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Full text of "Fancy pigeons: containing full directions for their breeding and management, with descriptions of every known variety, and all other information of interest or use to pigeon fanciers .."

30EKHANDCL 




THE LIBRARY 

OF 

THE UNIVERSITY 
OF CALIFORNIA 

PRESENTED BY 

PROF. CHARLES A. KOFOID AND 
MRS. PRUDENCE W. KOFOID 



FANCY PIGEONS. 




THE POUTER, 



FANCY PIGEONS: 

CONTAINING 

FULL DIRECTIONS FOB THEIR BREEDING 
AND MANAGEMENT, 

WITH 

DESCRIPTIONS OF EVERY KNOWN VARIETY, 

AND 

ALL OTHER INFORMATION OF INTEREST OR USE 
TO PIGEON FANCIERS. 



ILLUSTRATED WITH COLOURED PLATES AND WOODCUTS, 



BY JAMES C. LYELL. 



THIRD EDITION. 



LONDON : 
L. UPCOTT GILL, 170, STRAND, W.C, 



PRINTED BY A. BRADLEY, 170, STRAND, LONDON. 



PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION, 



E previous editions of this book having met with a 
favourable reception, and being out of print, I have been 
induced to revise it. A considerable amount of new infor- 
mation has been added, as well as Coloured Illustrations of 
the principal varieties. The work being the result of the 
experience of a fancier who has studied domestic pigeons 
from his earliest years, the fancier as well as the naturalist, 
will find that it contains an exhaustive account of them. 



M362318 



CONTENTS. 



CHAP. PAGE 

I. HISTORICAL 1 

II. ORIGIN OF FANCY PIGEONS . 8 

III. THE PIGEON HOUSE, LOFT, AND AVIAKT .... 14 

IV. SELECTION OF STOCK 26 

V. FEEDING, BREEDING, AND MANAGEMENT 30 

VI. COLOURS OF FANCY PIGEONS : 44 

VII. EXHIBITING PIGEONS 50 

VIII. DISEASES 55 

IX. VARIETIES OF DOMESTIC PIGEONS 67 

X. COMMON PIGEONS 70 

XI. PIGEONS DISTINGUISHED CHIEFLY BY THEIR COLOUR 

OR MARKING 73 

XII. PIGEONS OF PECULIAR FEATHERING 103 

XIII. THE RlNGBEATER Ill 

XIV. THE TRIGANICA 115 

XV. SEVERAL VARIETIES OF EAST INDIAN PIGEONS . . 120 

XVI. OTHER DISTINCT KINDS OF ASIAN PIGEONS .... 131 

XVII. THE RUNT 133 



Vlll CONTENTS. 

CHAP. PAGE 

XVIII. PIGEONS or PECULIAR VOICE 144 

XIX. PIGEONS WITH SHORT, ERECT TAILS 157 

XX. THE FANTAIL . . * 164 

XXI. THE JACOBIN 175 

XXII. SHORT-FACED FRILLED PIGEONS . . 190 

XXIII. POUTING OR CROPPER PIGEONS 223 

XXIV. WATTLED PIGEONS 276 

XXV. THE TUMBLER 311 

XXVI. VARIETIES ORIGINALLY TUMBLERS ........ 330 

XXVII. THE SHORT-FACED TUMBLER 335 

XXVIII. HOMING PIGEONS 355 

XXIX. TURKESTAN PIGEONS 374 

APPENDIX PIGEON LITERATURE 381 

CONCLUSION 412 




FANCY PIGEONS, 



Chapter I. 




o< HISTORICAL. 
Egyptian Records. 

IGEONS must have been domesticated at a 
very early period. They figure on Egyptian 
monuments forty-six centuries old. Mr. H. 
Villiers Stuart, M.P., informs me he has seen 
pigeons represented on Egyptian bas-reliefs 
of the Fourth Dynasty, at least 2700 B.C., though some 
Egyptologists put it further back. He says they occur 
frequently in tombs of that and the following dynasties, 
being represented as borne in cages on the heads of slaves, 
or carried in their hands by the wings. He has also seen, 
on bas-reliefs of the Nineteenth Dynasty (about 1350 B.C.), 
pigeons being liberated in triumphal processions and flying 
away, possibly to convey intelligence of the event to the 
limits of the empire. 

I find, in "Records of the Past" (1873), in the Annals of 
Thothmes III., of the Eighteenth Dynasty (about 1500 B.C.), 



2 FANCY PIGEONS. 

mention made of " 258 pairs of pigeons and 5237 pigeons of 
another kind." It may be inferred that the former were of 
some special or choice description. 

The Annals of Rameses III., of the Twentieth Dynasty 
(about 1200 B.C.). contained in the " Great Harris Papyrus," now 
in the British Museum, detail his donations to the temples of 
Thebes, Heliopolis, Memphis, and elsewhere. Plate 8, line 10, 
says : " Its barns had fatted geese, its poultry yards had fowls 
of heaven." The domestic fowl was then unknown in Europe 
and Africa. The pigeon was called by the Egyptians the bird 
or nestling of heaven. Again, on Plate 27, line 6 : " I made to 
thee stables containing young oxen, apartments to bring up 
fowls (pigeons, or birds of heaven), with geese and ducks." 

Reference by Grecian Authors. 

Homer (about 950 B.C.) refers sometimes to " silver " doves, 
as in the line 

Messe's towers for silver doves renowned, 

which may refer to albino or white pigeons, as found in 
almost every colony of semi-wild ones. 

The carrier pigeon may have reached Greece from Egypt. 
Anacreon (563-478 B.C.), in his ode to it, so beautifully 
rendered by Thomas Moore, shows its early use there. 

Socrates (469-400 B.C.) seems to refer to pigeons in his 
dialogue with Plato's brother Glaucon (Plato's " Republic," 
Book Y., chap, viii.), when he says: 

" ' Tell me this, Glaucon for in your house I see both sport- 
ing dogs and a great number of well-bred birds have you, by 
Zeus, ever attended to their pairing and bringing forth 
young ? ' 

"Glaucon. 'How?' 

" Socrates. ' First of all, among these, though all be well- 
bred, are not some of them far better than all the rest ? ' 

" Glaucon. ' They are.' 



3 HISTORICAL. 

" Socrates. ' Do you breed, then, from all alike, <>r are you 
careful to do so, as far as possible, from the best?' 

" Glaucon. 'From the best.' " 

This passage, so pregnant with truth to the experienced 
breeder of all domestic animals, is the earliest record of 
what may be called scientific breeding, and shows the observa- 
tion of one of the wisest of mankind. It refers, without any 
doubt, I think, to fancy pigeons; for what other birds, varying 
so 'much in excellence, would be kept indoors, in pairs, at 
that time ? 

Xenophon (455-355 B.C.) says, in the " Anabasis " (Book I., 
chap, vi.) : " After these occurrences, Cyrus proceeded four days' 
march, a distance of twenty parasangs, to the river Chalus, 
which is a plethrum in breadth and full of tame fish, which 
the Syrians looked upon as gods, and allowed no one to 
hurt either them or the pigeons." 

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), in the many references he makes 
to pigeons in his " History of Animals," appears to have had a 
practical knowledge of them. He writes of them in a way 
that shows he had either carefully observed their habits, or 
got his information from an experienced fancier. 

On account of its gentle nature, the pigeon has been 
protected in all ages. It is yet, as in Russia, and in most 
Mahomedan countries, considered a sacred bird. In this 
character, Tibullus (54-19 B.C.), the Roman poet, refers to it 
in his eighth Elegy: "Why need I tell how the sacred 
white pigeon flatters unmolested about the numerous cities 
of Syrian Palestine ? " or, as an English poet renders it : 

Why need I tell how sacred through the skies 
Of Syrian cities, the white pigeon flies ? 

which he doubtless learned from the works of Xenophon 
and others, who assert, as above, that the Syrians considered 
pigeons and doves sacred to their goddess A.starte, whom 
the Greeks identified with Aphrodite (Venus). 

B 2 



4. FANCY PIGEONS. 



Reference by Latin Authors. 

The best evidence that the pigeon fancy existed in ancient 
times much as it does to-day, is found in the Natural 
History of Pliny (23-79 A.D.) (Book X., chap, lii.-liii.), where he 
says : " Many persons have quite a mania for pigeons, building 
houses for them on the tops of their roofs, and taking 
delight in relating the pedigree and noble origin of each. 
Of this there is an ancient instance that is very remarkable : 
L. Axius, a Roman of the Equestrian order, shortly before 
the civil war of Pompeius, sold a single pair for four 
hundred denarii (about 13), as we learn from the writings 
of M. Yarro (114-26 B.C.). Countries, even, have gained renown 
for their pigeons ; it is thought that those of Campania 
attain the largest size." 

Columella, a contemporary of Pliny, also quotes from M. 
Yarro as to the value of fancy pigeons, from which it 
appears that pairs were often sol at about 8, and occasionally 
for four times as much. 

The use of domestic pigeons in time of war, to enable the 
inhabitants of besieged towns to communicate with their 
friends outside, was known at this period, as we learn from 
Pliny, who states that they were so employed at the siege 
of Modena (43 B.C.). Since then they have been often em- 
ployed in like manner, as I shall mention hereafter. 

Juvenal (3-83 A.D.), the Roman poet, refers to the keep- 
ing of pigeons in the garrets of Rome, just as they are kept 
to-day by fanciers in all large towns. Describing a fire in 
the city, he says: 

For if the lowest floors already burn, 
Cocklofts and garrets soon will take their turn, 
Where thy tame pigeons next the tiles were bred, 
Which, in their nests nnsafe, are timely fled. 

From this period there is not much information available 
on the subject till about the year 1600. Gibbon states that 



5 HISTORICAL. 

the Emperor Honorius (384-423 A.D.) amused himself witli 
the rearing of " poultry ; " and that Charlemagne (742-814) 
was careful to encourage this branch of rural economy, so 
ably carried out by the French to the present time. He 
says: "I touch with reverence the laws of Charlemagne, so 
highly applauded by a respectable judge. They compose not 
a system, but a series of occasional and minute edicts, for 
the correction of abuses, the reformation of manners, the 
economy of his farms, the care of his poultry, and even the 
sale of his eggs." Yataces John Ducas, Emperor of Constan- 
tinople, who reigned about the year 1250, presented a crown of 
diamonds and pearls to his empress, which, he informed her 
with a smile, had been purchased with the money derived 
from the sale of the eggs of his innumerable poultry. Per- 
haps something of more interest to the pigeon fancier than 
the above might be discovered from a perusal of the edicts 
of Charlemagne. Gibbon relates that carrier pigeons were 
employed during the Crusades, at the sieges of Acre in Syria 
and Mansourah in Egypt. 

Early Pigeon Flying. 

The sport of pigeon flying is known to have been practised 
in Modena for a long time, as historical evidence carries it 
back to the year 1327. 

The Emperor Akbar (1542-1605) appears to have been a 
keen pigeon fancier. His prime minister, Abul Fazl, has 
made this apparent in the " Ain-i- Akbari " (Institutes of Akbar), 
where he devotes some pages to a description of the sport of 
pigeon flying as practised by his Majesty, and which is still 
in vogue in India, Persia, Turkey, and many parts of 
Europe. 

The Nawab, M. Alaooddeen, of Loharoo, has written for me, 
at the request of my relative, Sir Charles U. Aitchison, Lieu- 
tenant-Governor of the Punjab, an essay comparing the sport, 
as presently carried on in Delhi, with Abul Fazl's account, 



6 FANCY PIGEONS. 



from which it appears that it remains very much the same 
as it did in Akbar's time. 

In the Middle Ages. 

Ulyssis Aldrovandi, the naturalist, who began the publication 
of his history in 1599, devotes considerable space to the pigeon, 
and gives figures of some varieties, but they are so bad as to- 
be almost unrecognisable. 

Francis Willoughby's "Ornithology," edited by John Ray, was 
published in London, in Latin, in 1676, and afterwards, in 
English, in 1678. He is the first English writer who gives a 
detailed list of fancy pigeons. He says he saw carriers in 
the aviary belonging to the King (Charles II.), in St. James's 
Park. He corresponded with Mr. Phillip Skippon (Cromwell's 
General ?) on the subject of the barb, or Barbary pigeon, and 
derived information about croppers, carriers, and jacobins, from 
Mr. Cope, an embroiderer, living in Jewin Street. Skippon 
and Cope are the earliest English fanciers on record, so fai* 
as I have discovered. 

Recent History. 

John Moore, an apothecary in Abchurch-lane, London, pub- 
lished, in 1735, an octavo volume of 60pp., entitled, " Colum- 
barium; or, the Pigeon-House," which was the foundation of 
all English works on the subject published in the eighteenth 
century. Moore, who may be considered the father of the 
pigeon fancy in this country, was proprietor of a vermifuge, 
which is humorously referred to by Pope in some verses 
addressed to him. He is also referred to in the same character 
by Swift, in "A Letter from a Gentleman in the Country to 
his Friend in Town." 

I have noticed some of the principal dealers in pigeons 
advertising that they have supplied birds to her Majesty 
Queen Victoria. Lady Bloomfield, in her recently -published 
book, " Reminiscences of Court and Diplomatic Life," speaks 



7 HISTORICAL. 

of visiting her Majesty's aviaries at Windsor, in the year 
1843, where there was " a beautiful collection of pigeons of 
rare kinds." 

The ancient pastime of pigeon breeding continues to 
nourish throughout Asia, North Africa, and Europe, as I know 
from experience, and from the works of many recent travellers. 
It is also spreading in America and in all English colonies. 
In this country choice pigeons have become greatly enhanced 
in value during the past twenty-five years, mostly on account 
of the numerous exhibitions, held somewhere almost daily, 
where prizes are offered which enable the best birds to win 
considerable sums of money in the course of a year; so that 
prices of from 10 to 100 are constantly being paid for good 
specimens, according to the standards of excellence well under- 
stood among breeders. 

In the present work I shall give an account of how to 
keep pigeons in the way that experience has proved to be 
best; how to match up and breed them; how to treat them 
in health and disease; and describe every knosvn variety. I 
shall also give, in an Appendix, a list of books on the subject, 
ancient and modern, with remarks thereon. 




Chapter II. 



THE ORIGIN OF FANCY PIGEONS. X> 
Probable Progenitor. 




ATURALISTS look for the original stock of 
all tame pigeons in some wild variety, and 
for a long time the stock dove was regarded 
as their progenitor. This idea is now ex- 
ploded, as the stock dove (Columba CEnas] 
is not a bird capable of domestication. The only wild 
pigeon now believed capable of being the originator of our 
domestic pigeons is the blue rock (Columba Livia), sub- 
varieties of which are found in Europe, Asia, and Africa. 
The British blue rock inhabits the rocks and caves on our 
sea coasts, as well as precipitous inland rocks, and certainly 
the difference between this bird and a common blue flying 
tumbler is very little. Their colour is identical, their size 
almost so. The head, beak, and iris of the tumbler are 
somewhat different from those of the rock pigeon, and the 
pinions of the latter are longer and stronger, as must 
necessarily be the case from its mode of life. In the West 
of Scotland, where fanciers keep and show common pigeons, 
the wild blue rock domesticated is the bird so called. 



9 ORIGIN. 

I think the best argument in favour of some common 
ancestor for the whole of our fancy pigeons is the fact that 
they all breed freely together, and that they are only kept 
up to their best forms by the guiding hands of experienced 
pigeon fanciers. They constantly throw back, to some remote 
ancestor, stock that are unfit to go on with. The worst of 
these, if bred together, would no doubt breed young in some 
cases better than themselves, but also others still further 
removed from the desired type, and so the breed would soon 
become almost unrecognisable. 

Supposing the more distinct varieties of pigeons to have 
been separate creations, then they must certainly have been 
so distributed in the world as not to come into contact with 
each other, or they would in a short time have got inter- 
mingled. And, again, if not from a common stock, then man 
must have, from time to time, captured the whole original 
stocks, or they must have died out, for I have never yet heard 
of anything like a fancy pigeon being found in a state of 
nature. In fact, if able to exist in a state of nature, and 
protect themselves from birds of prey, fancy pigeons must 
have been so modified in their fancy points, such as crops 
and fan-shaped tails, as to be but little removed from what 
we call common pigeons. 

Variations in Form, &c. 

Some fanciers, who never in the course of their lives 
observed the least variation in the forms of their fancy pigeons, 
are of opinion that the more distinct kinds, such as pouters, 
carriers, jacobins, and fantails, were separate creations, and 
owe their origin to birds having, probably in a modified form, 
the peculiarities of these breeds. They have even offered 
silver cups or other rewards for the production of a new form 
of fancy pigeon other than a mere feather variety, in the 
belief that such could not be produced; but the life of a fancier 
who may have kept pigeons for even half a century, is but a 



10 FANCY PIGEONS. 



little wliile compared to the time pigeons have been kept in the- 
world as domestic birds ; for we know they have been carefully 
bred for thousands of years. No other domestic animal I 
know of has branched out into such variety of form and 
colour, from which I infer . they have been long and ex- 
tensively cherished by their admirers. Every leading fea- 
ture of the bird seems to have been already played upon, 
so that one might almost be unable to suggest any new 
variation from what already exists ; and yet, even lately, a. 
quite new variety of pigeon appeared. This case occurred 
about thirty years ago, and is recorded in the pages of 
the Poultry Chronicle (1854-5). The bird in question was- 
a sport from common baldpate tumblers, and a reference 
to the illustration, which will be found in the Chronicle, 
will show what its peculiarity was. From the crown of its- 
head rose a crest of rather long waving feathers, quite 
different and distinct from the peak or shell crest of many 
breeds. The account of the bird, as given at the time by its 
owner, Mr. W. Woodhouse, was as follows: "This curious 
pigeon is alive, and in my possession. It is a pure-bred 
baldpate, of which it has the properties viz., clean cut,, 
pearl-eyed, clean-thighed, and ten-a-side. It is the only one 
in the world, and is a cock bird. Several competent judges- 
have seen it, and consider it a freak of Nature ; but, what- 
ever it is, it is a wonder. Several of my friends wish me 
to breed from it to get more, but of this I am doubtful.'* 
A few weeks after the above was published, Mr. Brent, the 
well-known authority on pigeons, wrote as follows in the 
Poultry Chronicle : " A month or two back, Mr. James Pryer, 
a neighbour of mine, and a tolerable judge of pigeons, in- 
formed me he had seen something curious in that line at 
Sevenoaks. He described it as a common chequered dove- 
house pigeon, with some rather long feathers growing from 
the head. Seeing Mr. Woodhouse's description of his crested 
baldpate, I showed him the cut, and he assured me that, so- 



11 ORIGIN. 

far as lie could see, the pigeon in question was crested just the 
same. We have both made inquiries respecting the bird, but 
have not succeeded in discovering whence it came, or where 
it is gone. Mr. Woodhouse's pigeon is certainly a curiosity." 

