Photos and clips of a proud-looking pigeon with its chest puffed out like a cartoon character and impressively long legs have been getting a lot of attention online.
The “chad pigeon” went viral after a UK pigeon breeder shared a clip of their impressive-looking bird on TikTok, where it quickly went viral. Million of people around the world have seen the footage and still can’t believe it’s a real animal. Some are convinced that it is the work of an AI-powered digital tool, while others claim that the video was digitally altered for views. However, the bird in the video is just a really impressive specimen of a rare pigeon breed called “English Pouter”. A simple Google search reveals that there is nothing too special about this particular bird, and that the extremely puffed-out chest and long legs are breed-specific traits.
The origin of the English Pouter, like that of many other fancy pigeons, is somewhat of a mystery, but according to English naturalist William Bernhardt Tegetmeier, it was the result of cross-breeding between old pigeon breeds like the Dutch Cropper, Uploper and the Parisian Pouter. Its endlessly long legs make it the tallest fancy pigeon breed in the world.
This majestic pigeon’s name was inspired by its ability to fill its crop with air and maintain this puffed-out look for long periods of time. It is believed that the breed developed this capacity to increase the success rate of the courtship ritual.
“The body is also far removed from that of the bird your mind associates with pigeons. It is slim with a ‘V-shaped keel,” pigeon breeder Frank Barrachina told Backyard Poultry.
The English Pouter is often called ‘the most distinct of all domesticated pigeons,’ so it’s no surprise that it always draws the attention of people unfamiliar with the breed. The specimen in the recently-gone-viral video was dubbed ‘chad pigeon’, ‘mutant pigeon’, ‘bodybuilder pigeon’, and ‘world’s buffest pigeon’, among other creative nicknames.
For more unusual-looking pigeons, check out the google-eyed Budapest Short Faced Tumbler, and the curly frillback pigeon.