I'd been vaguely aware of pigeons until I read my friend Rosemary Mosco's book A Pocket Guide to Pigeon Watching.

Now I'm in love.

It started with the back cover, where there's a pigeon trying so hard to impress me with its puffed-up plumage. They're all such good pigeons.

pigeon eyeing me as it puffs and struts, saying "heyyyyy"
From the back cover of A Pocket Guide to Pigeon Watching

And so in honor of my newfound appreciation of pigeons, I decided to generate some never-before-seen pigeon breeds. And to my unending delight, Rosemary agreed to help me.

She collected 42 real pigeon breeds with interesting names, like "Hungarian Giant House Pigeon" and "Archangel" and "Fish-eye Roller". Then I gave the list to a couple of neural networks, giant internet-trained models that are part of gpt-3. They're trained to complete text, so given a list of interesting pigeon breeds, they generally try to come up with new and equally interesting-sounding breeds. Here are some of our favorites, illustrated by Rosemary Mosco herself:

Scented Pouter: pigeon’s neck is puffed up and it’s exuding a flowery scent  Most-Kneed Tiptoeing Pigeon: Pigeon has four knees per leg and is tiptoeing Rodeo Puff: Fluffy pigeon is wearing a cowboy hat and tiny cowboy boots Half-waved Party Pigeon: Pigeon is waving one wing and wearing cool party parrot sunglasses.  Little Gem: Pigeon is tiny and gleaming  Long-headed Clearwing: Pigeon’s head is four times longer than usual, and its wings are like frosted glass. Intense Nightingale: Pigeon is staring directly at the camera, with a spooky moon in the background American Giant Screaming Eagle: pigeon has an eagle’s head and red, white, and blue wings. It’s holding an American flag and going EEEEE Vanisher: Pigeon is vanishing, tail first
Illustrations by Rosemary Mosco

I love them all.

And if you or the pigeon fanciers in your life would like to learn more about real pigeons, I recommend you check out Rosemary's charming and informative book.

You can find other fun science and nature cartoons at Rosemary's website, birdandmoon.com.

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