It will thus be seen that, twice within a short time, the said 
peculiarity was observed in separate breeds of pigeons. Un- 
fortunately, Mr. Woodhouse's baldpate does not seem to have 
produced young like itself, or we should now be in possession 
of a variety quite distinct from anything that has come under 
my notice, either here or abroad. To such sports, coming 
unexpectedly, must, I think, be referred all the strange types 
of pigeons now existing on the globe. The whiskered owl, 
whose frill is so much developed that it divides at the top 
and runs quite round the neck in some birds, seems also a 
recent introduction at least, I can find no notice of this 
type in any old book on the subject of fancy pigeons but 
this can scarcely be called a new variety; it is rather an 
extraordinary development of an old one. 

Animals in domestication, and also in a wild state, are 
subject to variations. In the latter state, such variations are 
likely soon to disappear, but in domestication the guiding 
hand of man fixes them on account of their originality. 
By pairing any curious specimen of a breed with one of 
the common type, the young may not prove uncommon; 
but they, paired with their uncommon parent, are then likely 
occasionally to reproduce the desired peculiarity. In this- 
way, I believe, every fancy pigeon, however now far removed 
from the blue rock, has been produced; and, judging from the 
following analogous case, it does not seem to take very long 
for Nature, guided by the reason of man, to produce the 
greatest differences in form. 

Effects of Domestication. 

It is well known that the canary bird was first introduced! 
into Europe about 300 years ago. The difference between 



12 FANCY PIGEONS. 

the Belgian or Lancashire coppy in form, and the lizard or 
cinnamon in feather, and the wild canary, as still yearly im- 
ported into this country, is as great as the difference between 
the pouter in form and colour and the blue rock pigeon. 

Such results, in a comparatively short time, from canary 
breeding, have led me to suppose that, were bird fanciers to 
persevere with goldfinches, linnets, and siskins, all of which 
have been bred in confinement, we should ultimately see 
similar variations in them. Variety of colour constantly 
occurs among them in a wild state, and such has been noticed 
by naturalists for 200 years. 

Foreign Varieties. 

Besides the blue rock pigeon inhabiting our coasts, others 
differing from it slightly are known to exist in Asia and 
Africa. Any of these that may have been domesticated may 
have been progenitors of fancy pigeons. One of them, the 
{Jolumba Leuconota, inhabiting the Himalayas, is marked on 
the head and tail like a nun, and, in addition, the wings are 
marked something like those of a swallow pigeon. But 
whether or not it is a true rock pigeon, capable of domestica- 
tion, and able to produce young with a common blue rock 
or tame pigeon, themselves in turn fertile, is what I cannot 
say. This subject, however, is one more for naturalists than 
pigeon fanciers, who have generally their hands full with the 
work of keeping up, and possibly improving, the interesting 
forms of pigeon life handed down to them from of old. 

Of late years we have received from abroad many kinds 
of pigeons of the highest excellence, showing such breeding 
that what we had before of the same types seemed but 
half-bred beside them. Still, no quite new or distinct forms 
have reached us, entirely different from what we knew of, 
though many distinct varieties of colour have appeared, as 
in the short-faced frilled varieties from Asia Minor. Since 
the first edition of this book was published, in 1881, a variety 



13 



ORIGIN. 



has been brought from China with an extraordinary develop- 
ment of gullet. I have named it the Chinese Dewlap pigeon. 
A recent Russian traveller writes of a mandarin in the in- 
terior of China, who kept his fancy pigeons with great 
care; it is possible we may still get from that country, or 
from the interior of Northern Africa, some variety hitherto 
unknown here. 




Chapter III. 




< THE PIGEON HOUSE, LOFT, AND AVIARY. x> 
Wall Boxes. 

HE majority of pigeon fanciers, who com- 
mence their pursuit when young, begin by 
keeping a few common birds or flying tum- 
blers in boxes fixed to some wall, out of 
reach of cats or other enemies. This was 
the way I began the fancy, and some narrow escapes I had 
when up the ladder inspecting what was going on inside 
my pigeon locker; and I would advise all guardians of 
pigeon-keeping boys, who have no other means of housing 
their pets than in wall boxes, to see that these are not only 
properly secured for I have known them to give way from 
improper fastening but fixed at no great distance from the 
ground. Keeping really good pigeons in wall boxes is, 
however, almost out of the question, for little control over 
them -can be exercised, and, sooner or later, if the young 
fancier means advancement in his pursuit, he must find ways 
and means for the better housing of his birds. 

When, however, no other means of keeping pigeons than 
in wall boxes is convenient, then such should be made of 



15 



THE HOUSE OR LOFT. 



some kind of durable wood, and well jointed, so as to allow 
the wind no entrance except from the holes at which the 
birds go in and out; and they ought to be fixed in the most 
sheltered position available. The box space necessary for 
each pair of all small pigeons, such as tumblers and turbits, 
is about 12in. by 12in., and lOin. high. This is the measure- 
ment inside, and, in addition, there is the landing board, 
which will project about 4in. Unless each pair is provided 
with two such apartments, there will be little peace in the 
-colony, for pigeons do not like to lay in their last nest. 




^iwNiiiiiiii 



FIG. 1. PIGEON HOUSE FOR FOUR PAIRS. 



They usually go to nest when their young ones are about 
three weeks old; they therefore require two nesting places. 

Fig. 1 represents a wall dovecote suitable for four pairs, 
each pair having two apartments, in which they will nest 
alternately. The young ones will leave their nest when 
between three and four weeks old, but can easily be pre- 
vented going into the adjoining apartment and disturbing 



16 FANCY PIGEONS. 

their sitting parent, by fixing a temporary division between 
the doorways. 

No one, however, will continue to keep pigeons in wall 
lockers if he can by any means avoid it, and some vacant 
building, shed, or loft, will be appropriated for the purpose. 
Such a place a fancier ought, with the assistance of a few 
carpenter's tools, to be able to fit up himself. Cat and rat- 
proof he must have it, and mouse-proof also, if possible; for, 
while the former will destroy the birds themselves, the latter 
spoils their food. 

Open-air Flights. 

The great majority of fancy pigeons may be allowed their 
liberty in the open air with safety to their lives and positive 
advantage to their health; but choice pouters, carriers, short- 
faced tumblers, jacobins, or fantails, 'are not so able to take 
care of themselves. Still, it is surprising how wary even 
such varieties as these become, if flown when young. In 
granting them their liberty, however, which must only be 
occasional, according to the weather, the owner must be 
entirely guided by circumstances, such as the surroundings 
of his place and the special character of each bird. There 
must always be a certain amount of risk encountered, and it 
is for the owner to consider whether the advantages to be 
gained will outweigh it. Choice pigeons no doubt live a long 
time in close confinement when treated with reasonable and 
ordinary care, for many fanciers have no other means of keep- 
ing them. If occasional entire liberty cannot be given them, 
an open-air flight, inclosed by wire netting, will be of great 
advantage. This should always be roofed in, and only open to 
the less exposed aspects. The larger it can be made the 
better; but even a very small open-air flight will materially 
assist in keeping the birds in good health. "When pigeons 
are kept in a room or loft with no outside liberty, an open- 
ing, covered with wire netting, for the admittance of light 



17 THE HOUSE OR LOFT. 



and air, should be provided. It should face the south, to 
admit the sunlight, and have a wide board adjoining, for the 
birds to rest on. The most domineering of them will mono- 
polise this place as much as they can, but their domestic duties 
will prevent their being always there, so that all will have 
some advantage from it. 

Feeding Boards. 

Pigeons may be fed either from a flat board that has a mar- 
ginal edge running round it, raised about an inch, to prevent 
the scattering of the grain, or from a self -supplying hopper. 
By the exercise of due care in not putting down more grain 
each time the birds are fed than they will eat, there need not 
be much waste of food. Giving them too much at a time, 
and then grudging to throw away any that becomes soiled, 
is but poor economy, and a likely cause of disease among 
them. If a flat board be used for their feeding on, it should 
be covered with sand or gravel to the depth of half an inch, 
which should be renewed weekly. 

Hoppers. 

In the breeding season, when a constant supply of food is 
more necessary, hoppers made of zinc or wood, such as shown 
in Fig. 2, will be useful. They can be made of any desired 
length. The lid, or lids, if they are intended to be divided 
inside, open with hinges, and should be at such an angle as 
will prevent the birds resting on them. A wire run along 
the ridge, raised an inch and a half, will keep them from 
settling there. As the food is eaten from the trough, the 
bulk inside will continue falling down, thus insuring a con- 
stant supply as long as it lasts. By an inside division, 
separating the hopper into two parts, two kinds or two 
separate mixtures of food may be supplied. Fig. 3 represents 
a very useful feeding box, which I have used for some years. 
The inside wires are 2in. apart, and prevent scattering of the 

C 



18 FANCY PIGEONS. 

grain. Hoppers of various designs may be bought from 
manufacturers who make a speciality of them. One was 
brought out a few years ago in which the food is exposed 




FIG. 2. GRAIN HOPPER. 

by the pigeon stepping on the board in front of tB box; 
this prevents waste from mice or sparrows, their weight 
being insufficient to open it. 

Water Fountains. 

Water fountains may be bought complete, of various 
patterns; but a good one may be improvised by carefully 




FIG. 3. FEEDING Box. 



punching a hole in a two gallon stone jar, near the bottom, and 
hermetically sealing the mouth. This, placed in a flower-pot 



19 THE HOUSE OR LOFT. 

saucer, the edge of which is higher than the orifice made 
in the jar, will complete the fountain. But a better kind of 
jar, made in various sizes, is that shown in the illustration 
(Fig. 4), which, being without a bottom, can be better cleaned 
out. When the pigeon-house has an outside flight on the 
ground, or when the fancier has more than one such place, 
supplying the birds with drinking water can be better per- 





FIG. 4. WATER BOTTLK FIG. 5. WATER DISH. 

formed from the outside. I made for myself a pattern in 
wood, like Fig. 5, from which I had several casts in iron 
taken, and then galvanised. These saucers are placed outside 
my nights, with the projecting part put through a hole cut in 
the wire netting. By this method, from the arrangements of 
my pigeonry, I can supply my birds with drinking water in 
half the time it would take to carry it inside. 

Small Pigeonry. 

As a specimen of a pigeonry extensive enough for one man 
to attend to who has to do everything connected with it him- 
self, before and after business hours, I have prepared a plan 
of my own place (Fig. 6), which, though not perfect by any 



20 



FANCY PIGEONS. 



means for almost every day brings forth some new want 
is now tolerably complete. Its arrangement may be carried 
out .on a greater or smaller scale by anyone either erecting 
a columbarium, or adapting some existing building. P is 
the entrance door to the court, which measures about 80ft. 
by 60ft., and is surrounded by high walls. The build- 
ings are placed against the north wall, which is about 12ft. 
high, and they slope down to about 7|ft. in front. The roof 
is slated, but about one -third of the open-air nights, 



-<r f 



GfiASS 



C ft ASS 



w! 



DD 



FIG. 6. PLAN OF SMALL PIGEONRY. 

marked BB, CO, and DD, are roofed with glass, to admit 
light, and are wired in front. E is the entrance door 
to the whole; I adopted this plan from having often lost 
birds in other places by the doors in the open-air flights 
being left open accidentally, being blown open by the wind, 
or by the birds dashing past me when entering; and it may 
happen that, not only may the birds themselves be lost in 
such cases, but any young ones they may have may die for 
want of a suitable change to another pair being handy at 
the time. The room A is about 16ft. long by 12ft. broad, 



21 



THE HOUSE OR LOFT. 



and has a table running half round it, about 2ft. broad, 
capable of holding ten bell-shaped wire show-pens for train- 
ing pouters. Below this table are two tiers of matching pens, 
each pair having a sliding wired frame dividing them, which, 
when withdrawn, enables the birds to go together. Two large 
corn chests for holding food are also shown, on the top of 
one of which are more matching pens; and the top of the 




FIG. 7. NESTING BOXES. 

other is used as a carpenter's bench, quite a necessary in 
such a place, and never long out of use. The rooms A, B, C, 
and D are lighted by roof lights, opening, when required, for 
ventilation. B is a room about 9ft. by 12ft., for small pigeons, 
such as tumblers, turbits, owls, and jacobins, and is fitted 
with four tiers of nesting places, constructed on the principle 
shown in Fig. 7. 



22 FANCY PIGEONS. 

Each nest box (Fig. 7) is about 14in. long by 12in. deep, 
and llin. high. A door, hinged at the bottom, covers two 
nests, which suffice for a pair of birds, and each nest is 
numbered for reference. About one-fourth of the door is cut 
away for entrance, and a landing board, supported by a 
small bracket, is fixed to it. A button screwed to the wood 
that divides each pair of nests keeps the door secure, and, 
if made so as to have no play, will never be accidentally 
forced up. The pair of nests numbered 7 and 8 are shown 
closed, and those marked 25 and 26 partly open. I find this 
style of nesting place answers very well for small pigeons, 
each pair of birds having all they require; they nest first 
in the one and then in the other, and by the time the young 
ones are able to come out they are strong enough to fly. 
The single landing boards have the advantage of keeping 
each pair entirely to themselves, and they are generally 
able to hold their own against all comers, as there is little 
room for fighting on them. 

BB (Fig. 6) is the open-air flight of B, and has resting 
boards, 3|ft. from the ground, 18in. wide, and close to the 
wall running round it. When there is a space between the 
board and the wall it is dangerous for pouters, fantails, 
and such pigeons. I like the broad resting boards, as they 
give plenty of room for the birds to pass each other. WW 
are the water fountains for the open-air flights, placed out- 
side, with their saucers projecting through the wire. G 
is a room, 12ft. by 12ft., fitted up with three tiers of nests 
for pouters. The shelves are 18in. deep and 18in. high, 
divided into nesting places 3ft. long, which, in the breeding 
season, are darkened at each end by boards, behind which 
the birds nest alternately. Like others I know, I could 
never be satisfied with so few birds as I could find accom- 
modation for on the ground, so must run certain risks 
from the young ones falling from the higher nests, and be 
as careful in guarding against such mishaps as possible. D is 



23 THE HOUSE OR LOFT. 

another room, 10ft. by 12ft., fitted up with nesting places as 
in C, and has a flight of 18ft. long, marked DD. 

There is a great advantage in having several compartments 
in a pigeonry, for without them it will sometimes be found 
almost impossible to unmatch certain pairs, when it is 
desirable to do so. Besides the buildings shown, I have 
several others for my birds, which, being outside the court, 
cannot be shown on the plan. 

Earthenware or wood nest pans, of from 8in. to lOin. in 
diameter, are used by some fanciers, but they are not required 
in such nesting places as shown in Fig. 7. The method I adopt 
is to spread sawdust to the depth of half an inch, and place 
straw on it, which the birds form into a nest. There is a 
danger of young birds falling out of nest pans and dying 
of cold. In the breeding houses I have used sawdust over 
the floor, to the depth of lin. or 2in., and have found it very 
suitable. This, if passed through a riddle of iin. mesh once 
a week, will last for several weeks, but should be renewed 
oftener if the place be troubled with insects. Pine sawdust 
soon loses the pungent smell, which helps somewhat, though 
not entirely, to drive away vermin. 

Cleaning Pigeon Houses. 

Unless pigeon houses are often cleaned out, the smell 
arising from the dung soon becomes unpleasant. I clean out 




FIG. 8. STEEL SCRAPER. 



my own places every morning, and as, from their extent, the 
time required for doing so is considerable, I have been obliged 



24 FANCY PIGEONS. 

to find out the most suitable tools for the purpose. These 
are, a triangular steel scraper (Fig. 8), as used by shipwrights, 
and a steel hand shovel (Fig. 9). The former is good for all 
corner places, and the latter for broad surfaces, such as the 
floors and resting boards in the flights. When held at the 
proper angle, the shovel removes everything opposed to it as 
fast as one can walk along. It should be of the best steel, 
and kept sharp; those made of sheet iron wear but a short 
time. A stable broom set with stiff Brazil fibre is also neces- 




FIG. 9. STEEL SHOVEL. 

sary for sweeping all up, when the scraper and shovel have 
done their part in freeing the dung from the wood. I have 
given up using sawdust on the floors for some time, not that 
I disapprove of it, but merely because I could not procure it 
conveniently. *The labour in cleaning out the houses is as 
great when sawdust is used as when it is not, for the 
renewing and riddling of it takes up much time ; if the 
floors are scraped daily the dung has no time to harden and 
adhere to the wood, when it become more difficult to remove. 

Covering for Floors of Flights. 

