Yahoo! News Photo Staff

Forget winged rats — photographer snaps some of the world's most unique and vibrant pigeons

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This photographer has made it her mission to change people’s perception of pigeons — focusing on some of the most beautiful of the more than 300 species found globally.

Rather than focus on the gray, nondescript birds people usually associate with the term “pigeon,” Leila Jeffreys has instead decided to snap the more vibrant varieties.

Whether it be the wompoo pigeon, with its deep purple breast and green wings, or the rose-crowned fruit dove, with its pink head, Jeffreys, 46, gives the birds the same attention she would give a human model. (Caters News)

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This portrait photographer has made it her mission to change people’s perception of pigeons. (Photo: Leila Jeffreys/Caters News)


Focusing on some of the most beautiful of the more than 300 species found globally. (Photo: Leila Jeffreys/Caters News)


Rather than focus on the grey, nondescript birds’ people usually associate with the term “pigeon,” Leila Jeffreys has instead decided to snap the more vibrant varieties. (Photo: Leila Jeffreys/Caters News)


Whether it be the wompoo pigeon, with its deep purple breast and green wings, or the rose-crowned fruit dove, with its pink head, Jeffreys, 46, gives the birds the same attention she would a model. (Photo: Leila Jeffreys/Caters News)


Working in her simple studio, the photographer shoots the vibrant variations of pigeon and dove against a solid white background. (Photo: Leila Jeffreys/Caters News)


The idea for the series, named Ornithurae, came to Sydney-basedJeffreys three years ago, after she witnessed the amazing plumage of a wompoo pigeon firsthand. (Photo: Leila Jeffreys/Caters News)


Jeffreys felt “pigeons and doves were misunderstood,” and she “wanted to tell their story and reveal just how diverse they can be.” (Photo: Leila Jeffreys/Caters News)


Jeffreys worked predominantly with wildlife rescue birds, but she also went to Sydney’s famous Taronga Zoo to find some unusual subjects. (Photo: Leila Jeffreys/Caters News)


Explaining her setup, Jeffreys said: “I try to explain it like a photographer’s studio but bird size.” (Photo: Leila Jeffreys/Caters News)


“There’s a little paper roll, a perch instead of a stool to post on, a little catering — seeds and nuts, some water.” (Photo: Leila Jeffreys/Caters News)


“Then it’s down to staying quiet, gently speaking to them, seeing if they connect with me.” (Photo: Leila Jeffreys/Caters News)


“[I let] them lead, and I’m there to hopefully capture something special.” (Photo: Leila Jeffreys/Caters News)


Photographing her subjects, be it a Luzon bleeding-heart dove or a crested pigeon, requires the same kinds of interaction as a photographer would need to undertake with humans, Jeffreys said. (Photo: Leila Jeffreys/Caters News)


During shoots, she is constantly talking to the birds, looking to get their attention and encouraging them to strike an interesting pose. (Photo: Leila Jeffreys/Caters News)


The series, which was photographed between 2015 and 2017, is currently on display at the Purdy Hicks Gallery in London, running through Aug. 24. (Photo: Leila Jeffreys/Caters News)


Jeffreys added: “Pigeons have extraordinary mental and physical powers. They can be beautiful, and they have had a long history of helping humans deliver messages, saving even lives with their homing capabilities.” (Photo: Leila Jeffreys/Caters News)