Pigeon fancying

Pigeons. Flying rats, people call them. Whether it’s their sheer numbers or their dirty grey plumage, an unwelcoming public generally finds something to resent when it comes to our greasy, unkempt feathered friends.

Perhaps the humble city pigeon could take some pointers from its dashing country cousins? I wonder in the wake of a recent weekend in Cambridgeshire, which saw us visiting the Gransden Show.

There, our preconceived pigeon notions were dashed. I simply hadn’t been aware of the sheer wealth of pigeon varieties that one can fancy, yet here they were – standing proud, seemingly well aware they were there to be admired.

And admired they were.

Some were all puffed up:

Some were curious:

Some were suave:

Pigeon. James Pigeon.

And some were, well, a bit greasy. Yet here it came off as raffish charm, rather than that unsightly, need-a-bath look they tend to rock in London.

In truth, pigeon fancying is unlikely to make it onto my hobby list anytime soon. Yet a few minutes at the Gransden Show was all it took to make me see these unappreciated creatures in a whole new light.

City pigeons: pull your socks up.




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