The best covering for the floors of outside flights is small 



25 



THE HOUSE OR LOFT. 



gravel; such as can be got from sea beaches, mixed to some 
extent with broken shells, is very useful, the birds using 
much of it to aid them in digesting their food. It should 
be raked together now and then, and renewed when it gets 
soiled by the droppings. 




Chapter IV. 




o< SELECTION OF STOCK. X 
Early Experience. 

the selection of stock the pigeon fancier 
has many varieties to choose from. Not 
only do the forms of pigeons vary much, 
but their plumage is diversified to an ex- 
traordinary degree, and the disposition or 
temper of the birds themselves varies greatly in different 
breeds. Most, if not all, who begin pigeon keeping early in 
life, commence with common kinds, with which they learn 
the rudiments of the fancy, and so gain the experience 
necessary to enable them to keep the more choice breeds 
with success. Of all who do so begin pigeon- keeping, how- 
ever, but few follow it up in after life, either from want of 
the necessary accommodation in the places to which their 
destiny may lead them, or, more often, because the pursuit 
has no real hold on their minds. Whether the fancier begin 
early or late in life, it is necessary for him to spend some 
probationary time in mastering the rudiments of his pursuit, 
and to do so with expensive birds, the beauties of which he 
cannot, probably, realise, is a waste of money, unless he 



27 SELECTION OF STOCK. 

has some experienced friend often at hand to direct him in 
their management. 

As a beginning, no better pigeons than common tumblers 
can be put into the hands of a young fancier. They are 
neat and tidy in appearance, of varied and beautiful colours, 
and their performances in the air are a constant source of 
pleasure to their owners. There are few fanciers, however 
select their pigeons may be, who, if they can find accommo- 
dation for them, fail to keep some pairs of these engaging 
birds. They breed freely, are very hardy, and are serviceable 
feeders for other pigeons. 

Characteristics of Breeds. 

The pigeons that look best on the wing are those of pro- 
nounced markings, su9h as baldheads, turbits, and nuns. As 
they wheel round in their flight, the contrast between the 
white and coloured part of their plumage is very striking. 
Pouters, of what might be called a second quality, for the 
choicest are scarcely to be trusted at large, Norwich croppers, 
pigmy pouters (such as Austrians and Isobels), and pouting 
horsemen, or half-bred pouters and carriers, are all capital 
flyers, and sail through the air in fine style. 

The pigeons that become most familiar with their owners 
are pouters and fantails. It is necessary for the former to 
become very tame if intended for exhibition, as otherwise 
they lose much of their beauty and chance of success in 
competition. On the other hand, carriers look best wild 
and alarmed, familiarity on their part spoiling their fine 
shape and statuesque appearance. 

Bunts, though they look quiet and sedate in the loft, are 
often of a spiteful disposition, making the feathers fly by the 
dozen from birds that happen to encroach on their preserves. 

Carriers, also, are very vicious, and play sad havoc with 
each other when they fall out. 

Trumpeters, such as were in England before the so-called 



28 FANCY PIGEONS. 

Russian ones were introduced, were noted for their quarrel- 
some disposition, and I have seen an unruly cock of this 
breed monopolise a whole loft to himself, preventing, till his 
removal, the least chance of success in breeding from the 
birds associated with him. 

Owls, the Oriental frilled varieties, and turbits (the latter 
in a less degree), are shy and reserved in their demeanour, 
leaving their nests and young ones on the slightest alarm; 
but this will be of little consequence if the cause of their 
disquietude be soon removed, when they will generally return 
without delay to their nests. 

If pigeons of varied and striking plumage be required, 
they may be found in archangels, almond tumblers, the 
Eastern frilled varieties, and in many of the German toys ; 
contrasts of colour among nuns, magpies, swallows, and 
such kinds ; while pouters, carriers, short-faced tumblers, barbs, 
jacobins, fantails, owls, turbits, and trumpeters, present ab- 
normal conformation, and are denominated high-class pigeons, 
in distinction from those having little but curious colour 
and marking, because such conformation is more difficult to 
produce, and therefore thought more of, when obtained in a 
high degree, than mere feather. 

Keeping Several Varieties. 

But though a genuine pigeon fancier may have a prefer- 
ence for some particular variety, he will not be insensible 
to the beauties of others ; and during an extended career 
in the fancy, he will most likely become possessed of speci- 
mens of every kind of fancy pigeon he can obtain. There 
is always a charm to the fancier in the acquisition of some 
new variety not previously possessed by him, which is taken 
up as a kind of extra thing, in addition to the variety on 
which his fancy is more permanently fixed, and as he 
tires of it some other novelty will take its place; for, as 
will be afterwards explained, it is not wise to keep many 



29 SELECTION OF STOCK. 



varieties at a time, if it is expected to breed any of them 
to perfection. Each distinct kind of pigeon is a study in 
itself ; still, in addition to the favoured kind, and without 
detracting from the attention it may require, one or two 
other breeds may be introduced into the loft, when room 
can be afforded them, as a sort of by-play. 

Homing Pigeons. 

In addition to the breeds that are strictly fancy pigeons, 
there are those known as homing or racing pigeons, in the 
breeding and training of which many find great enjoyment. 
The dragoon, long-faced beard, and skinnum, were formerly 
used in England for this purpose, but of late the Antwerp 
carrier is almost exclusively employed for flying long matches. 
The flying fancy is a branch of the pigeon fancy by itself, 
and may be more properly denominated as racing, though 
in the management of the birds themselves there is no 
difference from that necessary for the generality of fancy 
pigeons. 




Chapter V. 




X FEEDING, BREEDING, AND MANAGEMENT. X 
Foods. 

' HE grain used for feeding fancy pigeons is 
wheat, barley, beans, peas, tares, and maize, 
besides some other kinds. All of these are 
good in their way, and may be mixed together. 
The fancier will find that some birds prefer 
one kind, and some another. The grain should neither be too 
new nor too old, for when used in the year it is grown it is 
inclined to be too relaxing, and apt to scour the birds ; on the 
other hand, old grain, that has been ill kept, and become 
perforated by worms or weevils, will have lost most of its 
goodness, and a great part of it will be refused by the birds. 
Grain may be kept well for a considerable time if spread on 
a wooden floor to the depth of 6in. or 9in., and turned over 
once a week or so. The place should be free from damp, or 
the grain will become musty. Well-conditioned grain keeps 
the birds in good health, and makes a great difference in the 
number of young ones reared, for any that has become too 
hard from age cannot be easily digested by them, and musty 
or worm-eaten stuff being distasteful to them, the young ones 



31 MANAGEMENT. 

suffer in consequence. When floor space is not available for 
storage of grain, it should be changed from one bin to another 
as often as convenient, or, if kept in sacks, they should be 
shaken up now and then, with the object of destroying moths 
and other insects, which will assuredly find their way amongst 
it if it be left long undisturbed. 

Wheat may be used more freely in the summer than in the 
winter. Pigeons are fond of it, and, when given them to the 
extent of one-fourth of their supply, it is beneficial during the 
breeding season. 

Barley is good food for pigeons, and I use it to some extent 
all the year round ; indeed, I have known of good results from 
pigeons fed on nothing else. It is generally the cheapest of 
all pigeon food, and cheapness is an object with many; but 
the birds are not very fond of it. 

Maize, or Indian corn, is generally as cheap a grain as 
can be had, and, being highly nutritive, is in every respect 
suitable for pigeons. The small round kind, known as 
Hungarian, or Black Sea maize, is generally dearer than 
the flat American, but not more valuable as food; however, 
the flat kind is not so suitable for the smaller breeds of 
pigeons, being apt to stick in their throats and choke 
them. 

Peas are of various kinds, such as white, blue, and mottled. 
The small white, or rather pale yellow, Canadian peas, are 
good food for pigeons. The dark brown mottled kind, known 
as partridge peas, are also very good ; and the small Baltic 
feeding peas, which contain a mixture of white, blue, and 
mottled, are serviceable, and generally cheap. 

Beans are of various kinds, such as the small tick bean 
and the medium -sized Egyptian both good for pigeons. 
The larger varieties are not suitable, being apt to choke 
the birds. 

Tares either the small foreign or large Scotch are suit- 
able food, and may be mixed with the foregoing. 



32 FANCY PIGEONS. 



A mixture of grain can always be had from dealers who 
make a specialty of supplying pigeon fanciers. 

Other kinds of grain used by fanciers are buckwheat; dari, 
a white, tare-shaped grain from the Levant; rice; paddy, or 
rice in the husk ; and mollah, a small East Indian blue-grey 
pea mottled with brown spots. 

Pigeons are fond of all the seeds given to cage birds, such 
as millet, canary, and hemp, but they are too dear for 
general use, though they may be given as an occasional treat. 
Hemp seed is very stimulating, and should be seldom given to 
pigeons kept in close confinement. 

As pigeons at liberty eat freely of lettuce and such green 
food, this may be supplied occasionally to those kept in con- 
finement; but it is not an absolute necessity for them, and I 
never give them such in the winter time. 

Mode of Feeding. 

I have already referred to the way pigeons may be fed in 
lofts. When an outside flight, covered with gravel, is pro- 
vided for them, the best way to feed them is to throw their 
food on the ground, always provided they can see to pick it 
up, which trumpeters, and certain heavily wattled pigeons can- 
not do. For such hoppers must be provided. Supposing a 
good many birds are kept, this will be the most expeditious 
mode of feeding. Hoppers, to supply perhaps a hundred 
birds, must be rather numerous, to prevent their constantly 
quarrelling over them. More food is destroyed by feeding 
from a flat board than from the ground, if it be kept con- 
stantly supplied with clean gravel a few inches in depth. 

During the breeding season the birds should invariably be 
fed early in the morning, not later than eight o'clock. If 
food be left for them over night, they will go to it much 
before this hour in the summer time ; but this is not 
absolutely necessary. Forgetting to feed them for half a day 
will cause the death of many young ones, not so much for 



33 MANAGEMENT. 

want of food as from cold ; for in such a case the old ones 
will not continue sitting on them, but will leave them and 
hang about waiting for their food. Young pigeons, from 
their birth till seven days old, cannot long survive the 
want of their parents' warm protection, even in the heat of 
summer. 

Water. 

The water vessels should be refilled daily, even if they hold 
more than a day's supply; for, if allowed to run dry, the 
same bad results follow as from want of food. They should 
be frequently cleaned out with boiling water, and such as 
have only a hole in them should have some sharp sand 
shaken up in them when being cleansed. If placed outside 
the flight, and exposed to the rays of the summer sun, they 
must either be protected from it by a box in very hot days, 
or be frequently refilled with cold water ; for sun-heated water 
is prejudicial both to the old and young birds. 

Bathing water may be allowed them twice a week, which is 
about as often as they will care to use it. If supplied in the 
loft, no vessel, however constructed, will prevent them dashing 
it about on the floor; but some sawdust, thrown upon the 
overflow, will absorb it in a few minutes, when it may be 
swept up. If the bath be made with sides inclining in- 
wards, much less water will be scattered about than when 
they are upright or sloping outwards. 

Salt. 

Salt in some form is necessary for pigeons kept in confine- 
ment, as has been known from the time of Aristotle. It is 
required for keeping them in health, and for the successful 
rearing of their young. The old writers give recipes for what 
they termed the "salt-cat," which Moore refers to as so called, 
he supposes, " from a certain fabulous oral Tradition of baking 
a Cat in the Time of her Salaciousness with Cummin-Seed 



34 



FANCY PIGEONS. 



as a Decoy for your Neighbours' Pigeons; this, tho' handed 
down by some Authors as the only Method for this Purpose, 
is generally laughed at by the Gentlemen of the Fancy, and 
never practis'd." I have an old book on Agriculture (1687), 
from which Moore has quoted when writing of the value of 
pigeons' dung, which gives a recipe for the preparation of the 
disgusting compound called salt-cat. The author also makes 
the following sensible remarks : " There is nothing that 
Pigeons more affect than Salt; therefore, do they usually give 

10 INCHES 




FIG. 10. SALT EARTH Box FOR PIGEONS. 

them, as oft as occasion requires, a Lump of Salt, which they 
usually call a Salt-Cat, made for that purpose at the Salterns, 
which makes the Pigeons much affect the place, and such as 
casually come there usually remain where they find such 
good entertainment." I have experimented regarding the 
necessity of salt for pigeons, and noted the experience of 
others, and have ever found, when it has been long with- 
held from them, they suffered more from disease, and that a 
greater portion of their young died before maturity. One 
writer goes the length of saying, that it is necessary for the 



35 MANAGEMENT. 

successful treatment of their complaints. The avidity with 
which they devour salt, when they get a supply after a long 
want of it, shows it to be very necessary; but, in such a 
case, both the old and young suffer from an overdose, as I 
have proved. I have noticed, when it was given in the form 
of rock salt, and when the lump had disappeared by melting, 
and by the birds eating it, that they greedily ate of the 
salt earth where it had lain till they made quite a depression 
in the ground. 

As pigeons in confinement require lime, not only for the 
formation of the shells of their eggs, but for medicinal 
purposes, it is best to supply this in conjunction with salt 
and small gravel, the latter aiding in the digestion of 
their food. Let the fancier, then, proceed as follows in 
making up a mixture which will supply, along with sound 
grain, all his birds require for keeping them in as good 
health and condition as is possible, either in confinement or 
at liberty. Let him, when opportunity offers, procure and 
preserve in a box or barrel a supply of old lime from some 
building in course of demolition. Such rubbish is generally com- 
posed of one part of lime to about three or four of sand. Take 
of this lime rubbish, two parts; of small, gritty, pebbly sand, 
one part; of friable loam, of a clayey kind for choice, one 
part: beat all down, so that it will pass through a iin. 
riddle, and mix well together. Then add coarse kitchen salt, 
to the extent of one-eighth part of the whole, and put the 
mixture in boxes, and, as Old Moore would have said, " You'll 
find your account in it." As the pigeons consume this, which 
they will do quickly, for every bird will visit the box daily, 
replenish the store all the year round. Fig. 10 represents a 
box, or hopper, suitable for holding the salt earth or gravel. 

Pairing. 

Supposing the pigeon fancier to have his loft and its 
arrangements completed, and to have selected his stock of 

E 2 



36 FANCY PIGEONS. 

birds, the first thing he will have to do will be to pair them 
together. In matching them up, with the object of breeding 
good young ones, the general rule may be laid down that, 
whatever faults one of the pair may possess, its mate should 
not possess the same. A pair of pigeons having between 
them the properties sufficient to constitute a perfect specimen, 
or something approaching to it, are likely to amalgamate, in 
some of their progeny, the good points they possess ; and 
by this method are the most perfect specimens of fancy 
pigeons produced. But, besides the appearance of the birds 
themselves, that of their parents and more remote ancestors 
should be considered when it may be done, as pigeons, in com- 
mon with other animals, throw back to their ancestral form as 
much, and often more, than to that of their own parents. It will 
therefore be seen that successful pigeon breeding requires con- 
siderable study, although good pigeons are not unfrequently pro- 
duced from very ordinary stock ; but such chance birds are not 
reliable for stock purposes. It is always better that a beginner 
should procure his stock birds from a breeder who has proved 
his ability to turn out good birds of any particular variety, 
than to buy those of whose pedigree he can learn nothing; 
for there is much virtue in a good strain, and much dis- 
appointment saved by procuring such. And yet the very best 
of pigeons will produce plenty of young ones quite unfit 
to go on breeding from, as all races living in a strictly 
artificial state must necessarily do ; so a fair amount of 
quality should be looked for in birds intended to commence 
breeding from. 

Pigeons are mated together by placing them in contiguous 
pens, where they can see each other. When in good health f 
they will generally show signs of becoming paired in a few 
days, but it is, of course, necessary to keep them from the 
sight of other birds, and especially of their last mates, or it 
will not be easy to match them up. "When properly paired, 
it is always well, when practicable, to place them in a loft 



37 MANAGEMENT. 



apart from their former mates, should they have had such, for 
even when these are themselves rematched, and with young 
ones, they will occasionally be inclined to go together again ; 
but in this respect, and in many others, pigeons show the 
most various dispositions. Two or three lofts save much 
trouble to the fancier, and he can always work his birds 
about in them, so as to save time in his breeding operations. 
When a pair show signs of becoming matched up, they 
may be allowed to go together for a day, when the union 
between them will become more fixed than if turned into the 
loft at once. For this purpose, matching pens have generally 
a sliding wire division, withdrawable at pleasure. Once or 
twice in my experience I have found it impossible to per- 
manently match up a pair of pigeons. Though each would 
pair in the ordinary way with other birds, they invariably 
separated after being together a short time, seeming to 
have some antipathy to each other. In such a case, the only 
plan for keeping such a pair together, should there be some 
special reasons for doing so, will be to place them in a room 
by themselves. 

Nesting. 

When all goes well, the pair will soon begin building a nest, 
if provided with materials for doing so, and, usually in 
a week or ten days, the hen will lay her first egg, very near 
five o'clock in the evening. She will not sit on it through 
the following night, but stand over it ; but next day the cock 
will generally be in such a hurry to begin the process of 
incubation, that it is always better to remove the egg when 
laid, substituting another, so as to insure the two hatching 
simultaneously, for when one is hatched a day before the 
other, the difference in size and strength of the young ones 
seems to get more marked day by day, and to increase rather 
than diminish. Many hens are apt to lose the power of their 
limbs when about to lay, and such must be carefully looked 



38 FANCY PIGEONS. 



after. Others do so only at the beginning of the breeding 
season, when the weather proves unusually cold. Although 
there is no way of knowing an egg to be such as will produce 
a healthy young one, it may be told almost with certainty 
that eggs of a certain appearance will come to no good. 
Those that, instead of being smooth when laid, are very rough, 
or of a honeycombed appearance towards one end, are gene- 
rally bad, and though they contain the germs of a living squab, 
it will generally die in the shell. Very small eggs have rarely 
a yolk in them, and very large ones have generally a double 
yolk. The latter almost invariably die during incubation, 
though instances have been known of two healthy young ones 
being hatched and reared from them. Good eggs have a 
smooth appearance, and a few hours after being laid a round 
air spot, usually at one end of them, will be observed on 
holding them up to the light. The hen lays her second egg 
forty-five hours after the first, or very nearly at two o'clock 
on the third day, and this is an almost invariable rule when 
all goes well. The first egg being replaced in the nest, 
incubation then commences, and in seventeen complete days, 
more or less, according to the weather, breed, and closeness 
of sitting, the young are hatched. 

