Photo Gallery: Surprisingly Gorgeous Champion Pigeons

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If you live in New York – or any big city for that matter – you live with pigeons. Mostly, you look right past them, unless they decide to drop a little present on you. Like rats and roaches, they’re often considered a type of vermin, and have long been eschewed by residents for fear that they carry diseases. However, unlike rats and roaches (we think), there are Grand National Championships for pigeons. We first saw a few of the winning show pigeons from the 2010 championships over at Swiss Miss, and became so intrigued that we delved into the National Pigeon Association website for more. We were surprised to find that pigeons can be strange, beautiful and captivating, and that they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, not just Central Park gray. Click through to see a few champion pigeons and let us know in the comments which ones you like the best.

Saint Pigeon

Carrier Pigeon

Schmalkaldnener Mohrenkopf

Holle Cropper

Berlin Tumbler

Bokhara Trumpeter

Champion Norwich

Cumulet

Bavarian Pouter

African Owl

Fantail

Komorner Tumbler

Show King