Parrot Pigeon Hybrids: Do They Exist + All You Need To Know

Parrot pigeon hybrids do not exist, parrots and pigeons are too genetically different to ever interbreed.

It is fair to say that some fancy pigeon breeds bare a passing resemblance to colorful tropical parrots such as the pink-necked green pigeon, but it is only a visual similarity.

Pigeons and parrots have incompatible DNA.

Added to this, the physical act of mating is almost impossible without medical intervention. And, even if the male bird’s seed were added to a female, it wouldn’t create any sort of offspring.

parrot pigeon hybrid

The same is true of other supposed pigeon hybrids including the chicken pigeon hybrid and the seagull pigeon hybrid; they are genetically incompatible.

What About Online Pictures Of The Parrot Pigeon Hybrid?

A quick search will reveal numerous pictures of supposedly parrot pigeon hybrids.

In all cases, they turn out to be domestic pigeons that had been dyed different colors in several acts of cruel animal abuse.

This is not the first time that pigeons have been dyed. It seems it has happened quite a lot over the course of recorded history.

As recently as December 2021, the Daily Express reported on a pigeon – dubbed Penelope after the character in Thunderbirds – that had been dyed pink and was wandering the streets in Solihull.

Another example of a so-called parrot pigeon hybrid occurred in Queens, New York in 2014.

In other cases some claim they dyed their pigeons so they could recognize them during races, and others so they could recognize their pigeons if they were lost.

Some claimed they bought fancy colored pigeons only to find out they were dyed once the birds molted.

Others claim that their dyed pigeons were not killed by cats.

In the end, it is unfair and cruel to the birds.

We also know that nature produces its own mutations many of which probably never come to light and then there are examples that happen serendipitously.

For example, Pinky the dove turned out to be its peachy color because it had fallen into a barrel of tile pigment powder

Aren’t Hybrids Common in the Animal Kingdom?

When some species are very closely related, they may mate and hybrid animals result but it creates sterile offspring. The most common example of this is the mule.

A mule is a mix of donkey and horse. Yet, each is born sterile and unable to breed.

For the sake of this article, we will call this the “Mule” offspring.

The more surprising and more recent discovery was that of a lion and tiger, known as the “Liger.”

This “Mule” creature looks a lot like a regular lion but is actually the sterile offspring of a tiger and lion.

Some online images show white tiger and lions having very fancy offspring, but these are photo-shopped images.

The real liger creature is quite average-looking.

Despite some species being able to crossbreed to an extent, the parrot and pigeon are not closely related.

Even in their distant past, their ancestors were not related recently enough to offer up similar genetic patterns.

Their ancestors are probably a little more recent than the class of theropod dinosaurs (named Paraves), but even geographically, there is no reason to believe that the birds were interbreeding even millions of years ago.

The Parrot Pigeon Hybrid

In the bird world, the most “mule” offspring have been found in the finch family, the pheasant family and the goose family.

However, a few parrot mules have been found. Again, these were not long-lasting hybrids since their offspring were born sterile.

Even if they mated with their own siblings, they couldn’t create a continuation of their line.

If you see a “parrot” pigeon, then it is probably a pigeon that has been dyed. If not, it is probably a fancy pigeon. In some rarer cases, it is the parrot that looks a little like a pigeon.

pink necked green pigeon - rainbow pigeon
pink necked green pigeons may be mistaken for parrots

Every now and again, you will see a chick online that looks similar to a pigeon, but you rarely see parrots that look like pigeons.

When you do, it is often something that bears a passing resemblance to a pigeon, such as a small African grey.

Plus, some people claim that baby and very young parrots look very similar to baby pigeons, though it seems very subjective.

Where Did the Idea of a Parrot Pigeon Hybrid Start?

One is tempted to blame the various examples of people dying and coloring their pigeons, but the idea may have actually been popularised in bird sanctuaries.

The three most popular pet birds are budgies, pigeons and parrots, and perhaps finches in some countries.

When people get tired of their pigeons and parrots because they are too much work, they hand them off to a sanctuary that will hopefully re-home them.

Though there are always a few troublemakers in the group, in most cases, the parrots and pigeons will get along quite fine, except for when some parrots try to bully the pigeons.

As mentioned earlier, baby/young parrots and pigeons look similar, so it is no surprise that some employees start shouting about how the pigeons and parrots in their care have interbred.

The other most common reason for the parrot pigeon hybrid is due to wild pigeons and wild parrots being misidentified.

When we are trained to identify different types of birds, we see pictures of them in perfect condition.

However, in the wild, the birds get dirty, disheveled, and will sometimes look a little rough.

There are some cases where wild birds are very difficult to identify because they look talk they have been rolling around in an abandoned quarry.

As a result, these birds look a little like pigeons or parrots, and silly rumors of the parrot pigeon hybrid are perpetuated.

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