There is a great difference in the breeding powers of hen 
pigeons, and those that lay oftenest during their first season 
without any forcing, generally breed longer than such as lay 
only twice or thrice in their first year. When a hen lays 
single eggs to a nest, it is generally a sign that her pro- 
creative powers are drawing to a close, or that she is being 
unnaturally forced. 

When the eggs have been sat on for three full days, it 
may be determined almost surely whether they are fertile or 
not. When held against a strong light, the heart, and 
blood vessels branching from it, of the embyro squab will be 
clearly seen in a good egg. When no such appearance is 
visible, the egg is bad, or, as happens occasionally, it has not 



39 MANAGEMENT. 



been sat on closely, if fertile ; but, in such a case, another 
day or two should determine whether it be good or bad. In 
a week a good egg is quite opaque when held against the 
light, and becomes of a blue colour. 

Should a newly laid egg get chipped by the claw of the old 
bird, or by other accident, so long as the skin below the shell 
be not broken there is hope for it. A good thing to mend 
such a flaw is the marginal gummed paper round sheets of 
postage stamps, a piece of which the fancier should always 
keep in his pocket. Early in the season, thin-shelled eggs are 
often laid, and such generally get broken before being sat on 
many days. Should the fancier find his hen pigeons laying 
many eggs without shells, or with thin shells, it is time for 
him to attend to their supply of old lime and gravel. Some- 
times a good egg will get very much indented a few days 
before it is due to hatch. So long as the skin below the shell 
be not broken, the indented shell may be carefully patched up 
with gummed paper, and the young one will often be success- 
fully hatched. 

Young Pigeons. 

As a rule, young pigeons that require assistance from the 
egg are not worth the trouble in connection with them. 
Short-faced tumblers are an exception; but all other breeds, 
if possessed of the necessary strength to develop into healthy 
birds, should be allowed to hatch without any interference 
whatever. 

Young pigeons when hatched are very helpless objects, 
but grow so fast when all goes well that a great increase in 
their size may be observed day by day. They are born blind, 
and covered with a yellow down, which, however, varies much, 
according to the colour they are to be. Silvers and yellows 
are hatched with scarcely any down on them, and this is a 
good indication of these colours. Yellows of the deepest 
and richest tint are, however, not hatched so thinly covered 



40 FANCY PIGEONS. 

as those of a washed-out or mealy hue, such as is too often 
the case with many of our yellow pigeons, and attention to 
this will be no uncertain indication of the quality of colour 
that will be developed in due time in a newly hatched squab. 
When a week old, the young ones will be well stubbed over 
with feathers, which in another week will have begun to 
break, and give a good idea of colour and marking. If, 
during this time, a daily increase in size be not observed, 
or if one keeps getting behind the other, something is wrong ; 
but unless the want is evidently from lack of food or 
warmth, nothing can be done with squabs so young. The 
bowels or digestive organs are out of order, and they seldom 
come right. The young of all small and hardy pigeons are 
as big as their parents at from four to five weeks old, when 
they will leave the nest and soon begin to feed themselves. 

Feeders. 

Feeders, such as common pigeons, Dragoons, Antwerps, 
and the strong and coarse specimens of fancy varieties, are 
used as nurses for the more choice breeds, and, although 
there is much misunderstanding as to the powers of even 
really good birds in their ability to successfully rear their 
own young, feeders may be advantageously made use of in 
many instances ; but so long as good birds perform their 
natural functions, as the great majority are well able to do, 
it is but natural to allow them to do so. 

When feeders are employed, the eggs of the good birds 
may be given to the feeders, if of the same age, or if one 
or two days older; but it is not safe to risk any greater 
difference in the age of the eggs, because, if hatched before 
their soft meat comes on them, the feeders will not feed 
them as a rule. In changing young ones, let them be a few 
days older than those they replace, and they will have so 
much additional care. When young birds are well feathered 
it is often unsafe to change them, as the feeders begin to 



41 MANAGEMENT. 



know the difference in their appearance, and will occasion- 
ally either not feed them or drive them out of their nest. 
Some feeders are very valuable, from the care they bestow 
on any young ones given them, and a pair, of which the 
hen is barren, are often best of all in this respect. An egg 
placed in her nest will be taken to; after the interval of a 
day it may be removed, and a fresh pair of eggs from 
some choice pair of birds given to her, when she and her 
mate will treat them as their own, and rear them success- 
fully in many instances. Barren hens have this advantage, 
that they can be made to wait till their owner has a 
use for them. The worst of feeders is, that they look so 
bad among good pigeons, and on this account they should 
always be kept in some separate loft if possible. A place 
for drafting young ones into is also a great convenience, 
for they soon become troublesome among breeding birds. 

Over Laying. 

Unless other eggs or young ones be given to pigeons who 
have been deprived of their own, they will often lay again 
much sooner than they would otherwise do, and when this is 
often repeated nothing but disaster can result. Such un- 
naturally forced eggs are often thin- shelled, unfertile, or, if 
they contain birds, they very often come to nothing. Bather 
than allow good hens to over lay themselves, if they cannot 
be supplied with substitutes in eggs or young ones, they 
should be penned up for a time, which will give their systems 
the needful rest. 

Sex of Young Pigeons. 

The usual pair of eggs laid by the hen pigeon generally 
result in a cock and hen, but so many instances occur of two 
cocks or two hens being produced in a nest that it is never 
safe to reckon on the sex of young ones. Certain indications 
of the sex of his young pigeons will soon present themselves 



42 FANCY PIGEONS. 

to an experienced fancier ; but, at the same time, where many 
young ones are bred, there will usually be one or two whose 
sex will puzzle the most experienced for a long time. 

Odd Birds. 

Odd birds in a loft, be they cocks or hens, are always 
very troublesome. Such should always be removed to a place 
by themselves, or common mates procured for them, when 
they may be used as feeders. 

Overcrowding. 

Pigeons are so productive that they often increase faster 
than accommodation can be provided; but nothing militates 
more against success in rearing young ones than overcrowded 
lofts, which are a fertile cause of disease, and when such 
does set in, the best seem to die first; at least, they are 
more missed than the worst, which is about the truth of it. 
When every result of an overcrowded loft is considered, such 
as extra expense for food, extra trouble in attendance, and 
the introduction of disease, it would be found to pay far 
better to use an unsparing hand in killing off faulty young 
ones, which seldom pay anything like their cost. 

Separating Sexes. 

Many fanciers separate the cocks from the hens during the 
winter season, and where there is every convenience for doing 
so it may be a good plan. When all nesting places are laid 
bare of their furnishings, there is but little inducement for 
the birds to breed during the short days of winter. It is 
at least unnatural for the sexes to lose the companionship 
of each other during several months of the year, and they 
have always seemed to me to thrive much better when left 
together. When all facilities for breeding are removed, as the 
birds begin to get deep in moult, and not replaced till the 
the beginning of spring, there will be no trouble experienced 



43 



MANAGEMENT. 



on this account, from pouters at least, though many of the 
small and hardy kinds of pigeons will not take advantage 
of such a long rest. 

Summary. 

The elements of success in breeding good fancy pigeons 
may be briefly summed up as follows : Well-bred stock 
birds, properly paired in regard to their own and their 
ancestral form, supplied with good food and clean water, 
provided with proper breeding accommodation, not over- 
crowded, kept clean, and tended with all reasonable care 
by one who has their welfare and the love of them thoroughly 
at heart. 




Chapter VI. 




X COLOURS OF FANCY PIGEONS. X> 
The Wild Blue Rock. 

HE colour of the wild blue rock pigeon is 
found in nearly all domesticated fancy breeds 
of pigeons, and this is regarded as one of 
the proofs of their descent from it. The 
British blue rock pigeon differs from its 
congener in Asia in having a white rump, and this difference 
also exists in fancy pigeons of a blue colour, which are, 
however, always preferred to the blue rumped for the sake of 
uniformity. Many shades of the blue colour are found in 
tame pigeons, the one in most request being a rich even 
dark blue, neither running too dark and smoky in hue, nor 
too light and silvery in tone. The neck of a blue pigeon, 
of the best shade of colour, is dark, and sparkles with a 
metallic green and purple lustre. Two black bars cross the 
wings, and they should be deep black; but as the result 
of crossing of colours in breeding, many blue pigeons are 
faulty in this respect. The tail and flight feathers are much 
darker in shade than the shoulders, and the former are 
marked with black across their ends, forming, when the tail 



45 COLOURS. 

is outspread, a band of black. The outer tail feathers are 
margined with white on their outer edge as far as the black 
band. 

The blue rock pigeon, when partially domesticated in field 
dovecotes, sometimes alters in colour, and the wing coverts 
assume a dappled appearance, being chequered on each feather 
with black. The dovehouse pigeon, as it is called, has been 
considered by some a distinct variety from the blue rock ; but 
I have always found both the clear blue and blue chequered 
varieties living together in all the field dovecotes where I 
have observed these semi-wild pigeons. And not only in 
this country, but also in India, where semi-wild pigeons 
inhabit temples, mosques, and ruined buildings, both varieties 
may be found living together. The blue-chequered colour, 
like the blue, is found in most kinds of fancy pigeons, 
and may be considered to have originated all the curious 
spangling and chequering that exist in numerous kinds of 
pigeons. 

Changes in Colour. 

The first decided change in colour of the blue rock pigeon, 
after the chequered variety, is where the whole plumage alters 
to a red tint. This variation, also found in most kinds of 
tame pigeons, is known as mealy. The blue is replaced by a 
whitey-brown tint, and the neck and wing bars become dark 
red. When the mealy colour is improved by selection, it can 
be made into a very beautiful colour, as in the mealy show 
Antwerp. As the blue colour becomes chequered with black, 
so the mealy becomes chequered with red, and is called a red 
chequer. 

These four colours, the blue, blue chequer, mealy, and red 
chequer, are, then, the most original colours in tame pigeons, 
and they are the foundation of all other colours found in 
them. 

Besides the blue and mealy colours, there is what may be 



46 FANCY PIGEONS. 



considered an offshoot of the former the silver. In this 
colour the body tint assumes a dun hue, and the neck and 
wing bars become of a darker dun. There are two show 
shades of silvers, known as brown barred and black barred. 
They bear the same relation to each other as the whole- 
coloured duns, found in carriers and barbs. The carrier dun 
is soft and ruddy, while the barb dun is often very deep and 
merging into black. Although the dark-barred silver is called 
black barred, this is quite a misnomer, for real black bars on 
a dun-tinted body colour are, I believe, incompatible with 
nature. I have lately seen a silver cushat or ringdove which 
was shot in Fife, in January, 1885. 

When the reddish tint of a mealy pigeon is changed to 
buff the neck and wing bars become yellow, and this colour 
is known in the fancy as yellow mealy, a soft and beautiful 
colour, found in many kinds of pigeons. Another barred 
colour found in pigeons is powdered blue, as in the Mahomet. 
The feathers of the head, neck, and shoulders of this bird 
are all tipped as if with hoar frost, the bars across its wings 
and tail remaining of an intense black. This colour has been 
engrafted on the blue owl pigeon, and a variation of it is 
known as powdered silver. 

The barred colours of pigeons, therefore, include blue with 
black bars, silver with dun bars, mealy with red bars, and yellow 
mealy with yellow bars. As powdered silvers and powdered 
blues are found in owls, though not yet with such an intense 
powdering as in the Mahomet, powdered mealies and yellow 
mealies might, I think, be bred in time if wished for. Some 
of the mealy show Antwerps have already much powdering on 
their head and neck feathers. Through inter-breeding with 
other colours there are a great number of off-coloured barred 
pigeons, such as kite-barred blues, and reddish-barred blues; 
but all such are undesirable, each body colour being 
required pure of itself, and accompanied with sound bars to 
suit it, except in some varieties, such as the Triganica 



47 COLOURS. 

pigeon, of Modena, where many curious combinations of 
colour are found. 

Albinos and Melanoids. 

"When colour fails altogether in animals, an albino, or 
white specimen is the result, and such are found among dove- 
cote pigeons. Albinos, when bred with coloured pigeons often 
produce particoloured young, and this is the foundation of 
all white markings in fancy pigeons. A rarer freak of 
nature, however, than an albino, is when the normal colour 
of an animal becomes black, which is known as a melanoid. 
Melanoids occur in animals living in a state of nature, such as 
leopards, jackals, hares, and rabbits. I have not known of this 
natural change occurring in field dovecotes, but there can be 
little doubt that the black colour in tame pigeons is owing to 
this natural propensity, and that it is the foundation of all 
whole colours, such as red, yellow, and dun. 

Whole Colours. 

These colours, to be in perfection, should be uniform all over 
the bird, and not fall away to a lighter shade on the rump, 
wings, tail, belly, thighs, or vent. They advance in value ac- 
cording to the difficulty of producing them, blacks and duns 
being easy of acquisition, compared with reds and yellows, which 
latter are the choicest colours in fancy pigeons. To be seen in 
perfection, they must be seen on a whole feathered bird, or 
at least on a bird whose standard of marking does not 
require a white flight and tail, for the colour of these in a 
whole-feathered red or yellow is the crucial point in judging 
of their quality of colour. Black, red, and yellow of the 
choicest shades must be lustrous, with metallic sheen, the 
black being green, and the red greenish purple, in certain 
lights. Yellow has also an orange lustre, interspersed with 
light green on the neck feathers, but there are few yellow 



48 FANCY PIGEONS. 

pigeons that show such rich colour. Dun of the dark shade, 
as in barbs, also shows a greenish lustre; but the light or 
dull dun, so often seen in carriers, seldom carries any lustre 
beyond the neck feathers. This latter shade of dun colour, 
which is an off colour in all high-class fancy pigeons, except 
carriers, often fades with the advancing year, and when the 
bird is getting its new feathers at the moulting season it 
has sometimes a mottled appearance till they are all renewed ; 
the same thing happens with many silver pigeons to a greater 
or less degree. There is a whole blue colour, without dark 
neck, nights, or tail, in which the black bars are wanting. 
It should be uniform in shade all over the bird, and may be 
seen in some Indian pigeons. 

In some kinds of fancy pigeons the wing bars, both in 
barred and solid-coloured varieties, are changed to white, 
or are marked with white on the bar feathers. 

Spangled and Laced Birds. 

Many German and Oriental pigeons are spangled or laced 
on the shoulders, such as hyacinths and blondinettes ; but 
all such spangling or lacing is composed of a combination 
of the colours I have detailed as belonging to fancy pigeons, 
whether accompanied with white or not. 

Combinations of Colour. 

Some pigeons are clothed in two distinct colours, such as 
the archangel. I once bred a pigeon coloured in a way that 
has never before come under my observation viz., a mealy, 
with black shoulders, a combination that I would not have 
believed possible, and it was nearly clean cut, like a good 
turbit. There is also the combined colour known as almond, 
or yellow spangled with black, besides many others, such as 
bronzed kite and golden dun. White markings on a coloured 
ground, and coloured markings on a white ground, are legion 
in fancy pigeons, the same constituting the claims of many 



49 COLOURS. 

to be considered as separate varieties, and each will be 
referred to in turn. The advance in colour from the normal 
blue may be traced as follows : 

Blue with black bars. 

Blue chequered with black (blue chequer). 

Whole black. 

Silver with dun bars ; a natural change from the blue. 
Silver chequered with dun (silver chequer or dun chequer). 
Whole dun. 

Mealy with red bars ; a natural change from the blue. 
Mealy chequered with red (red chequer). 
Whole red. 

Buff with yellow bars ; a natural change from the blue or mealy. 
Buff chequered with yellow (yellow chequer). 
Whole yellow. 

General Remarks. 

All the barred, chequered, and solid colours are found in 
some varieties of fancy pigeons, while only some of them exist 
in others ; but wherever blue, black, red and yellow exist, 
the other colours may be got if wanted, which they seldom 
are, being considered "off" colours, and of little value. The 
black, red, and yellow, when in the most lustrous perfection, 
have a beauty and richness that is not surpassed in the 
plumage of any bird; but it is seldom they are seen in 
perfection, and then only in some varieties of fancy pigeons. 
It must have taken long ages of careful breeding to bring 
the black, red, and yellow colours to perfection. 




Chapter VII. 



X EXHIBITING PIGEONS. X> 
Antiquity of Pigeon Shows. 

1 IGEON stows have probably been established 
in England for as long a period as any 




shows for the exhibition and comparison of 
fancy stock. The " Ordinances for Judging 
Almond Tumblers" date back to 1764, and it 
is likely that, long before then, the pigeon fanciers of the 
Metropolis had their meetings for the comparison of their 
pigeons. Before the days of railways, such meetings could 
only take place in some large centre, near to which there were 
resident many breeders, and an instance of this kind may 
be found in Lancashire, where shows for the exhibition of 
gold and silver mooney fowls have existed for time out of 
mind. 

Modern Show System. 

