Fancy Pi­geons: Pi­geons made beau­ti­ful!

Animal Scene - - FINS, FEATHERS, & FUR - Text by MANUEL YAP Il­lus­tra­tions by VANESSA ESTARIJA

Rac­ing pi­geons have grown in pop­u­lar­ity among fanciers, mainly be­cause of the mys­te­ri­ous way in which they can re­turn home from long dis­tances.

I re­mem­ber dur­ing the 80s, there were only two types of fancy pi­geons: the pi­geon owl and cow­boy. Pi­geon owls are birds that have short beaks while cow­boy pi­geons were those which had feath­ers cov­er­ing their legs.

Presently, fancy pi­geons have be­come pop­u­lar be­cause of the im­por­ta­tion of breeds and reg­u­lar bird shows in mul­ti­ple re­gions of the coun­try. Fancy pi­geons are a type of do­mes­tic pi­geon that is bred by pi­geon fanciers for var­i­ous traits re­lat­ing to size, shape, color, and be­hav­ior. There are about 800 pi­geon breeds, and the num­ber is grow­ing through more cross­breed­ing. Be­fore the com­ing of hun­dreds of new types of fancy birds, I will share with you the fancy pi­geons that have al­ways been pop­u­lar. 1. The Bu­dapest has a unique face that makes it look like a cartoon char­ac­ter. These birds have eyes that can look par­tic­u­larly huge due to the bulges of bare flesh around them. Com­bined with their small heads, these bulging eyes cre­ate the il­lu­sion of a car­i­ca­ture bird.

The Bu­dapest High­flier is re­garded as one of the best races of high en­durance fly­ing birds. When it comes to high­fly­ing and en­durance fly­ing breeds, only the Old English Fly­ing Tip­pler is more pop­u­lar through­out the world. • Origin: Hun­gary

• De­scrip­tion: The Bu­dapest High­flier is a medium sized pi­geon and has a slen­der build. The erect body ta­pers grad­u­ally to the tail. They have a small head with a well arched top­skull and the fore­head steeps to­wards the beak. The breast is car­ried proudly with good mus­cu­la­ture.

• Col­ors: Black, red, white, yel­low, pied, off col­ors

2. Barb - This fancy pi­geon is my all time favorite. There are many in­ter­est­ing fea­tures and traits of this par­tic­u­lar pi­geon that I grew fond of. The young barb looks very naïve, and as they grow older, their looks sud­denly change be­cause of wat­tling devel­op­ment around the eyes. When viewed from the front, the head has the ap­pear­ance of an empty spool of thread.

• Origin: Eng­land

• Size: Small to medium

• De­scrip­tion: Small beak with­out any pluffi­ness of feath­ers. Most notable about this pi­geon is the wat­tling around the eyes and beak, which can take up to two years to fully de­velop into a fleshy flower-like ring around the eye.

• Col­ors: Black, fa­tigue green, or­ange or yel­low, white 3. Tip­plers are the most pop­u­lar type for the high-fly­ing pi­geon group. It is a sim­ple bird that packs a lot. They are a breed known for en­durance fly­ing com­pe­ti­tions. Fly­ing re­sults of up to 22 hours non­stop have been re­ported. Fanciers from west­ern coun­tries com­pete their birds against each other with­out leav­ing the con­fines of their own home. Here in the Philip­pines, ip­plers are pop­u­lar for bird shows in­stead of en­durance fly­ing.

• Origin: Eng­land

• Size: small to medium

• De­scrip­tion: They have rounded heads which are a bit flat on the top; this bird has a slim build, or can have a more ro­bust stance. They have long beaks with small noses which are sim­i­lar to those of what they call na­tive pi­geons

• Pop­u­lar col­ors: Griz­zle, Blue bar 4. The Chi­nese owl is a beau­ti­ful pi­geon with el­e­gance and class. The fe­male stance is well-poised, and even the male, with its ag­gres­sive be­hav­ior, still man­ages to re­tain its el­e­gance. De­spite its name, they are un­likely to have orig­i­nated in China. Due to the short­ness of their beaks, many of the owl breeds have trou­ble feed­ing their young. Of­ten, a sit­ter is used.

