Fun King Pigeon Facts For Kids

Abhishek Mishra
Oct 20, 2022 By Abhishek Mishra
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat
Find interesting king pigeon facts for kids
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.6 Min

Originating in the United States, the king pigeon (Columba livia domestica) is a utility breed. The average weight of a king pigeon is 1.2-1.98 lb (570-900 g), while their length and height are 5-6 in (12.7-15.2 cm) and 10-11 in ( 25.5-27.9 cm) respectively.

In addition, the bird has a large chest, and the average length of the chest is 5.5 in (13.9 cm); they also have a short tail.

Rock pigeons (Columba livia) are believed to be the ancestors of these kings. In terms of the breed's history, the breed was developed by cross-breeding four old varieties: Duchess, Homer, Runt, and Maltese. The objective was to include all of their best traits, such as alertness, compactness, grace, and a huge body, in a single breed.

King pigeons are found in white, brown, and silver-black colors. Some are even found in brownish-gray, yellow, or red colors and have spots right above their tail.

These round-shaped pigeons are primarily used for squab production. The birds are also known as 'show kings' and are sometimes bred and used for exhibition purposes at several pigeon shows. Unlike other breeds, king pigeons can easily be found throughout the world, but the International Union for Conservation of Nature has not evaluated the status of the breed.

Keep on reading to learn more interesting facts about the king pigeon. If you want to search for more exciting information about different animals, check out these golden eagle and black swan facts too.

King Pigeon Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a king pigeon?

The king pigeon is a large-sized bird that originated in the United States of America. The birds are also known as show kings. These domesticated pigeons are herbivores and primarily prey on seeds, fruits, and plants.

What class of animal does a king pigeon belong to?

The king pigeon belongs to the class Aves, the Columbidae family, and the genus of Columba.

How many king pigeons are there in the world?

The exact population of king pigeon birds is not known as of now, but this breed is quite common and is found throughout the world. Also, according to a statistic, there are more than 400 million pigeons worldwide, and out of that, more than 1 million pigeons are found in New York alone!

Where does a king pigeon live?

King pigeons are found worldwide and are not endemic to a certain location. These birds originated in the United States.

What is a king pigeon's habitat?

King pigeons are domesticated pigeons and are primarily found living their life on farms. King pigeons are either used for squab production or exhibition. Unlike other pigeon breeds, king pigeons lack the ability to live their life in forests.

Who does a king pigeon live with?

Like other pigeon breeds, king pigeon birds live in a pair or groups. Some birds might live their life alone on farms and they are likely to assume that the people living on the farm are members of their group. For centuries, the non-migratory king pigeon birds have adopted the skill of living with humans.

How long does a king pigeon live?

The lifespan of king pigeon birds is between 14 and 15 years. These birds generally live to twice the age of many feral pigeon breeds. Generally, most pigeon breeds only live for up to three to six years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

Like several wild pigeon breeds, king pigeons follow the same process of breeding. However, unlike other pigeons, these birds generally choose partners before breeding. Young birds are raised by both male and female king pigeon birds and king pigeon birds generally reach sexual maturity around 130-140 days after birth.

The male king pigeon bird generally nods his head as a courtship display, while the female king pigeon can spread her wings as a sign of interest. After choosing their partners, king pigeon birds feed each other with their beaks and make similar sounds.

The incubation period usually lasts for around two to three weeks, and the female lays about two eggs in every breeding season. The female king pigeon bird is quite protective of the eggs and the nest and the babies are called squeakers when they are born.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has not evaluated the status of this species as king pigeons are domestic birds. The breed is found in several continents such as Asia, Europe, and North America.

King Pigeon Fun Facts

What do king pigeons look like?

Several breeds of pigeons were cross-bred to develop these kings, making it difficult to identify them. These breeds were the Duchess, Homer, Runt, and Maltese. Homer birds are best known for their alertness which is also seen in king pigeon birds. Also, the round blue body and short tail of the king pigeon resemble the Homer breed.

King Pigeon

*Please note that the image is of the Homer pigeon, not the king pigeon. If you have an image of a king pigeon, please let us know at

How cute are they?

As king pigeons are found in several uncommon colors such as silver, yellow and red, the breed is quite adorable. Also, king pigeons love to cuddle and be around each other. The cutest thing about these birds is that they poke each other around their necks and heads! Large-sized show kings are also quite fascinating to look at.

How do they communicate?

There is very little information regarding the methods of communication used by king pigeons, but it is believed that these birds use similar methods to the feral breed of pigeons. Touch, sense of smell, and call notes are their primary ways of communication.

During the breeding season, king pigeons use several sounds and body movements as courtship displays to attract each other. People can also train domestic show kings using several sign languages.

How big is a king pigeon?

The king pigeon breed is known for its large size. The body of the bird is quite big compared to other wild pigeons.