The show system of the present day has sprung up during 
the lifetime of the present generation, and some of the 
principal exhibitions draw together birds and their owners 
from all parts of the country. The chief of these meetings are 



51 EXHIBITING. 

the events of the year in the pigeon fancy, and determine 
who are the owners or breeders of the best specimens of 
each variety. Fanciers look forward to them as opportunities 
for meeting such as are like-minded with themselves; where 
they may compare their own stock with that of others, 
dispose of the good birds they have for sale, and purchase 
such as they may be in need of themselves. A visit to at 
least one of the chief shows in each season is beneficial to 
the fancier in many ways, and may either confirm him in 
his good opinion of his own birds, or enlighten him as to 
their demerits ; for it is often the case, when one stays too 
much at home, that he insensibly contracts exaggerated ideas 
of his own birds, having no opportunity of seeing the pro- 
gress made by others. 

There are now a great number of pigeon shows held 
annually in this country, where valuable prizes are offered 
for the best specimens; and there can be no doubt that, 
owing to this fact, good birds have year by year increased 
in value, till the sum of 100 has been paid on more than 
one occasion for a choice specimen. Sums varying from 25 
to 50 are by no means uncommon for really first-rate birds 
of the high-class varieties; and, indeed, it is only the very 
best birds that are worth buying for exhibition purposes, 
as they alone have any chance of repaying their cost. 

Show Boxes. 

Pigeons may be sent to shows in boxes or baskets. Boxes 
are liable to breakage, and when made extra strong and 
heavy are expensive in the way of carriage. Baskets are 
lighter, but, from their openness, are not so desirable in cold 
weather, unless lined with canvas. Both boxes and baskets, 
capable of holding from one to a dozen birds, are made in 
compartments. Fig. 11 illustrates a box, of a pattern long 
in use in Scotland, for holding two pouters. It measures 
16in. long by Sin. wide, and Sin. deep inside. It is divided 

F 2 



52 



FANCY PIGEONS. 



diagonally into two compartments, each having an inside 
lid, pierced with holes for ventilation. The birds are placed 
in it in opposite directions, and a couple of air holes 
should be made in the broad end of each compartment , The 
inside lids are lin. below the tops of the sides, which 
have notches cut in them, so that, when the outside lid is 
shut, a free current of air may pass through. The air holes 
represented in the figure are sufficient, and none should be 
made in the sides of the box, or in the narrow ends of the 
compartments. Boxes on the same principle as shown may 
be made with any number of divisions, but, for convenience 




FIG. 11. TRAVELLING Box FOR PIGEONS. 

in handling, six is usually the greatest number. The size of 
each compartment may vary, according to the breed they are 
to be used for; but they should always be made no larger 
than required, for when a bird has the least extra room, 
it is apt to turn, or attempt to turn, when its plumage will 
become disordered. 

Show Baskets. 

Baskets are made exactly on the same principle as the 



EXHIBITING. 



boxes described, and are, I think, on the whole preferable. 
When divided into compartments by wicker work or strong 
canvas, they form very good packages for pigeons. Good 
oblong baskets, measuring about 20in. by 12in., such as 
fruiterers sell cheaply, may be made into capital exhibition 
baskets, by dividing them into compartments with canvas, as 
shown in Fig. 12, which is a plan for a basket with eight 




FIG. 12. PLAN FOR DIVIDING PIGEON BASKET. 

compartments, each lOin. by 4in. at the wide, and liin. at 
the narrow ends, and is suitable for such pigeons as turbits 
or owls. Jacobins are better sent in baskets having canvas 
instead of basket work divisions, and fantails should have 
large and lofty cloth-lined compartments, to save their tails 
from being broken or destroyed. 

Preparing Birds for Showing. 

The greater number of fancy pigeons may be sent to exhibi- 
tions without any preparation at home, except that, in cases 
where the birds are of an extra wild nature, some preliminary 
penning may be of advantage in rendering them to some 
extent at home in a show pen. Some, however, and especially 
pouters, really require a considerable training to enable them 
to be shown with advantage, and this will be referred to 
more particularly elsewhere. Pigeons should in all cases be 
shown in a clean state, as many judges lay considerable 



54 FANCY PIGEONS. 

stress on this point ; and although a good bird can never 
look very bad, though dirty, one equally good in spotless 
plumage looks very much better. A good deal may be done 
for dirty birds by careful washing with soap and soft water; 
but washed birds have never the finish of those that do not 
require it. A practice that cannot be too strongly depre- 
cated is oiling or greasing the plumage to improve the colour. 
Birds so treated should never receive notice at the hands 
of a judge. 

Exhibition Pens. 

The best exhibition pens for pigeons are those of the bee- 
hive shape, made with galvanised wire; and a good thing for 
strewing them with is the husk of oats, though coarse pine 
sawdust is better than nothing. Each pen should have water 
and food tins, so placed that the birds can reach them with- 
out trouble. When thrown on the bottom of the pen, food 
soon gets soiled, and heavily wattled pigeons, accustomed to 
feed from hoppers, are unable to feed from the floor. 

Walking Pens. 

For judging pouters and fantails, a large walking pen 
should always be provided, as it is impossible to judge them 
properly otherwise; and, unless exhibitors see the process of 
adjudication for themselves, they should be sparing of criti- 
cism afterwards, as pouters, being pigeons chiefly of shape 
and carriage, look very different when standing on a block 
than when on their mettle in the show-pen. 




Chapter VIII. 




<K DISEASES OF PIGEONS. X> 
General Remarks. 

HE choicest kinds of fancy pigeons are sub- 
ject to many diseases, no doubt arising 
in many instances from hereditary causes. 
Where a large stock is kept, the pens set 
apart for sick birds will seldom be al- 
together untenanted, for whether much doctoring be practised 
on them or not, ailing pigeons will have more chance of 
recovery when put in hospital than when left among the 
healthy birds, who often treat them very roughly. The 
eye of the experienced fancier soon detects a pigeon that 
is out of sorts ; a disinclination for food or for the bath, 
a peculiarity in its flight or walk, and many other signs, 
may proclaim something wrong. As delay can only com- 
plicate matters, success in the treatment of a sick bird may 
often be attained by doing what may be done quickly. For 
my own part, I may say that I never had much success in 
treating pigeons with medicines, that I have found their 
action very uncertain, and that about the same number of 
sick ones recover, in certain illnesses, whether drugged or 



56 FANCY PIGEONS. 

not. For better reference I shall treat of the principal 
diseases fancy pigeons are liable to in alphabetical order. 

Bowels, Inflammation of. 

The disease most fatal to fancy pigeons is inflammation 
of the bowels. Many have it at some period of their lives, 
and a large proportion before the completion of their 
first moult. It may almost be called the distemper of 
pigeons, and may be known by the huddled-up appearance 
of the bird. The disease is sometimes so rapid in its 
action that in a few days the bird is reduced to nothing 
but skin and bone. The power of flight is soon lost, 
and the bird retires into a corner. When first observed, 
the pigeon so affected should be secluded, and have access 
to old lime. The best remedy I have found for this disease, 
which is known in the fancy as " going light," is to give a 
strong purge of common salt, and, a day or two after, from 
six to ten drops of laudanum in a teaspoonful of water, for 
two or three days in succession. In many cases nothing 
seems to do the least good; but when the bird survives ten 
days of illness, there is always good hope of its iiltimate 
recovery. When this disease attacks young pigeons in the 
nest, which it does in some cases, there is no hope of their 
recovery; but I have known them, when not attacked till 
six weeks old, come through very severe attacks of it. 
The most fatal time for them, when once able to fly and 
do for themselves, is during their first moult, and those that 
pass that period without having this distemper sometimes 
take it during their second year, and not unfrequently when 
feeding young ones. After this period they are compara- 
tively safe, and their systems so hardened that, if they do 
take it, they are able more easily to throw it off, though 
there are exceptions. Many do not consider a bird safe 
till it has passed through this distemper in some form or 
other, and after safely passing through it many consider a 



57 DISEASES. 

bird about twice as valuable as it was before, so many having 
to succumb to its effects. Those that recover from very 
severe attacks may be reckoned on as good for several years. 
In the worst cases, it is astonishing how soon they recover 
when they once take the turn for the better; they seem to 
get heavy about as fast as they got light. In this disease 
it is better to feed sparingly for some days after seclusion. 
They have generally a great desire to eat; but when it is 
found that the food does not pass from the crop, it can 
only do harm, and hasten their death. I refer, of course, to 
the worst cases, each of which must be treated on its own 
merits, and by careful observation of the state of the crop 
each morning. When the dung, from an offensive green 
appearance, begins to change to a more healthy state, the 
recovery of the bird may be reckoned on. The best protection 
against this fatal disease is to keep the salt earth box con- 
stantly supplied with the mixture of old lime, gravel, and salt. 

Canker. 

This disease makes sad havoc in a loft of pigeons when 
it becomes established. I have generally found it make its 
appearance in overcrowded pigeonries; but it is undoubtedly 
most infectious, and may often be introduced by an in- 
fected bird, not necessarily suffering from it at the time 
of its introduction, but having in its system the seeds of 
the disease, which, by the time it shows itself, makes any 
measures for the protection of the other birds abortive. 
Although foul water may not be the cause of an outbreak 
of canker in a loft, the water from which they drink in 
common has much to do with the spread of it; but beyond 
separating the infected birds, and paying regard to clean- 
liness and ventilation, I cannot advise any method of retard- 
ing it when once thoroughly established in a loft, for it will 
run its course, and, when in a severe form, spoil a whole 
season's work in breeding, not disappearing till the advent 



58 FANCY PIGEONS. 



of cold weather. When this disease has taken thorough 
hold in a loft, almost every young bird of choice breed will 
become infected with it at from two to four weeks old, even 
though the feeders do not themselves have it. Few recover 
from it, the strain on their systems when so young being 
too great. Canker would sometimes seem to be the direct 
result from foul drinking water and dirty food, as pigeons 
that are sent long distances by sea invariably become infected 
when not kept scrupulously clean. The best safeguards 
against an outbreak of canker are strict attention to clean- 
liness, no overcrowding in the loft, and great care in intro- 
ducing fresh birds during the breeding season. I have 
never had a canker epidemic among my pigeons all through 
a breeding season, but more than once it has appeared 
in my pigeonry about the end of July, and almost every 
young one hatched thereafter has become affected with it. 
It takes various forms ; first in the throat, in which case 
it appears, to a greater or lesser extent, as lumps of cheesy 
looking matter, which, if only small, and at the entrance 
of the throat, so as not to interfere with swallowing, may 
be often cured by touching with nitrate of silver or alum ; 
but if of large extent, and deep down in the throat, so as 
to prevent swallowing, it causes death from choking or 
starvation. Canker sometimes forms in the head, below one 
eye, and it will then often grow so rapidly, that in a few 
days it will distort the head out of all proportion, and 
cause death. I have never been able to cure this form of 
it. Again, the upper or under mandible is often affected, 
and becomes swollen and distorted, preventing the squab 
from being fed. Painting the sores with tincture of per- 
chloride of iron, or with glycerine and carbolic acid (six or 
eight parts of the former to one of the latter), has been advised 
by some; but nitrate of silver, or powdered alum, according 
to others, is more efficacious. Canker of the beak and eye 
wattles of carriers and barbs may be treated in the same 



59 DISEASES. 

way, and then covered with starch or plaster of Paris. 
Common salt is said to be a cure for the small tumours, 
called small pox, that sometimes appear on the wattles 
of carriers. I consider that attention to the salt earth 
mixture is the best protection against throat canker in 
young pigeons. 

Cold. 

Cold in pigeons may be known by a running at the nostrils 
and eyes. It becomes more or less severe according to its 
restriction to the upper or lower air passages. More or less 
deposit of cankerous looking matter will take place in severe 
cases, but warmth and an aperient will generally effect a 
cure. What is known as the " one-eyed cold " is a serious 
complaint. In this, only one of the bird's eyes is affected. 
The lid gets much swollen, and closes over the eye, from 
which, and from the nostrils and mouth as well, matter gene- 
rally runs for a week or two. The inflammation is severe 
while it lasts, which is often for a fortnight or three weeks ; 
but seclusion from draught, and bathing with warm water 
twice daily, will almost always result in cure, without the 
use of any medicine. 

Core, the. 

This is a tumour that grows in or near the vent, and 
is not of very common occurrence. "When in the vent, the 
bird will be seen pecking at the part, and on exami- 
nation there will be found what looks like a prolapsus of 
that organ, wet and bloody. After a few days this will 
harden and dry up, and when the scab comes away the 
core will come with it. The core was so called by the old 
writers on account of its resemblance to the core of an apple. 
When it comes on the belly, somewhere near the vent, its 
presence will be unsuspected till discovered by accident. A 
hard lump will be felt on handling the bird, and on remov- 



60 FANCY PIGEONS. 



ing the feathers the skin will be found stretched over it like 
a net. On cutting the skin, the core, which is like a small 
shelled walnut, will come away easily, if ripe. I have not 
seen more than eight or ten cases of the core in thousands 
of pigeons. 

Diarrhoea. 

During the moulting season, some birds will for several 
weeks be affected with a more or less severe diarrhea, 
and pass nothing but fluid matter. The best remedy for this 
is a plentiful supply of old lime, and they generally recover 
as they get through the moult. If a bird so affected loses 
flesh, a change to a more binding kind of food will be of 
service. 

Egg Bound. 

During a cold spring, or when matched up too early 
in the season, many hen pigeons become egg bound, and 
lose the power of their limbs. Such should be carefully 
watched, as they are liable to very rough treatment from 
their mates and other pigeons in the loft. If, when placed 
on their nests, they do not pass the egg at the time of day 
it should come, a teaspoonful of treacle will generally do 
good; but a few drops of sweet oil, passed into the vent with 
a feather, will also much assist them. Some delicate hens 
among shortfaced tumblers are constantly affected in this 
way, and the result in breeding from such is so little as to 
be not worth the trouble in connection with them. A hen 
that loses the power of her limbs from laying too early in 
the season, should be kept apart for a month or six weeks, to 
enable her to recruit her strength. 

Flesh Wen. 

This was a form of wing disease according to the old 
writers; but, apart from wens in connection with the joints, 



61 DISEASES. 



such tumours sometimes appear on the crown of the head 
and between the beak and eyes of pouters and other 
birds. They appear as small pea-shaped, movable lumps, 
and should be cut out before they attain large size. The 
skin may be slit with a sharp knife, when the tumour is 
easily pressed out, unless attached to the bone, which it 
sometimes is, when it must be cut away; but it is then 
likely to grow again. 

Gizzard Fallen. 

This was the old term for what is really a displacement 
of the bowels. Pouter hens are very subject to it after 
three or four years of age, and carriers and barbs also. 
There is no cure for it, though birds so affected will live a 
few months. I have never known a cock pouter with this 
disease, but have seen young ones affected with it in the 
nest, when it has always proved fatal in my experience. 

Gorging. 

This is an ailment of pouters, and more especially 
of such as have well- developed crops, the best birds in this 
respect having to be carefully watched. The old cure was to 
pass the bird through the leg of a stocking, and hang it up 
till the food passed off; but the same result may be attained 
by placing the bird in a narrow box, padded at one end to 
support the crop, so as to allow the food to pass into the 
stomach. Large cropped pouters, when allowed to feed their 
young, are very apt to gorge, some doing so invariably. 
When gorged from drinking too much water, this may be 
pressed out of them by gently squeezing the crop till they 
disgorge it, when they will be right again in a short time. 
When, however, the crop is so gorged as to contain nearly 
as much as the weight of the whole bird, it is a bad sign, 
and it will then be found that neither the stocking nor box 



62 FANCY PIGEONS. 

remedy will be of any use, for the stomach has lost its power 
of action. The crop may then be cut open, cleaned out, and 
sewn up again, the inner and outer skins being carefully sewn 
separately. This operation is often successfully performed, 
but in many cases is of no use, as the powers of the stomach 
have become impaired, and as soon as the bird is at liberty 
it will speedily be gorged again, nothing that is eaten passing 
into the stomach. From this cause, many of the best pouter 
pigeons ever seen have died, and with those best developed in 
crop it will always be one of the complaints most to be 
feared. Besides cutting the crop open in bad cases of gorging, 
Moore says : " Others will tie that part of the crop in which 
the undigested meat lies tight round with a string, and let 
it rot off. This method never fails, though it spoils the 
shape of the crop." With a pouter considered valuable for 
stock, and past his best show days, a curtailment of crop is not 
any drawback, but rather the reverse. Charcoal capsules are 
useful for preventing the corruption of the food in the crop 
of a gorged pouter, and copaiba capsules are used to make 
them disgorge, generally proving effective. A pouter should 
be attended to on showing the least signs of becoming gorged ; 
delay is dangerous. 

Insects. 

Pigeons are apt to be infested with several kinds of 
insects. The feather louse is harmless, as far as ever I 
saw, and seems to be common to all pigeons. It is found 
chiefly about the neck feathers, and requires the natural 
heat of the bird to keep it alive, for on the death of a bird 
they may be seen crowding up towards its head, in a sort of 
torpid state. The pigeon louse is ' troublesome on all birds 
unable from a malformed beak to preen themselves, and when 
allowed to increase for want of a little blue ointment, renders 
their lives truly miserable. Short-faced tumblers are as 
liable as any to these lice, and should be examined frequently 



63 DISEASES. 

by blowing up the feathers about the vent. A little mercurial 
ointment rubbed about that part and under the wings will 
kill all that come in contact with it. Ticks, I think with Mr. 
Brent, proceed from a flat fly that may be sometimes seen 
running over young pigeons, and hiding among their feathers. 
This fly. which is difficult to catch, and difficult to kill when 
caught, for it is so tough that it can scarcely be squeezed to 
death between the finger and thumb, is not often seen. Ticks 
are the largest of the insects that infest pigeon houses, and 
are fortunately, at least in my experience, not very common. 
I have never been much troubled with mites, but have known 
others who were, in such countless thousands, that during 
a whole breeding season every successive nest of young 
ones was covered with them, causing the death of many. I 
suppose they are the same sort of vermin that trouble canary 
breeders. Fleas are the commonest kind of pests that 
infest pigeon houses, but they and all other insects may now 
be easily kept down by the use of the insecticide known as 
Dalmatian Insect Powder, which has lately come into universal 
use. It should be dusted over the nests occasionally, and it 
is the best friend of the pigeon fancier. Since I began using 
it, my pigeon houses have been quite free of fleas and other 
parasites. 

