The Fantail is a popular breed of fancy pigeon. It is characterised by a fan-shaped tail composed of 30 to 40 feathers, abnormally more than most members of the pigeon family, which usually have 12 to 14 feathers. The breed is thought to have originated in India, China or Spain. There are several subvarieties, such as the English Fantail, the Indian Fantail, and the Thai Fantail. Charles Darwin used it as one of the examples in the first chapter of On The Origin Of Species.
A Silky Fantail
There is a feather mutation called Silky that gives an interesting lace effect to a Fantails tail feathers. Fantails with this mutation are known as Silky or Lace Fantails.
Fantails are often used by pigeon flyers in the training of racing pigeons and Tipplers. They are used as droppers in that they are placed on the loft landing board as a signal to the flying birds to come in and be fed.