The average weight of a king pigeon is 1.2-1.98 lb (570-900 g), while their length and height are 5-6 in (12.7-15.2 cm) and 10-11 in ( 25.5-27.9 cm) respectively. Thus, king pigeons are thrice the weight of feral pigeons or city doves.

Also, these birds are 10 times the weight of the Valencian Figurita, a fancy pigeon breed from Spain.

How fast can a king pigeon fly?

The exact speed of the king pigeons' flight is not known as of now. However, the average speed of all pigeons is between 77-92 mph (123-148 kph). Research reveals that king pigeons can not fly over 15 ft (4.5 m) in the air as they easily get exhausted during flight.  

How much does a king pigeon weigh?

The average weight of king pigeons is 1.2-1.98 lb (570-900 g). Show kings are known for their huge size.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male king pigeons are called 'cocks', while people refer to female king pigeons as 'hens'.

What would you call a baby king pigeon?

Terms such as 'squabs' and 'squeakers' are used to refer to babies of king pigeons.

What do they eat?

King pigeons are herbivores and primarily prey on fruits, plants, and several types of seeds. People also feed maize, wheat, nut, pea, mustard, and multiple supplements as food to show kings.

Are they dangerous?

Unlike some other birds, king pigeon birds are not very aggressive or harmful to humans. For decades, these birds have adapted themselves to live their lives with humans. However, the bird could also attack if someone tries to provoke it unnecessarily. Female king pigeons are very protective of their eggs and will go to any extent to guard them.

Would they make a good pet?

Unlike other pigeon birds, king pigeons have no skills or experience of living in the wild and can easily be killed by wild animals if left alone in the wild, but these birds are regarded as among the smartest, cutest, and most gentle birds.

These birds are primarily found on farms, and in several countries, people also rescue these beautiful pigeons from poultry farms and keep them as pets.

The rescued or saved king pigeon bird, unlike other pigeons, is very sweet and friendly with humans. Also, if tamed properly, these pigeon birds can become quite affectionate and loving with other pets in the house. Therefore, several organizations and NGOs rescue these domestic pigeon birds and keep them as pets.

Did you know...

The first king pigeon was developed in the United States during the last decade of the 19th century.

The American giant runt, or the runt pigeon, is also the descendant of the rock pigeon. Natives often call these birds 'rock doves'.

The first breed to serve in the World War during the 20th century was a breed of homing pigeons.

A commonly found white pigeon can be sold for around $100, while the fancy silver and blue-colored birds might be sold at a more costl yprice. King pigeons can also be sold for betwen $100-$200, depending upon their genes.

Adult pigeons sometimes kill their babies, which is called scalping. Pigeons scalp their babies only on rare occasions, like if a weak chick is born. They also scalp if the baby falls out of the nest and does not die from this fall.

Some king pigeons are white, but did you know that the white color of doves symbolizes love and peace?

The meat of the king pigeons is believed to be highly nutritious.

The Nicobar pigeon is considered to be the rarest pigeon in the world.

Rock pigeons are related to king pigeons. They originated in the 16th century and are the oldest among all species of pigeons.

What is the most beautiful pigeon in the world?

The Victoria crowned pigeon is a Near Threatened species and is regarded as the most beautiful pigeon in the world. These birds are primarily found in the New Guinea region.

These birds inhabit lowland swamp forests, sago forests, and alluvial plains. Their blue-gray wings with the blue crest of the Victoria crowned pigeon make the bird super elegant.

Unfortunately, the population of these beautiful birds has been declining over the years, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the pigeon in the Near Threatened category. Because of this, it has been declared illegal to own these pigeon birds as pets.

How many types of pigeons are there?

According to the International Ornithological Congress, there are 344 species of pigeons and doves in the family of Columbidae. Four of these pigeons and doves species, the Duchess, Homer, Runt, and Maltese, were bred to develop the king pigeon. Some other popular species include African green pigeons, spinifex pigeons, frill back pigeons, and rock pigeons.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our sparrow facts or American flamingo facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable King pigeon coloring pages.

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Written by Abhishek Mishra

Bachelor of Arts specializing in History

Abhishek Mishra picture

Abhishek MishraBachelor of Arts specializing in History

As a content writer, Abhishek's passion for writing extends beyond professional content creation. With a Bachelor's degree in History from Ram Lal Anand College in Delhi, Abhishek is a skilled writer in both English and Hindi, bringing a creative flair to his work. He enjoys crafting satires and poetry and is dedicated to producing engaging and informative content.

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Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali Rawat picture

Sonali RawatBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali has a Bachelor's degree in English literature from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and is currently pursuing a Master's in English and Communication from Christ University. With considerable experience in writing about lifestyle topics, including travel and health, she has a passion for Japanese culture, especially fashion, and anime, and has written on the subject before. Sonali has event managed a creative-writing festival and coordinated a student magazine at her university. Her favorite authors are Toni Morrison and Anita Desai.

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