Leg Weakness. 

This is a complaint which generally attacks young pouter 
pigeons early or late in the season. A bird will, apparently, 
be going on well, and be nearly ready to quit the nest, when 
it will be observed to be unable to get on its legs. I have 
seldom known a bird so affected cured. Those that give 
promise of being extra long in limb and upstanding in 
carriage are most liable to it. Such weakness in the limbs, 
proceeding from some internal cause, must not, however, be 
mistaken for a fracture or sprain of the limb, an accident 
which sometimes happens through a bird falling over its 



64 FANCY PIGEONS. 

nest mate. This is often curable by a few days of care- 
ful attention. 

Moulting. 

The majority of pigeons go through their annual moult 
without any trouble, but generally a few of them will 
fall into a diarrhoaa during that time. When this be- 
comes specially severe, the growth of the new feathers 
will sometimes suddenly stop. If the bird so affected re- 
covers, the growth of its feathers will proceed, but many of 
the birds will be weak and unfurnished about the middle, 
showing where their growth was arrested; and instead of 
the feathers lying close to the bird's body, they will hang 
loosely, and flutter about with the wind. I have seen several 
cases of this, but it cannot be said to happen very often. 
Of course, the bird so affected cannot get into proper 
feather before another moult. When a pigeon casts its 
feathers in masses, as many do, so as to be quite bare on 
head and neck, it should get extra protection from cold and 
draught till the new feathers are well grown. 

Small Pox. 

Small Pox was well known to the old writers from their 
description of it, but I have never known a case of it in 
this country. In India, however, it is a common complaint of 
young pigeons in the nest, and I have known seasons there 
when every young bird bred by myself and others, to the 
number of hundreds, has been attacked with it. At about 
a fortnight old, pustules full of yellow matter would break 
out all over the bird, including its beak and feet. If let 
alone these would gradually dry up, and by the time the 
bird was able to fly, it would be nearly clear of them; but 
if broken they would bleed, and grow into big sores. I think 
this form of small pox is quite unknown in this country 
now: at least, I never heard any fancier say he had found it 
in his loft. 



65 DISEASES. 

Spouts. 

These are fissures that form in the eye wattles of barbs 
and carriers, either naturally, from the skin growing into a 
fold, or from accident. They never heal of themselves, but 
must be cut out with sharp scissors, and the wound dressed 
with healing ointment; the hole soon fills up. The operation 
is no doubt a painful one, but is compensated for by the 
after comfort of the bird. 

Vertigo, or the Megrims. 

An affection of the brain, causing the bird to turn its 
head right round, and making it fall over and flutter about. 
Although not an uncommon disease, I have, fortunately, never 
been much troubled with it among my pigeons. I think it 
incurable, and, acting on that idea, have killed any birds so 
affected as soon as possible, to get them out of the way. 

Wing Disease. 

This disease is common to every variety of fancy pigeon. 
It can generally be detected before the bird loses all power 
of flight, by the one-sided way in which it flies. When so 
observed, a bird will be found to have a swelling on some 
of the joints of its wings. An almost certain cure at this 
stage of the disease is, not only to draw both primary and 
secondary flight feathers, but to strip the wing itself of 
all feathers except the small downy ones. The great flow 
of blood to the new feathers draws off the matter that 
would form in the swollen joint, and, by the time the wing 
is refurnished, all signs of the swelling will have disap- 
peared, and the bird will fly as before. Having succeeded 
in this way in curing numerous pigeons, I can recommend 
it as the best thing to do. Formerly, the cure was to leech 
the swelling, or to wait till matter formed, and then lance 
it; but not one bird out of a dozen will fly again after 



66 FANCY PIGEONS. 

being cut about the joint, as the tendons are apt to get 
severed. When the same disease attacks the thigh joint 
it is not so easily cured, but in my experience it seldom 
does so, as compared to the wing. The old writers divided 
this disease into the flesh wen and the bone wen, but the 
one is only an intensified form of the other. If taken in 
time, this disease may generally be cured by the method 
stated. 

Conclusion. 

There are certain strains of pigeons among all the high- 
class varieties which have become more healthy than others, 
on account of systematic weeding out of all diseased birds. 
The plan I adopt, and which I recommend to others, is to kill 
off or discard all birds that become affected with serious 
hereditary ailments, such as wing disease. 




Chapter IX. 




VARIETIES OF DOMESTIC PIGEONS. X> 
Scheme of Description. 

N describing the numerous varieties of domes- 
tic pigeons with which I am acquainted, I 
shall commence with those least removed 
from the original type, from which, as I 
believe, all varieties descend. Many of them 
are identical in conformation with the wild blue rock pigeon, 
and others have the addition of turned crowns, or feathered 
legs and feet. From them I shall proceed to the inter- 
mediate class, which will include varieties such as the runts, 
with their extraordinary size; the frizzled, frillback, and lace 
pigeons, with their curious plumage ; and the ringbeater, 
lowtan, and tumbler, with their peculiar flight or movements. 
I shall then conclude with a description of what are called 
high-class pigeons, the favourites of the most exacting pigeon 
fanciers, the birds that come up but seldom to the standard 
of excellence laid down for them, because they have not only 
abnormal conformation, but carriage of body or style of 
movement, and beauty of feather as well, and so combine 
in themselves such a sum of excellence, when anything like 



68 FANCY PIGEONS. 

perfect, that the successful breeding of them is the work of 
clever, thoughtful men. 

"Race" or "Original" Pigeons. 

These high-class birds, as well as the intermediate class, 
have been named by the Germans " race " or " original " 
pigeons; and while many have been able to assent to the 
blue rock theory of descent of the feather varieties, most 
of the others are so removed from them that some writers 
have considered them as separate creations. On this ques- 
tion, since writing the chapter on the " Origin of Fancy 
Pigeons," I have found, in the third edition (1876) of the 
work of Neumeister, the German writer, the following: 
" We shall not be very far removed from the truth in sup- 
posing that the first beginning in forming races took place 
by climatic influences, according to the same acting laws 
that produced species ; but that these, by domestication, arti- 
ficially conducted pairing, and continued breeding, in the 
course of thousands of years were raised to the highest ex- 
pression of race types. Original races with perfect charac- 
teristics are not found in a free natural state; these only 
could be produced under the care and guardianship of man, 
who, as their protector, is rejoiced up to the present day by 
their fine and rare forms, pleasing manners, and symmetrical 
arrangement of colours. But that the supposition of their 
descent from one primitive race is justified, is proved by the 
facility with which all the races, the common field pigeon 
included, can pair and produce fruitful young ones, by the 
strikingly great resemblance of their nature, and the inclina- 
tion constantly to return to the wild blue colour and shape 
of the field pigeon (Columba lima). The treacherous bluish 
colouring which so frequently springs up in black, red, and 
yellow, on certain parts (rump, vent, flights, and tail), is only 
too well known to every attentive breeder." 

These ideas are quite in accordance with what I have ex- 



69 DOMESTIC VARIETIES. 

pressed here and elsewhere. I have already instanced the 
great differences existing in various races of canary birds 
from what we know was their progenitor, and as we can fix 
the time that it has taken to accomplish such results with 
comparative accuracy, the "thousands of years" supposed 
necessary by Neumeister for the perfecting of "race" pigeons 
may be somewhat modified, though I have no doubt that 
some of our varieties may have existed for some hundreds of 
centuries, when we remember what Pliny says about pedigree 
pigeons among the Romans. 




Chapter X. 




X COMMON PIGEONS. x> 
Rock Pigeons. 

j OMMON pigeons, strictly speaking, are rock or 
dovehouse pigeons, as found in a state of 
nature, or in a semi-wild state. I have 
already referred to them elsewhere, and have 
only to add that in the West of Scotland they 
are bred by pigeon fanciers, who have a class for their 
favourites at the annual show held in the town of Kilmar- 
nock. Looking, as I have often done, at the class at this 
show, which generally includes over a dozen entries of blues 
and blue chequers, I have felt that I would rather not have 
the responsibility of awarding the prizes, the birds appear so 
very much alike. When a breed comes to be produced, as 
they are, for size, good shape, and purity of colour and type, 
they must necessarily cease to be regarded as quite common, 
and would more truly be designated as fancy rock, or dove- 
house pigeons. 

Common Pigeons. 

Common pigeons are generally understood to be those of 



71 COMMON PIGEONS. 

mixed race, so interbred that it is often impossible to guess 
at their ancestry; and the same abound in almost every town 
and village in the kingdom. The old English name for them 
was runts, probably having the same meaning as when applied 
to common cattle, as Welsh runts, though a canary hen of 
three years of age was also called a runt. Moore refers to 
common pigeons, after describing the fancy runts : " To these 
we may add common runts, which are kept purely for the 
dish, and generally in locker holes in inn yards or other 
places, and are well known to everybody; they are good 
feeders, and therefore good nurses for any of the more 
curious sorts of pigeons." 

In France these common runts are known as Pigeons Mon- 
dains, and, according to Boitard and Corbie, who describe 
them as having no special characteristics, because they assume 
all forms and colours, what they lose in purity they gain in 
the way of fecundity. When extra feather-footed, such are 
known as Pigeons Patu, and the authors above-named describe 
and illustrate types of both denominations. Common runts, 
when selected for their gay and striking colours, are so far 
interesting that their young assume the most various, though 
uneven, markings; and for my own part, I would rather breed 
a motley lot of such, than confine myself to some single 
uninteresting, though undoubtedly distinct and pure race, 
such as the spot pigeon. 

Pigeons for the Market. 

In France a considerable trade is done in supplying the 
markets with hand-fed young pigeons, fattened in the fol- 
lowing way : When the birds are about three weeks old they 
are placed in cages, each containing about thirty or forty, kept 
in a dark place, and fed five or six times a day, through a pipe, 
with a liquid paste of buckwheat flour mixed with whole maize. 
They become fat in five or six days, and "it is astonishing 
how much delicacy they assume in such a short time." 



72 FANCY PIGEONS. 



I believe there is a limited trade for supplying the London 
markets with hand-fed or crammed pigeons, but the chief 
towns in this country are supplied almost exclusively direct 
from field dovecotes. Purchasers may know how to select 
young and tender birds by the presence of yellow down on 
their neck feathers. 

When the value of the manure from a few pairs of common 
pigeons, kept in an aviary, is taken into account, this, in 
addition to the value of the young ones they produce, will 
pay for the food they consume. The manure may be kept 
in barrels, each layer, of an inch in depth, being covered 
with a similar layer of dry earth, siftings of ashes, or road 
scrapings, which will deodorise it, and make a very rich com- 
post, worth several pounds a ton. I have seen capital crops 
from very poor soil, on which such a compost has been thrown, 
some three or four times as thickly as Peruvian guano is 
generally spread. 





WHITE SPOT PIGEON. 



Chapter XL 



PIGEONS DISTINGUISHED CHIEFLY BY THEIR 
COLOUR OR MARKING. 

The Spot Pigeon. 




HE Spot has been described by every English 
writer, including Willughby, and is common 
on the Continent. The Germans call it the 
Maskentaube, and the French, Pigeon Heurte, 
or the Spot Pigeon. It is of the size and make 
of the common Field Pigeon, generally smooth-headed and 
clean-legged, and all white, except a spot of colour on the fore- 
head, extending from the beak wattle to the middle of the 
brow either blue, black, red, or yellow and with a coloured 
tail and tail coverts to correspond. Some are peak-headed, 
and others shell-hooded, in which case the feet and legs are 
generally feathered as well. Boitard and Corbie refer to a 
variety with white tails, the spot being the only coloured 
portion of their feathers. These are classed with the Mon- 
dains, or common pigeons. The upper mandible of the Spot 
is coloured in accordance with its markings, the lower white. 
The iris of the eye is hazel-coloured. 



74 FANCY PIGEONS. 



The White-spot, or Blaze Face Pigeon. 

The White-spot Pigeon, generally known in England as 
the Blaze Face (die Weiszblassige Taube of Germany), is the 
reverse in marking of the common Spot. Its head is 
unhooded, the upper mandible white, the lower coloured in 
accordance with the plumage. The legs and feet are in some 
smooth, in others feathered. The heavier the leg-feathering 
in this breed the better they look; but it is not easy to 
procure them well-hocked and booted, the majority being 
only sparsely covered. 

This pigeon is of the common Field type in formation of 
head and beak, and its chief value lies in the quality of 
its colouring and accuracy of its marking. The irides are 
yellow or red, following the body colour. The breed occurs 
in the following varieties : 

The common White- spot, in all ground colours, with a 
white, regularly formed oval spot on the forehead. The tail, 
with its coverts, is also white. 

The White-barred Spot is black or blue in colour, and has, 
in addition to the marks of the foregoing, white, or white 
edged with black, wing bars. White-barred reds and yellows, 
as in most other breeds, are rare. 

The White-scaled Spot is black or blue. The Black, in 
addition to white spot and white tail, has the wing coverts 
scaled or chequered with white, the nights tipped or finched 
with white spots, and the bars either white, or spotted with 
white, like the flights; but the white in this variety is of a 
yellow or creamy cast. This pigeon has, probably, some con- 
nection with the spangled Suabian. The Blue, in addition to 
the white spot and tail, has the wing coverts chequered with 
white, and black bars across the wings. 

The Copper-winged White-spot, or English Fire Pigeon, is 
the most beautiful of the Blaze Faces. It is thicker set, 
broader-breasted, and shorter than the preceding varieties. 
It has an orange iris, and must be heavily feathered on 



75 PIGEONS OF COLOUR. 

hocks, legs, and feet. The upper mandible, according to the 
German standard, should be white. This pigeon has the white 
forehead spot, white tail and tail coverts. The head, neck, and 
breast are dark blue-black, lustred with green and purple 
hues ; the under body and leg-feathering should approach the 
same colouring as much as possible ; and the flights are blue- 
black, with a bronzed kite colouring on their inner webs. 
The back and wing coverts, or shoulders, are of a burnished 
copper colour, but only after the first moult, the nestling 
feathers, as in other lustrous pigeons, being very dull com- 
pared with the matured plumage. Mr. Ludlow says the English 
Fire Pigeon is one of the varieties that show a sexual difference 
in their colouring, the hens having their copper feathers 
distinctly tipped with black, which the cocks do not. 
Whether this difference exists all through the breed, or 
only in one strain of it, I am not aware, but Neumeister 
makes no mention of it. It is a matter of taste which of 
the two appearances is the more pleasing. The Copper-wing 
is not found with white wing bars. 

The Saxon Pigeon. 

A variety of foreign Toy pigeon, called the Saxon, has been 
occasionally exhibited in this country lately. It is brilliant 
black in colour, with white wing bars. The head is unhooded, 
the eyes orange-coloured, and the legs and feet rather heavily 
feathered. I cannot find any reference to it among German 
authors. Such a variety might, no doubt, be produced by 
selection from the produce of the white-barred black Blaze 
Faces that happened to come foul-tailed and short of face 
marking. I believe it is not unusual for them to breed young 
ones entirely wanting the white brow spot. 

The Breast Pigeon. 

The Breast, Coloured Breasted, or Breaster Pigeon (die 
Brusttaube, Farbenbriistige Taube, der Bruster), is a German 



76 FANCY PIGEONS. 



Toy of peculiar marking belonging to the Field type of 
pigeons, but more slenderly built, and a good flyer and 
breeder. It is marked on the head, neck, and breast 
black, blue, red, or yellow, the colour being cut across, 
or evenly belted, before reaching the thighs. The back, wings, 
tail, and under parts are pure white, but only after the 
first moult, the nest feathers being tinged with colour. A 
variety of the yellow ones retain yellow wing bars ; but 
these are rare. The beak is light, and the iris yellow. 
They are generally smooth-headed, but occasionally shell- 
hooded, and smooth and feathered-legged specimens are found 
among them. The black variety generally retains some 
colour on the parts that should moult white, from which it 
derives the special name of Russtaube, or Soot Pigeon. I saw 
a pair of these birds lately. The head, neck, and breast were 
of a purple-black, and the wing coverts white, tinged with 
black, as if dirtied with much handling. 

There are also Breast Pigeons having the said marking 
reversed, the head, neck, and breast being white, and the rest 
of the feathers coloured. Such are mentioned by the 
German author, Neumeister ; but I have never seen any of 
them. 

The Ice Pigeon. 

This variety derives its name from its beautiful lavender 
blue colour, considered by the German fanciers to resemble 
blue ice; hence its name die Eistaube. It is also known by 
the names MeM and Lasurtaube, signifying Meal and Azure 
Blue Pigeon. There are several varieties of the Ice Pigeon, 
the simplest form being of a beautiful clear light blue, 
without wing bars, but with dark flights and barred tail. 
This form, which is probably the original of the others, is of 
the size of the common Field Pigeon, but more thickset, and 
broader chested, shorter necked and legged. It should be 
heavily feathered on the legs and feet. It has a dark beak 



77 PIGEONS OF COLOUR. 

and nails, a reddish yellow iris, and is smooth-headed. 
The first remove from this form is that in which the 
colour is still more delicate and silvery, and in which the 
dark flights and tail bar almost disappear, and become 
nearly of the same tint as the body feathers. The next 
form, originally from Silesia, is of the same colouring as 
the preceding, but with white wing bars, beautifully edged 
with black, and with black tail bar. The newest and rarest 
form is known in Germany as the Porzelantaube, or Porcelain 
Pigeon, and, in addition to what the last-mentioned variety, 
the Silesian, shows, is chequered or spangled over the coverts 
of the wings, shoulders, upper and middle back, with narrow 
white spots fringed with black. 