• Origin: Un­cer­tain, pos­si­bly Spain and In­dia

• De­scrip­tion: boun­ti­ful frilled feath­ers. Owl pi­geons have very short beaks and rounded heads. They also have large bod­ies.

• Color: Black, blue bar or­ange or yel­low, white

5. The African owl is my sec­ond favorite fancy pi­geon. With a great per­son­al­ity. African owls have a strong con­fi­dent stance. They are sim­i­lar to the Chi­nese owl ex­cept that they have fewer chest feath­ers, larger heads, and big­ger beaks.

• Origin: From Tu­nisia

• Size: Medium

• De­scrip­tion: The breed is known for its short and stout beak, which gives the breed the “Owl” name due to the size and shape. The African owl has a crest of feath­ers run­ning down the front of its breast, The body of an African owl is short and plump.

• Pop­u­lar col­ors: Or­ange, white, yel­low

6. English Car­rier - I never ac­quired an English car­rier. They are quite sus­pi­cious with their ac­tions and have a strong per­son­al­ity. The look weak be­cause of their elon­gated fea­tures but once you get hold of them, you can feel how strong they are. Their some­times creepy look makes them adorable. • Origin: De­vel­oped in Eng­land

• Size: Large

• De­scrip­tion: They have long, slen­der bod­ies, with long necks in pro­por­tion with the rest of the body, and long legs. The largest of the fly­ing pi­geon breeds, the Old English Car­rier was orig­i­nally used for send­ing mes­sages.

• Pop­u­lar col­ors: Black, blue bar, red, white

7. German beauty – My favorite of all the large fancy pi­geons, ten­der in ap­pear­ance but packs a lot in per­son­al­ity. From my ex­pe­ri­ence, be­cause of the heavy body struc­ture of the German beauty, it can­not fly high, which makes them ideal for bird shows. • Origin: Ger­many

• Size: Large

• De­scrip­tion: It has a bul­let shaped beak and a heav­ier neck than the English car­rier.

• Col­ors: Black, red, yel­low, and white, griz­zled, check­ered, blue bar, pied

8. The Scan­da­roon - This is on my wish list. I find the Scan­da­roon a bal­ance be­tween a German beauty and an English car­rier. I like the pied color which makes the scan­da­roon dis­tinct. Thy are calm and quiet and make good par­ents.

• Origin: Eng­land or Per­sia

• Size: Large

• De­scrip­tion: It has a dis­tinct beak that is long and curves down­wards and a strik­ing red eye cere. Big body and long legs.

• Col­ors: in­clude white, black, blue, red and yel­low.pied

9. Ori­en­tal Frill - A fancy pi­geon that makes me feel “fem­i­nine” be­cause of its over­all fea­tures. Pure el­e­gance in every an­gle. They are not part of my wish­list but I was able to have the ex­pe­ri­ence of tak­ing care of them. The va­ri­ety is divided into sev­eral vari­a­tions in color and mark­ings with Blondinett­es and Satinettes be­ing the most com­mon.

• Origin: Tur­key

• Size: Medium

• De­scrip­tion: Com­pact in body, heart-shaped, and has a proud stance pro­file. Clean eye struc­ture. The “frill” part of the name comes from the ruff of feath­ers that runs from the neck to the chest. The more frills, the bet­ter it is.

• Col­ors: The wide range of col­ors and pat­terns are too many to men­tion, so let’s fo­cus on:

• Satinettes are pre­dom­i­nantly white in color, with col­ored wing shields and tail

• Blondinett­es are com­pletely col­ored with the ex­cep­tion of the shoul­der and wing, which are con­cealed As men­tioned ear­lier, there are more than 800 va­ri­eties of fancy pi­geons. Each one is unique from the other. They have their own per­son­al­i­ties, beauty, and even per­for­mance ca­pa­bil­ity. Wait for fu­ture fea­tures of fancy pi­geons such Nuns, In­dian fan­tails, Egyp­tian swift, Modena, La­hore, pouters, and ar­changel. I can pre­dict that I will not be able to fea­ture all of them be­cause of the con­tin­u­ous way in which new va­ri­eties are de­vel­oped. No one will com­plain be­cause of the joy the birds bring. The more, the mer­rier.

Span­ish Barb

Chi­nese Owl

English Fly­ing Tip­pler

German Beauty

African Owl

English Car­rier

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