The Chinese Owl Pigeon is also known as the Whiskered Owl Pigeon, and is used for exhibitions, as ornamental birds, and they are sometimes taken in as pets.
They live for between seven and ten years and have a fairly uncommon appearance.
The Chinese Owl Pigeon is considered small, and they have a pretty good climate tolerance for higher and lower temperatures.
Their flying ability is okay, and they are fairly common.
Chinese Owl Pigeon Origins
The average Chinese Owl Pigeon was created by selective breeding that may have first taken place in India or Spain before being classified by the British.
The first recorded evidence of the Chinese Owl Pigeon is from Germany, where they were written about in 1850.
King Prosche of Germany was noted for keeping and developing the Chinese Owl Pigeon in 1865.
In 1947, the United States Owl Club recognised the Chinese Owl Pigeon as a breed of pigeon.
The reason people think the bird came from Spain is because it looks a lot like the Spanish Chorrera pigeon, which also has similar breast feathers and neck frills.
Chinese Owl Pigeon Appearance
The Chinese Owl Pigeon comes in many different colours.
The most common are blue/blue grey, black, barred, brown, satinette, blondinette, ice, pied, white-black and white.
They are small birds with an average weight that ranges between 280 grams and 340 grams.
The bird has natural frills that often appear on its neck, and it sometimes has a very frilly underbelly that is similar to the plumage on a chicken.
The average Chinese Owl Pigeon has many frilled feathers on its chest that are divided due to a natural parting.
Feathers that rest below the parting will point downwards, which makes the feathers above look frillier, fluffier and fuller. Above the parting, the feathers are also pointing down.
As you move up the neck, you often see a second parting where the feathers are pointing up, which creates a series of feathers that makes the bird look like it has a Dracula’s cape on.
The Chinese Owl Pigeon has a short beak and a round head.
Their Chest Feathers
Do not mistake messy chest feathers for a poor quality bird.
When the birds are young, they have a habit of getting their chest feathers messy.
As the bird ages, the quality of the chest feathers improves.
As the bird becomes very old, its chest feathers start to become messy again, which is probably due to the bird’s inability to clean and preen itself as effectively as it gets older.
If your bird has gotten itself into a mess, you may be able to groom it yourself, but be careful because the area can be sensitive.
Plus, there are times when a messy chest may indicate a medical problem, though it usually indicates that your bird has been scratching around in the muck.
This is a good reason why you should keep your bird’s area relatively clean.
In most cases, the cleanliness of the bird’s feathers will not affect its flying ability, but if this is compromised a little, then this also may be due to a medical problem.
As the birds age, do not be surprised if they spend more time perching and on the floor than they do flying.
Breeding The Chinese Owl Pigeon
If your birds are domesticated, then breeding them is not too difficult.
There is no need to make special arrangements to breed certain types because they seem to drop with very random results.
One pair may have offspring that match their parents very closely, and the same pair may breed again and have different results.
Luckily, the differences between offspring are not massive, where the biggest differences are often how strong the offspring are and the quality of their chest feathers in later life.
Do not breed your pigeons more than twice per season or their offspring will become very undesirable.
Also, if the birds are struggling to take care of their young, then consider fostering them with other birds.
However, give the parents a chance because healthy Chinese Owl Pigeon pairs will often try their best to raise the offspring.
As you may imagine, you need safe temperatures if you want the birds to breed and their babies to survive, and the area needs to be safe and relatively clean.
Nesting materials should be provided that are not too rough or too harsh, and they need a suitable nesting place because the hens may lose track of their eggs if they are laid in unsuitable locations.
Chinese Owl Pigeon Character
Normalise your pigeon to human interaction and they will be pretty calm around humans.
Note that male Chinese Owl pigeons can become very territorial which will rile up the rest of the group.
Give them enough space, feeders and waterers, and you shouldn’t have any problems with rowdy pigeons.
If the pigeons are used to interactions with humans and if they have other pigeons to loiter with, then they can become very good pets.
They are fine as exhibition pets but tend to become very gentle and friendly with humans that they recognize (especially the females).