The make and shape of all these varieties are similar. They 
are found smooth, medium, and rough-legged, but are pre- 
ferred heavily feathered. The smooth-legged chequered or 
spangled ones are known in this country as Ural Ice, while 
the rough-legged spangled birds are called Siberian Ice. In 
all varieties they range in colour from light to dark, but the 
powdered lavender ground tint, as uniform as possible, is the 
most desirable. The blacker the edging on white wing bars 
and spangling, the more inclined they are to run dark in the 
blue. The iris is always preferred to be yellow, but is often 
hazel in the lightest tinted birds. There are also Ice Pigeons 
whose ground tint is changed from lavender blue to a beauti- 
ful soft powdery silver. The various types should be distinct 
and well-marked, not halfway between, neither one thing 
nor another that is, the spangled variety should be heavily 
spangled, and the merely white-barred should not show any 
incipient spangling. 

The Swiss Pigeon. 

In Boitard and Corbie's work this variety is called Pigeon 
Suisse. It is the Schweizertaube of Germany, where it also 



78 FANCY PIGEONS. 

goes by the name of Moon, Crescent, and Badge of Honour 
Pigeon. It is of the common type in head, beak, and 
body, is smooth-headed, and should be heavily hocked, 
and feather-legged and footed. The irides are yellow or 
orange, and the beak and nails correspond with the colour 
of the markings. There are three principal colours in this 
breed viz., the Bed, Yellow, and Black-barred. The ground 
colour of all should be of a satiny white tint, shaded off into 
a very clear light mealy, buff, or blue, according to the colour 
of the marks ; the first have red or rich brown wing bars 
and breastplate (which must be a clean-cut half-moon, as in 
the illustration) ; the second have similar yellow markings ; and 
the third, a crescent of the colour of the neck of a blue 
pigeon, and black wing bars and tail bar. The red and 
yellow-marked ones correspond with the red and yellow mealy 
colours, which do not, of course, have a dark bar at the end 
of the tail. The crescent, or breastplate, should in all be 
well-lustred, and when its points meet at the back of the 
neck it is ring-necked, which is a great defect. Neumeister 
says: "The fledged young ones have no crescent marks on 
the breast; it only becomes visible after the first moulting. 
The more the ground colour approaches to pure white, and 
the darker and narrower at the same time the wing bars are, 
the more highly is the pigeon valued. It is quite a par- 
ticular species, and loses all value by cross-breeding. In the 
South of Germany, and in Switzerland, it is often found 
without wing bars, with smooth feet and a yellowish crescent, 
although very heavily feathered feet seem to be peculiar to 
this race. Among the Swiss Pigeons the Starling Neck is 
sometimes reckoned, also the "Whole-coloured Pigeon, with no 
crescent, but with white wing bars, which resembles it very 
much. The Bed and Yellow Swiss Pigeons, with dark eyes and 
crescent, originating from suitable pairing with the Blue Star- 
ling Neck, although they occur very seldom, are a beautiful 
variety, which are paid large prices for by amateurs. The 



79 PIGEONS OF COLOUR. 

Swiss Pigeon is in general not common, and is only found 
in Saxony, Thuringia, and Silesia." 

Boitard and Corbie, in their chapter on the Pigeons Suisses, 
include several varieties which appear to me to have no con- 
nection with them, such as the Pigeon Suisse bai Dore ou bis 
Dore. Their description and illustration of this variety make 
it out to be more like the Hyacinth : " Ce pigeon ressemble 
un peu au Maille Feu," they say. Brent has reproduced the 
illustration of this pigeon on page 64 of his book (third 
edition), where it serves as a portrait of the Porcelain Pigeon, 
a sub-variety of the Hyacinth. I fancy that, after reading 
that it resembled the fire- coloured Pigeon Maille, he thought 
it would do well to represent it. 

The Veiled Pigeon, 

Known in Germany as the Farbenkopfige Taube, or Coloured- 
headed Pigeon, and also as the Bdrtige, or Bearded Pigeon, 
from its bib, is described by Neumeister as rather larger 
than the common Field Pigeon. It is found in all the chief 
colours, and the beak corresponds to the colour of the 
markings. The Black variety has the special name of the 
MohrenJcopf (Moor's Head), while others are Blue-head, Yellow- 
head, and so on. The head is broadly hooded, and the iris, 
Neumeister says, ought to be dark, but is generally yellow, 
just as, when a pearl eye is demanded, it often comes dark. 
The whole head is coloured, the shell hood included, though 
it is white in his illustration; and the colour runs down the 
breast, forming a bib. The tail, with its coverts, is coloured, 
and the rest of the bird white. The feet and legs are generally 
smooth, but sometimes feathered. Neumeister describes an 
unhooded variety, which must have a narrow white stripe 
dividing the coloured head at the nape, finishing at the back 
of the head. 

Boitard and Corbie describe a similar variety to the above 
under the name of Pigeon Coquille Barbu ; and still another 



80 FANCY PIGEONS. 



(the Pigeon Coquille Tete de Morte, or Death's Head Shell 
pigeon), which has only the head and bib black, all the rest 
being pure white. It has clean legs and pearl eyes. 

The Latz Pigeon. 

The German Latz, signifying Bodice or Stomacher Pigeon, 
also called in Germany the Latz Shell Pigeon of Holland, and 
Helmet Pigeon, is of the size and type of the Field Pigeon, 
and a good flyer and breeder. Its head is adorned with a 
peculiar helmet, or large shell hood, not found so marked 
in any other species. From the back of its head to 
halfway down the back of its neck the feathers run up and 
to the side, forming an extensive hood. They do not lie 
closely and in a mass, but loosely and in disorder. The beak 
accords with the colour of the marking. Blues, Reds, and 
Yellows, according to Neumeister, seem to have died out, 
while the Blacks are frequently to be found under the name 
Wiener Latztauben (Yienna Bodice Pigeons). The head, front, 
and sides of the neck and breast, as shown in the illustra- 
tion, are coloured, giving the appearance of a coloured bodice, 
from which the bird derives its name. The rest of the 
plumage, including all the shell feathers, is white. The eye 
is said to have a brownish-black iris, but is yellow in 
Neumeister's illustration. The feet and legs are generally 
stockinged, though sometimes heavily feathered and hocked, 
or trousered, as Neumeister calls it. The Latz is certainly 
a pretty pigeon, and would make a good addition to the 
aviaries of those who like birds of well-contrasted markings, 
and likely to breed very true to them. 

The Starling Pigeon. 

In Germany the Starling Pigeon goes by the name of 
der Staarenhals (the Starling Neck). It is a Continental 
variety. In size, shape, and in style of head and beak, 
it is similar to the common Field, or Dovecote Pigeon. The 



81 PIGEONS OF COLOUR. 

legs and feet are sometimes feathered, but in general are 
smooth; and the head, though usually uncrested, has 
sometimes a turn crown. The irides are red, and the beak 
and nails black. Although the Starling Pigeon is found in 
several colours, the Black variety is the one most esteemed, 
and it should be of a deep satin black, with a purple 
metallic lustre, and strongly pigeon-necked. On the breast 
there should be a crescent of white, and the evener this 
is cut the more the bird is valued. It is produced by the 
feathers forming it being tipped with white, and only comes 
to perfection on completion of the first moult. Two 
white bars cross the wings, which, with the crescent, are 
in the nest feathers usually of a rusty red, or kite colour. 
With age the Starling often loses its marking to a great 
extent, the crescent becoming large and shapeless, the ends 
of its nights becoming grizzled with white, and its head 
grey, or spotted with white. The white crescent and wing 
bars on the lustrous black ground being all the marking 
desired, such a standard is not easy to maintain in all 
the progeny, the birds being either too dark or too light. 
Blue and Bed Starling Necks, though also obtainable in Ger- 
many, are not considered so beautiful. The crescent on the 
breast not being, as in the English Pouter, composed of 
white, but only of white-tipped dark feathers, I believe this 
kind of marking on a really sound Red is not easily attain- 
able, and that such a Bed as can be got with these marks 
combined fails to look well. 

Neumeister says of the Starling : " By reason of its parti- 
cularly recommendable qualities for fielding, it is absolutely 
to be preferred to all other fancy pigeons that have to find 
most of their food. It has almost always at the same time 
young ones and eggs side by side, and seeks its food in any 
weather, summer or winter, so long as the ground is not 
covered with snow. For breeders of the finer species of 
pigeons it is highly valuable, inasmuch as it feeds almost 

I 



82 FANCY PIGEONS. 

all the young ones of other pairs running after it for food. 
It is the only kind that, during the so-called famine months, 
knows how to provide its young ones with the necessary 
food, and bring them up. It is particularly distinguished by 
its diligent roaming, possesses all the qualities of an ex- 
cellent Field Pigeon, and generally serves as a guide to the 
others in the field." 

The Starling Neck is also known in Germany as the Trauer- 
taube, or Mourning Pigeon a very appropriate name for the 
little fellow in his black coat and white bands. 

The French Starling Pigeon described by Boitard and 
Corbie is stocking-legged and turn-crowned, and marked as 
the German. These authors only mention the Black variety, 
and, on account of its crest, place it among the Pigeons 
Coquilles; hence its name, Pigeon Coquille Etourneau. 

Brent speaks of a Crested variety of the Starling that has, 
in addition to the ordinary marks of the breed, the upper 
mandible and head white, as in the Priest Pigeon. This may 
probably be the Starling-barred Priest; but Brent makes no 
mention of the white nights and tail. 

The Suabian Pigeon. 

The Suabian Pigeon, which is a German breed, is known 
also in France. Neumeister has classed it not very 
correctly, I think among the Priest Pigeons, under the name 
of die Gestaarte Silberschuppige Pfaffentaube (the Starling 
Silver-scaled Priest Pigeon), and says that it comes from 
Suabia. Boitard. and Corbie class it among the Pigeons 
Coquilles, and call it the Pigeon Coquille Soudbe. I think 
there can be little doubt that the Suabian was produced 
from the Starling Pigeon, by breeding together such as came 
too light in colour, till at length the desired marking was 
fixed. "When in perfection, the Suabian is certainly one of the 
most beautifully feathered birds in creation, and a striking 
example of the ingenuity displayed by careful breeders of 



83 PIGEONS OF COLOUR. 

that most universally cherished bird, the domestic pigeon. 
In make of head and beak, and in shape of body, the 
Suabian, like the Starling, is of the common type, but is 
not considered such a good breeder, or so hardy. It is found 
both smooth and feather-legged, and both smooth-headed and 
turn-crowned; but the smooth-legged ones, with a good peak 
crest, are considered the originals, and look smartest. The 
ground colour of the Suabian should be of a good metallic 
black; but it is generally of a dull, dim black. On the head 
and neck the feathers should be all tipped with a creamy -white, 
interspersed with lustrous apple-green and red tints ; and on the 
breast the white must be so intensified as to take the form of 
a crescent, or half moon, as in the Starling. The back and 
scapular feathers, and wing coverts, should be spangled or 
chequered with black on their creamy-white extremities, the 
pattern this spangling assumes being of different kinds. It 
may either be in a triangular form, or the feathers may be 
laced round with black, though I have never seen the latter 
form so perfect as in the illustration in Tegetmeier's Pigeon 
Book. But as the Eastern Blondinette Pigeons can be bred 
beautifully and regularly laced on the wing coverts, the same 
style of marking may yet be produced in the Suabian. The 
primaries, or flight feathers, should be black, with creamy- 
white oval spots near their extremities ; and although it is rare 
to get specimens marked in a similar way on the principal 
tail feathers, no bird can be considered perfect without. 
The lower back, belly, vent and thighs, should also be as 
black as possible, and in theory these parts should show 
the Starling marking as well; but it will be found that this 
can only be attained by an excess of marking on the neck 
and wing coverts. To produce the happy medium in marking, 
and get birds with neither too little nor too much of it, is 
the difficult point to attain in the Suabian, and as its mark- 
ing is of such a character, it is no easy matter to breed it 
true. It is only after the first moult that its beauties become 

i 2 



84 FANCY PIGEONS. 

apparent, the nestling being of a rusty red, as in the Starling ; 
and not even then does it attain its full beauty, as the 
secondary nights are not all moulted in its first year, but 
in its second. With age it often becomes blotched and irre- 
gular in spangling, like other pigeons of variegated feather. 
The beak and toe nails should be black, and the irides orange 
or red. Brent mentions a sub-variety with white upper 
mandible and head, like the Priest, and Neumeister one with 
white nights and tail, both of which I consider rather out of 
keeping with the character of the breed. 

Besides the Black-grounded Suabian, there is another form, 
in which the ground colour is of a ruddy brown or chocolate 
hue. These have been called Porcelains, which name has 
also been applied to a sub-variety of the Hyacinth; but it 
would be better to allow them to be known as Brown - 
spangled Suabians. This sub-variety should possess the same 
characteristics as the other, and the more decided and 
pronounced it is in its ground colour the better. Many 
specimens are neither one thing nor another in their ground 
tint; and all such birds, unless possessing any special quality 
of spangling, which may be of value in breeding, are com- 
paratively worthless in point of beauty and for exhibition 
purposes. 

The Shield Pigeon. 

Die ScJiild oder Deckeltaube (the Shield, or Cover Pigeon), a 
German breed, which takes its name from its marking, 
is of two kinds, one smooth-legged, the other heavily hocked, 
and feather - legged and footed. The latter, which is pre- 
ferred, is the larger of the two, and is a low, broad-chested, 
thickset pigeon, of the Field type in head and beak. The 
eye is dark. The marking is that known as turbit, or 
shoulder marking, and to be right, they must neither have 
white wing butts nor foul thighs. Although pigeons of the 
Shield type are sometimes hooded, and even double-crested, 



' 





THE rillEST PIfiEOX. 



85 PIGEONS OF COLOUR. 



these belong to a sub-variety of the Trumpeter, to be after- 
wards mentioned; the head of the true Shield is uncrested. 
In colour they are found black, red, yellow, blue, silver, and also 
in mixed colours, both plain and with white wing bars. Blues 
of the latter kind have a black edging on the bars. The 
rarest are Yellows, with white bars. In this breed some are 
spangled, marbled, or chequered on the shoulders with two or 
three colours, like some of the Eastern Frilled and Modena 
Pigeons. I have seen specimens of this breed exactly marked 
on the shoulders, and without a foul feather on under body, 
when lifted up by the wings. 

The Tyrolese Pigeon. 

Die Elstertau'be, der Verkehrtflugel (the Magpie, the Reversed 
Wing) is a German Toy marked like a Magpie Tumbler, except 
that the head is white from a line running below the eyes; 
but on the forehead a coloured spot, as in the Spot Pigeon, 
is indispensable. It is said to exist in all the chief colours, 
with a smooth head, and rather strongly feathered legs 
and feet. Neumeister (1876) says : " It is to be regretted that 
this really beautiful colour pigeon has been so much neglected 
that it threatens extinction; its beautiful delineation and 
shape adorns every dovecote." Herr Priitz calls it the 
Tyrolertaube in addition to its other names. 

The Priest Pigeon. 

The Priest Pigeon, the Pfaffentaube of Germany, where it is 
extensively bred, is now well-known in this country in several 
of its numerous varieties. The general form of the Priest is 
that of a stoutly-built, thickset pigeon, rather larger than 
the common Field Pigeon, with which it agrees in shape of 
head and beak. It is found in the following varieties : 

The Common Priest, which is considered the original of 
the others, is found in black, blue, red, yellow, and in off 
colours, with a white upper mandible and head. The line of 



86 FANCY PIGEONS. 

demarcation must run from the month across the eyes, and 
ronnd the inside of the crest, which must be, if good, an 
extensive cupped shell, not lined with the white, but coloured. 
The colour of the eyes is sometimes yellow, but generally 
hazel. The legs and feet must be well covered with coloured 
feathers, of a medium length. The colours of the Common 
Priest are often excellent, and reds have been shown of late 
not inferior in colour to any red pigeons I have ever seen. 

The Double-crested Priest is found in all colours, like the 
preceding. The second crest, or trumpeter's rose, on the 
forehead, falling over the nostrils, assumes various shapes, 
being either in the form of a flower, rayed from its centre, or 
a small twisted-up tuft of feathers. So long as it is symmetri- 
cal, and not all to one side, any form will do, as it is not 
expected to be developed as in the Trumpeter. 

The White- stockinged Priest has, in addition, the feathers 
of the legs and feet white, but the thigh, belly, and vent 
feathers must remain coloured. 

The "White-barred Priest may have white or coloured stock- 
ings, with white wing bars, which, with the blue ground 
colour, are bordered with black. Reds and yellows so barred 
are rare, and cannot be got so fine in colour as in the original 
breed. 

The White-flighted, White-barred Priest is like the pre- 
ceding, but has the ten primaries white. The Blues have 
received the name of Blue Brunswicks in this country. 

The White-flighted, Barred and Tailed Priest is like the 
preceding, with a white tail, and occurs almost always in 
black or blue. 

The Starling-barred, White-flighted and Tailed Priest is said, 
by Neumeister, to be the most beautiful of the Priests. He 
says: "It is exceedingly rare, and only to be met with in the 
districts of Hohenzollern and the Upper Neckar, and only 
with a black plumage and unfeathered feet." I have never 
seen this kind, so cannot describe it more fully. 



87 PIGEONS OF COLOUR. 

There are also Priests which have mirrored or finched 
flights i.e., with triangular or rounded white spots near the 
extremities of the flight feathers, like some Blondinettes. 
These spots appear after the first moult ; and the bar feathers 
are similarly marked. There is also a variety of the priest 
with frontal tuft, but no crest at back of the head. 

The Whitehead, or Moulter Pigeon. 

