This Is What Happens At A Pigeon Beauty Pageant

These pigeons are prettier than you. Also, Mike Tyson was there.

1. The world’s most stunning pigeons became beauty queens last week at the National Pigeon Association’s 93rd annual Grand National Pigeon Show in Ontario, California.

Nick Ut / AP Photo

German Reversewing Pouter pigeons strut their stuff at the National Pigeon Association’s 93rd annual Grand National Pigeon Show in Ontario, California.

3. One of the world’s larger beauty pageants, the contest boasted more than 7,800 immaculately groomed sets of wings, hundreds of human arms, and known pigeon enthusiast, Mike Tyson.

Nick Ut / AP Photo

Mike Tyson holding a white homing pigeon.

5. Tyson recalled that he got into his first fight when a bully killed his childhood pet bird in front of him, the Associated Press reported. He now personally owns 1,800 birds.

Like every event should, he kicked off the show with the release of 100 white pigeons.

7. The birds competing for queen are officially referred to as “Fancy Pigeons.” They are genetically engineered to look like turkeys, sound like distant trumpets, or boast feathery bellbottoms that would not look out of place at the Grammy’s.

Fadiel Hendricks, president of the National Fancy Pigeon Association of South Africa calls them “the Naomi Campbells of the [pigeon] world.”

Nick Ut / AP Photo

Two Frill Back pigeons having a showdown.

9. Though pigeons are generally considered to be akin to flying rats by the general population, people at the Grand National Pigeon Show insist that they are really man’s other best friend.

Nick Ut / AP Photo

The contestants primp in their cages and wait to be judged.

11. “Pigeons … love you like a dog if you spend time with them and love them back,” said owner Samantha Wendel, adding that her her pigeon Francis “is all hugs and snuggles.”

Nick Ut / AP Photo

Samantha Wendel from North Hollywood, California, with Francis the fantailed pigeon, genetically engineered to resemble a turkey.

13. “They teach you a lot about your self,” Tyson said of his pigeons. “What I am just wasn’t what I did for a living.”

Stringer / Getty

Tyson shows love to a pigeon back in 2005.

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