How to Identify Male and Female Fantail Pigeon?

It is challenging to differentiate the gender of fantail pigeons even for the breeders due to minor differences in their features. Many physical features help differentiate between the male and female pigeons, like the shape of their head, eyes, toes, neck, etc.

How to Identify Male and Female Fantail Pigeon? You can identify male and female Fantail pigeons by looking at their physical features closely. Males have rounded heads, wide necks, large bodies, straight tails, and sleek bodies. While the females are lighter, have a thin neck and long beak, and vent bones are at a good distance. Moreover, the males have aggressive behavior, create loud sounds, and push their chest out for mating.

You can identify the fantail pigeons by many means that have their own accuracy and reliability.

It is better to check multiple aspects instead of relying on only one as there is less probability of their accuracy.

Furthermore, you can also get help from a pigeon expert dealing with breeding for many years if you are a beginner.

What Are Fantail Pigeons?

It is a particular type of pigeon that is commonly known as a fancy or ornamental pigeon due to its fan-shaped tail.

They have almost 28 to 42 feathers in their tail, while the others have only 10 to 15. They have a wide variety of colors, including black, white, red, silver, blue, etc.

Furthermore, the average lifespan of these birds is almost 12 to 20 years. They are not good flyers and walk on the ground while displaying their tail feathers.

You can consider them as homing birds as they return to the ground after flying higher on the roofs and trees perches for a few minutes.

How do you Identify between a male and female fantail pigeon?

It is not easy to differentiate the gender of fantail pigeons, and you have to check them by carefully observing their characteristic feature or by genome testing.

Test DNA

One of the reliable and accurate methods to determine the gender of fantail pigeons is to test their DNA, which gives almost 99% accurate results.

It is possible to check their DNA by taking a sample from their blood and toenails. You can also pluck their toenails for PCR to use as a DNA sample.

It can be hectic as you have to wait for a long and spend some money on the test procedures.

You have to pay almost $20 to $30 for a single DNA test, but it ensures the reliability of the results, and you cannot doubt it. In addition, the report mentions their gender.

Furthermore, it can also help determine the parentage of the birds through a molecular analysis of their genome.

Head, Eyes, and Neck

You can easily differentiate the gender of fantail pigeons by looking at their head shape. Males have a round-shaped head, while their partners have a flattened head.

In the same way, the eyes of females are round in shape and have long thin necks. At the same time, their partners have no round-shaped eyes and have bigger or broader necks.


The shape of fingers, particularly the side fingers on their toes, creates a noticeable difference between them.

The back finger is almost the same shape and more minor in both of them, while the side fingers of males are equal to the front ones.

In contrast, the females have unequal side fingers that look different from the front finger.

In addition, the toes are thin, and the legs of females are weak. At the same time, their partners have thicker toes and broader legs.

Chest and Beak

Male fantail pigeons have larger bodies, so they have broader and smooth chests as their breastbone is pronounced or noticeable.

In addition, their beaks are broader and shorter and are stronger than their opposite gender. Their female partners are small in size and have flat chests.

These have long, thin beaks, which are not so efficient in crushing food.


The shape of the tail tells whether the bird is male or female. You have to hold it in your hand carefully using both hands.

Then, shake their wings in the air to see whether their tale is straight or tilted upward. A straight tail indicates that it is male, and it can be female when it is in an upward direction.

Vent bones

The distance between vent bones is prominent in females as the vent edges are larger. At the same time, there is almost little or no gap in the vent bones of males.

The vent edges of the former ones are oval as lower and upper edges are expanded in an outward direction.

While these edges in males are shaped like a horseshoe, the upper edge covers the lower one and hides it.

Body size and weight

The bodies of male birds look streamlined compared to their partners, which are rounded in shape. However, these birds are heavier, with an average body weight of 0.9 to 1.1 pounds.

Their wings have a few black spots, while two whitish spots are visible on female wings.

They have a body weight of around 0.7 to 0.8 pounds. In addition, these have rounded bodies that give a fluffy appearance.


A keen observation of the nests of fantail pigeons shows that females depend on their partners for food. Their partners feed them, particularly during the breeding.

Males regurgitate the food particles and bring them into the mouth. Then, their partner puts their beak in his mouth to get the food.


It is easy to identify a male fantail pigeon during mating because it is the one who bows its head and shows off by fanning the feathers in the air, unlike its partners.

They push the chest up and begin to chase the nearby females. This way, he tries to capture their attention, keeping their heads in an upward direction to give a positive signal.

Accordingly, this signal shows their willingness to mate. As a result, the female pigeon usually drops its wings and bends down for mating.

Incubation of eggs 

Both partners play their role in egg incubation and divide a whole day into two parts.

In the daytime, females take care of the eggs and incubate them, while the males take responsibility at night.


They produce sounds by cooing, but the intensity of sound varies. Females are not loud like their counterparts due to their calm nature.

Their counterparts are aggressive in nature and scrape their feathers on the ground after bowing their heads while making sounds.

How many types of fantail pigeons are there?

Many types of fantail pigeons include American, Thai, Indian, Silky, and Garden.

The American pigeons are known for their shorter stature. Moreover, they prefer to keep their heads between their tail and chest and walk on the toe tips.

Thai fantail birds look like Indian pigeons and weigh almost 0.8 to 0.9 pounds. Their tails have 20 to 30 feathers and are available in black and white colors.

Moreover, the Garden or English fantails are good flyers and only grown for displaying in different shows. In comparison, Indian ones have an upright chest that provides a cushioning surface to their heads.

These have more than 35 feathers, move on their toes, and are commonly available in white, gray, red, yellow, brown, and silver shades.

Furthermore, the Silky fantails have silky feathers that give a soft feel and are not commonly available.

Do fantail pigeons require more care?

They do not require special care, but they need some attention like every other creature on this planet. You can develop a strong connection with them, so it becomes easy to train them.

They can recognize the signals and quickly learn the ways to sit on your hands. They look beautiful but do not keep the areas clean and spread litter all around.

Provide them with a good food and water source in the covered dishes to avoid entry of dust and birds dropping. Give different types of food like grains of wheat, corn, millet, safflower, etc.

Crushed nuts like peanuts and hemp seeds are good for them. Moreover, you can also offer fresh fruits and leafy vegetables to these birds.

Furthermore, keep them in a safe place to avoid the attack of predators.

What do pigeon owners say about this?

I surveyed 562 people to know how they identify the gender of fantail pigeons. Out of 562 people, 334 people (59%) said they prefer to rely on physical and behavioral differences and check all the features to confirm their identity.

However, 179 people (32%) said they chose one method based on only physical or behavioral to save time.

While the remaining 49 people (9%) said no method is reliable to determine the genders except DNA testing, so they would prefer to invest a few dollars in tests to get accurate results.

It is better to rely on different aspects like physical and behavioral characteristics to get the best possible identification of gender.

“I checked the beak, neck, body size, and their feeding behavior to identify males in my new fantail pair.”

The physical parameter is quick but less reliable in differentiating the males from their partners.

“I have looked at the toe’s shape and vent bone distance to know the gender of these birds present in a cage at my friend’s house.”

You have to confirm the gender by DNA test even after examining them through appearance and behavior.

“I would prefer to check the DNA of the two fantail pigeons to save time. It is expensive but gives a reliable report.”

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