon, comes in many colors with blue checks and silver being the most popular.
Racing Homer- Originated from Belgium and England, is bred from the best of flyers from other breeds. These pigeons will vary in appearance and are not always the most beautiful.
Show Homer- Originated in England, is a large pigeon with a head which forms a long unbroken, well-arched curve from the tip of the beak to the back of the head. It is bred in many colors.
Hungarian- Originated from Austria, is a cross between the Florentine, the Swallow and another pigeon. It is a large, handsome hen-type pigeon. These are bred in many colors.
Ice Pigeon- Originated in Germany, has light blue ice-like colors. There are two types and they are called clean-legged and muffed. All have about the same color but some have black or white bars, others are barless.
Jacobin- Originated in Cyprus, has a hood of feathers that resembles hoods worn by the Jacobin order of monks. The colors are yellow, white, black, blue, silver, and red. This is a good feeder and breeder.
King- The colors of this pigeon are red, yellow, dun, white, blue and silver. Originated in the United States and is a cross of the Swiss Mondaine, Dragoon, Duchess and Florentine. It is a medium sized pigeon weighing up to 35 ounces. The cere and legs are bright red, with a chunky build, and a large well-rounded head.
Lahore- Named for the Pakistani city Lahore. It is grouse-legged, has feathers on its legs and feet, is fairly large and is used as a utility breed.
Lark- Originated in Germany, is a large pigeon, broad breasted and long bodied and has two varieties, the Coburg Lark and the Buremberg Lark.
Magpie- Originated in Germany, is a small, graceful, streamlined pigeon with a shallow body, snake neck, small head and has a white body, wings, shoulders, legs, colored head, neck, chest, back tail and rump. Magpies come in colors of blue, silver, black, dun, cream, yellow and red.
Maltese- Originated in Germany and Austria, is a large bird, is now bred as a show bird. It has a hen-shaped body, long neck, long, straight legs, with straight tail feathers. The colors are black, silver, blue, red, white, dun and yellow.
Modena- Originated in Italy, comes in two basic coor patterns in about 150 different colors. The pigeon is about ten inches in length, has a heavy-set or cobby but graceful appearance, and is a good breeder.
Mondaine- Originated from France, is an excellent utility pigeon with a broad back and a long breast. These make good show birds. They are very long birds.
Nun- Originated from Germany, has a shell crest and the markings make it attractive and easy to distinguish from other pigeons. It is a very friendly and easily tamed pigeon and can be allowed to come and go as it pleases.
Oriental Frill- Originated in Turkey and is considered to be a beautiful pigeon, comes in lots of colors, has a frill of feathers on the breast. It has a short beak and peaked crests that rise to the highest point of the head. There are varieties of this pigeon and include: Satinettes, Blondinettes, Turbiteens, and Oriental Turbits.
Owl- Originated in Asia, have clean legs, plain heads, and frills of feathers on the breast. The colors are blue, black, silver, white, yellow and red.
Pouter and Cropper- These make up a very large family, and include: English Pouter, Pigmy Pouter, Dutch Cropper, Old German Cropper, Brunner Pouter, and Holle Cropper. These are very distinctive birds, easily tamed, and the most amusing of all pigeons.
Runt- The largest of all domestic pigeons, can weight up to 2 1/2 pounds, is an excellent utility pigeon, is the oldest of all domestic pigeons. The colors are blue, silver, red, yellow and black.
Scandaroon- Originated in Bagdad, resembles the Carrier in bearing, shape and size, has a long more curved beak more so than any other member of the pigeon family. The colors are blue, white, black, red and yellow with markings similar to the magpie.
Strasser- Originated in Austria as a utility pigeon, is very popular as a fancy breed. It has a colored head, neck, wings, and tail with colored feathers on the back. The rest of the colored feathers on the back. The rest of the body is white. The colors include, black lace, lark colors, blue, blue barred, black or white barred, blue checkered, red or yellow.
Swallow- Originated from Germany, is like a field pigeon with a shell crest and colored head or cap. The colors are black, blue, silver, red and yellow.
Tumbler- Originated in Europe, the varieties include: English Short-Faced Tumbler, Long-Faced Tumblers, Birmingham Roller, Flying Tippler, Parlow Tumbler and German Tumbler. This pigeon was bred for its flying ability and performance.
Turbit- Originated perhaps in England, France or Germany, is one of the more beautiful pigeons, is hardy and is cared for easily. The body is white, with wing feathers in colors of black, red, blue, dun or yellow.