Barb Pigeon: Characteristics, Origin, Uses & Breed Information

The Barb pigeon is a breed of domestic fancy pigeon from United Kingdom. It is also called the English Barb and Barbary Pigeon.

And the breed was developed in England over many years of selective breeding. This breed and other varieties of domesticated pigeons, all are descendants from the wild or feral rock pigeon.

It is a pretty old breed and has been around for a white, dating as far back as the 1600s. Although full history of this breed has been lost over the years.

But most people believe that the breed was originally imported into Europe from Barbary in North Africa. Most notable fact about the Barb pigeon is the wattling around the eyes and beak.

And this wattling can take up to two years to fully develop into the fleshy flower-like ring around the eyes.

The Barb pigeon was referred to by Shakespeare. And it was also referred to with an illustration in Charles Darwin’s Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication. However, read some more information about this beautiful pigeon breed below.

Barb Pigeon Appearance

Barb pigeon is a small to medium sized bird with short face. It is stocky and a wattled pigeon breed.

It stands out because of the large, knobby, red circles of bare flesh around the eyes, in addition to the knobby, wrinkled cere over the bill.
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Average body height of these birds is around 13.4 inches. And their average live mature body weight is around 370 grams. Photo and info from RightPet and Wikipedia.


This pigeon is raised mainly as an exhibition breed.

Special Notes

The Barb pigeon can be an excellent breed of domestic pigeon for you if you are looking for something with a little different appearance.

This bird may look as if it has obstructed vision at first glance. But it can see and also fly well. Along with raising for exhibition purpose, the breed is also pretty good for raising as pets.

Average lifespan of these birds is about 7-10 years. However, review full breed profile of this breed in the following chart.

Barb Pigeon | Breed Profile

Breed Name Barb
Other Name Also known as English Barb and Barbary Pigeon
Breed Purpose Exhibition
Special Notes Beautiful birds, attractive uncommon appearance, very good for exhibition purpose, relatively calm, 7-10 years average lifespan
Breed Class Small to medium
Weight Around 370 grams
Climate Tolerance Native climates
Flying Ability Good
As Pets Good
Color Many
Rarity Common
Country/Place of Origin United Kingdom

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