The Fantails
Fantails are one of the oldest known breeds of pigeons. They are believed to have been developed in India, but the first written documentation of their existence was written by Zacarias of Spain in 1150. Willoughby's Ornithology of 1676 noted two types of fantails still found today. The Broad Tail Shaker and the Indian Fantail. The Broad Tail Shaker is simply referred to today as a Fantail. It is smaller than the Indian fantail and stands and walks quite differently, still exhibiting some of that Shaker shaking. The head is held al the way back against the tail and the tail is held almost vertically. While white is the most popular color, it is found in black, red, yellow, blue, brown and in several different markings, including shield and tail marked like the one in the picture. American body marked fantail.
The Indian Fantail is quite a bit larger, weighing in at 14 to 18 ounces, making it a sturdier looking bird. It stands more horizontal and the tail is more funnel than fan shaped. The feet have short feathers (grouse muffed) and the head shows a slight peak of feathers on the back of the head, referred to as a peak crest. Both of these varieties are quite popular in the United States and are supported by specialty clubs. The NPA, National Pigeon Association, has developed detailed standards for both, detailing the exact type, shape, size and behavior needed for show quality birds. One very striking type of marking for this breed is called ribbon tail. Sorry I do not have a picture of one. Perhaps someone out there could send one in to add to this page. Fantail from India
Two other breeds, of which little is known in the States are the Thai Fantail and the Syrian Fantail. The Syrian Fantail is recognized by NPA with an official standard. The tail is really more of an upside down V shape than a fan shape. The Syrian and Mid-eastern clubs are the best sources for contacts concerning this particular breed. Syrain Fantial
The Thai Fantail is virtually unknown in this country. It holds its tail sort of in-between the Syrian and Indian Fantail. It has a peak crest is groused muffed. Fantial of Thailand