We usually see regular-sized pigeons almost everywhere but did you know there are pigeons that are as large as turkeys and pheasants? Yes, such giant pigeons exist! Let me tell you about them.
Victoria Crown Pigeon
The Victoria Crown pigeon is the largest living pigeon in the world. It is as big as a large chicken and some can gain the size of a female turkey. Its enchanting crown and colors make it look even more beautiful. Most of its wild populations exist in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.  It is the heaviest & the largest known pigeon species in the world; it’s beak to tail length can be up to 74 cm & it can weigh up to 2.4 kgs. 
Sadly, Victoria Crown pigeon is near threatened due to human-caused damage to its natural habitat.  Moreover, illegal trading and hunting are also causing severe damage to its population. To protect its remaining population and help save this species from going extinct like its cousin species the Dodo, several conservation programs are making efforts. Many zoos have adopted some of their population as Victoria Crown pigeons living longer in human care. 
Pomeranian Pouter, also known as Pomeranian Cropper & Pommerscher Kröpfer originated in Pomerania (a region split between Germany & Poland) around the mid-19th century. It was developed through selective breeding between Dutch Croppers, English Croppers, and other breeds. Its impressive resemblance to Dutch Croppers has made some breeders believe that it is a refined Dutch Cropper of the present era.
Pomeranian Pouter is one of the largest Pouter/Cropper variants. A pure Pomeranian Pouter is 50-60 cm long and weighs 0.6-0.85 kg. 
Pheasant pigeon looks like a pheasant but it is just a large pigeon like the victoria crown pigeon. In fact, they have a lifestyle similar to pheasants. Not many details are available about its origin but it is believed to have existed for centuries. Most of the Pheasant pigeon population belongs to New Guinea and its associated islands.  Sadly, Pheasant pigeons are endangered and one of their subspecies, the Black-napped Pheasant-pigeon is critically endangered.
A full-grown Pheasant pigeon can be long as 50 cm and can weigh up to 500 gm. 
French Mondain, also known as Gros Mondain originated in France. Its recorded history starts from 1824. French Mondain pigeon looks like a chicken because of its bulky body and upward lifted tail. It is one of the heaviest fancy pigeon breeds in the world.
A well-defined French Mondain pigeon weighs 1 kg or more. Its length from beak to tail is 43 cm.  Because of its large and heavy body, French Mondain was once considered a utility pigeon; it was bred for squab production.  But now it is used only for exhibitions.
Giant Runt was developed in the USA through cross-breeding between the original runt (a 2000-year-old breed) & other breeds. The exact year of development is not known but it was first exhibited in 1873 in Philadelphia.  Giant Runt is the largest domestic pigeon breed in the world, it can weigh up to 1.2 kgs and develop lengths up to 50 cm. 
Since it is huge in size, in the earlier days, the original runt was used for squab production. Later when the giant runt was developed, it was used in exhibitions and work on new breeds like king pigeon and American Fantail pigeon. Because of its massive weight & size, it does not fly well.
American Fantail originated in the USA in the early 20th century but was never recognized as a new breed. The breed was not given much attention until it was brought to Pakistan, India & Bangladesh where breeders further refined it and produced the present-day American Fantail.
Apparently, American fantails are Indian fantails but in huge size and this is why most fantail clubs do not recognize it as a separate breed. In fact, in the USA & UK, the American Fantail is considered an oversized Indian fantail, and the English Fantail is now called the American Fantail. However, American Fantail is still popular in Pakistan, India & Bangladesh.
A good-sized American Fantail can weigh up to 600 gm & can be up to 50 cm long from beak to the tip of tail feathers.
Old German Cropper
Old German Cropper, also known as (Altdeutscher Kröpfer and Boulant Allemand Ancien) originated in Germany. It is known to have existed at least since the 15th century; it might be older than that. Old German Cropper is one of the longest Cropper/Pouter breeds.  The breed was uncommon until 1945 when some pairs were brought to the USA and exhibited in South Carolina. 
The weight of an Old German Cropper is 750 gm. Apparently, no details are available regarding its size. Since some sources claim it is the longest cropper breed  & its size appears similar to Pomeranian Pouters, we can approximate its length to Pomeranian Pouter’s which is 50 cm inches.
Both, in terms of size and weight, the Western Crown pigeon is the largest pigeon species in the world. In terms of weight, the Giant Runt is the second largest and in terms of size, the Pomeranian Pouter is the second largest breed in the world.
I hope I have covered all the largest pigeon species in the world. Let me know in the comments if I have missed any.
Bilal is a freelance writer and a content creator. He has been in the pigeon hobby for over 15 years. Over the years, he has worked on various fancy pigeon breeds and explored their history.