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Fancy pigeons

Photos: Brendan Burden

Jacobin pigeon
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Brendan Burden’s portraits reveal the unexpected beauty of these everyday birds.

When did you last see a pigeon? Was it eating fast food leftovers in the park? Bothering you while you were trying to dine al fresco? Pooing on a statue?

Pigeons are everywhere in many modern cities, and they’re not much loved for it.

But Canadian photographer Brendan Burden believes we’ve forgotten about the pigeon’s beauty. That’s why, in this series of photos, he celebrates the world of “fancy pigeons”.

Humans have been keeping pigeons for at least 10,000 years, in fact they may well have been the first bird to be domesticated. Fancy pigeons, kept primarily for their beauty, have been around almost as long, and are even depicted on Egyptian tomb hieroglyphs.

Through the use of formal portrait techniques, Burden presents pigeons with an esteem normally reserved for grander subjects. 

So next time you see one, you’ll remember that these birds are more than just pests in the park.

photo of pigeon

Ash red homing pigeon

fancy pigeon photo

Crested pigeon

pigeon photos

Ring-necked dove

Racing pigeon

image of pigeon

Copper wing archange

pigeon images

Egyptian swift

Indian fantail

Yellow komorner tumbler

Black modena bronze shield

Diamond dove

English long faced tumbler

Baldhead roller

Lavender racing homer

Domestic flight