Habitat: domesticated, originally bred in Hungary
Status: No Conservation Concerns
When I first saw this bizarre creature I said to myself … what in the hell is this. It looked like a pigeon… sort of… but with HUGE bug eyes! Then I thought… hmm… it also kind of looks like a pigeon with owl eyes plastered on its face. That’s when I discovered that this wasn’t some alien bird from another planet or owl/pigeon hybrid… but a real breed of fancy pigeon! People have actually selectively bred these pigeons to look just like this. Why? We don’t know.
This is the Budapest Pigeon. The breed was developed around 1907 by the Poltl brothers of Budapest for high-flying, though its now used primarily in showroom competitions (yes, there are pigeon competitions, much like dog shows!). They’re one of the top flying pigeon breeds, able to stay in flight for up to 5 hours at a time.
I first came across a photo of a Budapest Pigeon chick and though “wow, now that’s what you call ugly duckling syndrome.” Little did I know, that this chick wasn’t destined to transform into a “swan” by any stretch of the imagination.
The photos below show a full-grown Budapest Pigeon… and you can see that those strange, frog eyes still remain even into adulthood. At least there are some feathers to cover them up a bit.
^ this one has a permanent stink-eye going on.
This bird just might be so ugly it’s cute. What do you guys think? Would you like to own your very own bug-eyed, stink-faced owl/frog pigeon creature? I think the overwhelming answer should be HELL YES!
… and now for some video of Budapest Pigeon adults set to seductive music. You’re welcome.