This pigeon, which is referred to by Brent under the name 
of the Pilferer, as a sub-variety of the Priest, is known 
in Germany as die Weiszkopf oder die Mausertaube. Mauser, 
besides meaning to filch or pilfer, also means to change 
feathers, or cast the skin. A German gentleman, to whom 
I referred the question, renders the above title, the White- 
head, or Moulter Pigeon, and the description of the breed 
is as follows : " The Whitehead is one of the rarest coloured 
pigeons, and is found only in a few places in Thuringia. 
Its head has a beautiful broad shell hood; the upper bill is 
white, the iris yellow, corresponding with the ground colour 
of the plumage. The legs and toes are feathered. The 
plumage has a metallic black, red, yellow, or dark bronze 
lustre, which forms the principal beauty of this pigeon. It 
has a broad breast and a low posture. The head and tail, 
with its coverts, are white. These marks are not, however, 
of any great fixity, the head being often marked unequally, 
sometimes only the upper part of it being white. The 
feathers on the feet are sometimes foul, and a part of the 
back is often white. In this variety, therefore, something 
always remains to be wished for. With black, red, or yellow 
ones, a belly changing somewhat into blue is a frequent fault 
which ought to be watched, and, by a suitable selection 
in breeding, avoided. But the Whitehead with perfect 
marks is a very fine pigeon. The black and red ones are 
often excellent, and particularly valued. The latter display, 
in fine specimens, a peculiarly burning red, even on the belly, 



88 FANCY PIGEONS. 



under the wings, and as far as the points of the flight 
feathers, which is only very rarely found in other species. 
Sometimes this somewhat tender pigeon produces white-spotted 
young ones, which in moulting become quite white, but again 
breed correctly coloured and marked ones. The Moulter 
Pigeons prefer to remain by themselves, and rarely fly farther 
than the neighbouring roofs." I believe that the gorgeously 
coloured Bed Priests shown of late in this country were of 
this variety, though they had coloured tails. They carried a 
metallic lustre to the very extremity of the tail a rare thing 
in pigeons of a red colour. 

Herr Priitz, in his new Book of Pigeons, represents the 
Whitehead in various forms viz., red, with white head and 
tail, and shell crest; black, with shell crest, white head, tail, 
and wing bars ; blue, with white head and tail, and with 
frontal tuft over the beak wattle, but no crest at the nape. 

The Monk Pigeon. 

The Monk Pigeon (Die Monchtaube of Germany) is admitted 
to be a relative of the Priest, compared with which, how- 
ever, it is larger and broader across the chest and back. It 
is found in all the chief colours, marked as follows : Both 
mandibles are white, the whole head is white, the line of 
demarcation running below the eyes, which should be hazel 
in colour. The flight feathers and the tail, with its coverts, 
are white, and the leg and feet feathers, from the knee down- 
wards. The thighs and belly should be dark, but are often 
partly white, which is a fault in this breed. All colours are 
said to be found, both with and without white wing bars. 

Herr Priitz represents the Monk as both plain-headed and 
shell-crested, marked as above. I saw a pair lately of a very 
beautiful blue chequer. These were uncrested. 

The Swallow Pigeon. 

The Swallow Pigeon, known in Germany in several varieties 







THE SWALLOW. 



89 PIGEONS OF COLOUR. 

as the Schwalbentaube, and in France as the Hirondelle, 
has its name from its resemblance in marking to the 
tern, or sea swallow. The variety usually found in this 
country came originally from Germany, where it is known 
as the Niimberg type, and is marked like the illus- 
tration. The Swallow has a long, slender beak, the upper 
mandible of which is coloured in accordance with the mark- 
ing. The forehead rises rather abruptly, the head is flat, 
and coloured above an imaginary line running from the 
corners of the mouth through the eyes. The hood, which 
should be extensive and of a cupped shell form, should be 
all white, and not lined with coloured feathers, or the bird 
will lose in value. The eye has a dark hazel iris, and, when 
the markings are of rich colour, as they often are, the eye 
cere and corners of the mouth are bright red. The neck 
is slender and short, the breast broad, the body broad and 
flat, and the legs short. The wings and flights are coloured, 
but the scapular and back feathers must be all white, 
forming a heart- shaped figure on the back, the marking here 
being the reverse of the Magpie Pigeon. The legs and feet 
should be heavily hocked and booted, the heavier the better, 
as this adds to the appearance, and is in keeping with the 
shape of this variety. The hock feathers must be white, but 
all feathers below the hocks, on the legs and feet, must be 
coloured. The general appearance of the Swallow is that of 
a thickset, broad, low-standing pigeon. The common variety 
figured by Boitard and Corbie has no hood. The yellow- 
marked ones, according to them, are called Hirondelles Siam, 
while the Hirondelles Fauve Etincele, or Sparkling Fawn- 
coloured Swallow, is described as follows : " This charming 
bird is extremely rare in France; it can hardly be got 
except in Germany, where it is not common ; its mantle is 
fawn-coloured, agreeably scintillated with black or red." 
This would appear to be an almond-feathered variety. The 
colours of the Swallow are generally good, and sometimes 



90 FANCY PIGEONS. 



very rich in quality. It is found in black, red, yellow, blue 
and silver, with dark bars and without bars, and in oi 
colours. 

The Saxon, or Bohemian Swallow Pigeon, according t< 
Priitz, answers to the foregoing description, except that it i 
marked on the head with only a frontal spot above the beak 
of the size of a pea; while another variety, known as th 
Silesian, has not even this mark, but is white-headed. Beside 
shell- crested and plain-headed ones, a variety exists double 
crested, or with a rose over the beak, like a Trumpeter o 
Priest. 

The Niirnberg Swallow in its purity has been known 
according to Neumeister, from ancient times. In marking 
it is like the illustration, but the quality of its colours ii 
exceedingly rich, owing to a certain fat or oil in its system 
which it has in common with certain Eastern pigeons. Iti 
plumage fits loosely, but, at the same time, is thick, soft 
and fatty to the touch. The colours are fiery and rich, th< 
black deeper and more velvety than with all other (German 
species of pigeon; the white, on the other hand, looks as i 
oiled, for which reason this pigeon is called in Number^ 
" the Greasy Fairy." All the feathers under the wings, abou 
the thighs, and round the vent, instead of shedding thei] 
fibres in the usual way, remain merely cases filled witl 
yellow fat or wax, or, at most, only shed a small portioi 
of their extremities. I have found the same peculiarity ii 
other pigeons, and at one time considered it a disease, insteac 
of which I now believe it is this fat or grease in the systen 
which gives the extraordinary metallic lustre to the fe^ 
varieties of domestic pigeons that possess it. The Blacl 
Niirnberg Swallow has most of these grease quills, and, fro re 
its beautiful green lustre, is called the " Yelvet Fairy." Nexl 
it comes the Red, while the Yellow and Blue have not so mud 
of this peculiar feathering. 

Swallows are said to be found in the following varieties : 



91 PIGEONS OF COLOUR. 

Black, red, and yellow, with white wing bars. 
Blue, with white wing bars, edged with black. 
Silver, corresponding to the blue. 

Scaled-winged Swallows. On the ends of the coloured wing 
coverts are small white points, resembling the scales of a 
fish: 

Black, red, and yellow, with white scales or chequers on 

the coverts, in addition to white wing bars. 
Blue, with white scales, and white wing bars, edged with 

black. 
Blue, with white black-edged scales, and white wing bars, 

edged with black. 
Silvers, corresponding to the blues. 

The Carmelite Pigeon. 

The Carmelite described by Boitard and Corbie, whose 
description has been mostly copied by Brent in his book, 
is evidently a variety of the Swallow pigeon. M. Corbie, 
who had the breed under his care for nearly fifty years, 
considers M. Fournier, who was keeper of the aviaries of the 
Count de Clermont, mistaken in classing them as Swallows 
in his account of pigeons supplied to the naturalist, M. 
Buffon ; but the only difference between the Common Swallow 
and Carmelite, as figured by Boitard and Corbie, is that the 
latter is smaller, h^as a crest, and more feet feathering than 
the former, which is smooth-headed. The markings are the 
same. In all probability, the Carmelite of Boitard and Corbie 
was the Niirnberg Swallow. Brent, whose illustrations are 
mostly copies from Boitard and Corbie, has the Carmelite 
similar in outline to them, but he has reversed the markings, 
showing it to be a magpie-coloured pigeon. How he fell into 
this error I cannot imagine, unless he understood the word 
manteau to refer to the scapular and back feathers, 
instead of to the wing coverts. In the descriptions of both 
Swallow and Carmelite, Boitard. and Corbie apply the word 



92 FANCY PIGEONS. 

manteau to the wing coverts, as reference to their letterpress 
and illustrations will show. 

The Stork Pigeon. 

Die Storch oder Schwingentaube (Stork, or Wing Pigeon of 
Germany) is in size and shape similar to the Spot Pigeon, 
with which it has in common the coloured spot on the 
brow black, red, yellow, or blue. If the spot is small, the 
upper mandible may be white; but it is usually coloured 
if the spot is extensive. The head may be either smooth, 
peaked, or shell-crested. The eye is hazel-coloured. The 
legs and feet are preferred heavily hocked and feathered, 
and are coloured from the knee down, the thigh feathers 
themselves being white. The ten flight feathers in each 
wing should be coloured, and all the rest of the bird must 
be white, except the feathers of the spurious wing, and a 
few feathers about the wing butts. These coloured feathers 
give the bird its name, and, when the wing is closed, 
it has a coloured margin or framing at the butts of the 
wings, running round it, which must be regular, and not too 
broad. When well-marked, the Stork is considered one of 
the finest feather varieties in Germany. 

The Bavette Pigeon. 

The Bavette Pigeon, which I have so named from its white 
bib, has been introduced into this country within the last few 
years. As will be seen from the illustration, it is nearly 
the reverse of the Nun in marking, having a black shell 
crest, on which the white feathers of the head should not 
encroach. The bib should come well down on the breast, 
and be sharply cut. The beak is usually white, and the iris 
dark hazel. The tail, with its coverts, is white. The legs 
and feet are stockinged, and white from the hocks down. 
The position, size, and shape of the shell crest should be as 
in the Nun. The only colour I have seen in this variety is black. 








THE SUABIAN PIGEON. 



93 PIGEONS OF COLOUR. 



It is true that Dixon, in the "Dovecote and Aviary," 
quoting from Temminck, the ornithologist, mentions black- 
bodied Nuns with white heads, under the name of Nonnains 
Maurins ; but this is not the variety I am describing. The 
Jacobin is called Nonnain, or Nun, in France, and the 
Nonnain Maurin is a variety of the Jacobin, fully described 
by Boitard and Corbie. 

The Bavette is an exceedingly pretty pigeon, and entitled 
to rank high among the feather varieties. From the forma- 
tion of its head and beak, it must be placed among what 
the Germans call colour pigeons. I have not yet found 
an account of it in any German work on pigeons, and I 
am inclined to think it comes from Eastern Europe, or 
perhaps from Asia. 

M. Y. la Perre de Boo has given a full description of 
the Bavette (le Pigeon Moine a Bavette) in his lately pub- 
lished Book on Pigeons. At his request, I made a drawing 
of it for him on wood for that work, which differs from 
that in this book in having the flight feathers white. He 
informed me that he had some so marked, from which it 
appears there must be some variation in the breed. He 
says it is found in black, blue, red, and yellow, and that the 
iris is sometimes black, sometimes orange red. A black 
specimen I saw in London lately had orange eyes and a 
black beak, but the flight feathers were black, like my illus- 
tration. 

The Lark Pigeon. 

The Coburg Lerchentaube is a smooth-headed and legged bird, 
considerably larger than the common pigeon, and has become 
constant in the district from whence it is named. It derives 
its name of Lark Pigeon from its colour, which appears, from 
the plate in Herr Priitz's new book, to be that known here as 
silver or dun chequer. The breast, however, runs into a rich 
yellow. The beak and eye wattles are somewhat developed, 



94 FANCY PIGEONS. 



and the beak is inclined to a flesh tint. It has the shape 
and style of a common pigeon. The yellow-breasted dun is a 
combination of colours found in various breeds, such as the 
Swift and Golden Dun Short-faced Tumbler. 

The Nilrnberg Lark Pigeon is another of the same family. 
In this variety the yellow colour extends from the breast 
to the neck and head. The wings and tail ought to be 
very light, approaching to white as nearly as can be 
got. 

The Fire Pigeon. 

Die Feuertaube, or the Fire Pigeon, is a variety I have 
never seen. It is mentioned by Friderich, the German 
ornithologist (1863), and by Neumeister (1876), whose descrip- 
tion is as follows : " It reminds one very strikingly of a strong 
Tumbler, and is of the size of the medium Field Pigeon. The 
head is unhooded, the feet smooth, the colour of the whole 
plumage black, with an extremely bright copper red sheen. 
This metallic lustre is with the Fire Pigeon more intense than 
with any other species, and not only on the neck, but spread 
over the whole body, with the exception of the flights and 
tail. In the sunshine this pigeon reflects so splendidly that 
it actually irradiates, and then looks almost copper red. It 
is exceedingly rare, and seldom or never comes into the 
market." 

As the Archangel itself is not excepted in the above 
description, the lustre on the Fire Pigeon must be a sight 
for a pigeon fancier to behold. If not extinct, this variety 
must be rather scarce and secluded, as it is never offered 
for sale in this country, or even mentioned in the reports of 
shows. It would make such a splendid addition to our 
feather varieties, that it would be worth the while of any- 
one having opportunities of acquiring the German Toys, to 
see if some specimens of the breed can still be got; but, 
as Herr Priitz does not, so far, refer to it in his new 



95 PIGEONS OF COLOUR. 

illustrated pigeon book, now publishing, I fear it has become 
lost. 

The Archangel Pigeon. 

The first mention of the Archangel Pigeon in English 
literature is in Dixon's "Dovecote and Aviary" (1851). An 
authentic account of its introduction into England is given, 
by Mr. Betty, in Mr. Tegetmeier's work. The late Mr. 
Frank Redmond, being in Ghent in 1839, selecting some 
pigeons for Sir John Sebright, procured a pair of Arch- 
angels. Sir John bred them for some time, and at his 
death the greater number went to the aviaries of the Earl 
of Derby, at Knowsley, at whose death they were distributed. 
The English name is probably derived from the vivid metallic 
lustre the bird carries on the back and wing feathers, 
similar to what painters have shown on the wings of angels. 
At least, it does not derive its name from the town of Arch- 
angel. The German name is Gimpel, or, the Bullfinch Pigeon, 
considered as very appropriate by Neumeister, who says : 
"No other pigeon displays so decidedly its name by its 
colouring as does the Bullfinch, and thus it can be dis- 
tinguished at a first glance." According to him, it has only 
been known in Germany for about fifty years, but whether 
this time is to be reckoned from the date of his first edition, 
or from the date of the copy from which I quote (1876), I 
am unable to say. Some authors, he says, call it a native 
of Southern Germany and the Tyrol, where it is common. 

I find from C. Malmusi's "Historical Notices of the Tri- 
ganieri," or Pigeon Flyers of Modena (1851), that, besides 
the present breed, the Triganieri of Modena formerly trained 
three other kinds of pigeons for their aerial contests. 
" Pausing now," he writes, " in my description of the quali- 
ties of the Triganini, I will mention that three other distinct 
species, or races of pigeons were trained to flight by the 
Modenese Triganieri that is to say, the Turchetti, Timpani, and 



96 FANCY PIGEONS. 



Zinganini. The first is distinguished by its very short beak, 
eyes excessively large and prominent, surrounded by a red 
circle, and it came originally from Turkey." Evidently the 
Barb. "The second has the head and breast yellowish, and 
the wings and tail black; it is very much used in Austria, 
especially at Vienna, though originally coming also from 
Turkey." This can only apply to the Archangel, though 
not a quite correct description of it. Professor Bonizzi, in 
his work on the Triganini, after quoting the above, says : 
" The Timpani are no other than the Gimpel described by 
Neumeister." Malmusi continues : " The Zinganini are of one 
sole colour throughout, whatever it may be, and are dis- 
tinguished by a white spot between the wings, which 
extends over the back, and sometimes even to the neck. 
This race ceased to exist in Modena some years ago, and 
there is a tradition that it was introduced by the gipsies of 
Hungary in the fifteenth century; thus, these birds were 
called Zingarini, or Zinganini" 

Having now traced the Archangel as far as Turkey, we shall 
next find it in the Orient itself. When in Calcutta, in 1869, 
I heard of the arrival there of a pigeon fancier from the 
North- West provinces, with a large assortment of pigeons 
for sale. I found among them two pairs of Archangels, that 
were acquired by a friend of mine, in whose place I saw 
them often afterwards. This may not be conclusive evidence 
that they are an Indian breed, as they might have originated 
in Europe, and been carried East; but I am inclined to 
believe that the Archangel is an Asiatic variety, either Persian 
or Indian. 

The Archangel is about the size of the common Field 
Pigeon, and of the same type in formation. Its beak should 
be of a dark flesh tint, brown at the tip, and free of hard 
blue or black colour, straight, and rather long. The head is 
long or snaky, and the eye should be of a vivid orange 
colour, surrounded by a narrow flesh-coloured cere or wattle. 



97 PIGEONS OF COLOUR. 



Though there are plain-headed and shell-crested, or, at least, 
partially shell- crested, birds among the breed, the correct 
style of head is the peak- crested ; and so good in the peak 
are some Archangels, that they leave nothing to be desired 
in this respect. The feathers at the back of the head 
should all draw to a point, ending in a finely-pointed 
crest, and the higher this peak reaches, the better. I con- 
sider it immaterial whether there is a notch below the peak, 
dividing it from the back neck feathers, or a kind of hog 
mane, showing no break, so long as the peak itself is 
correct. 

The head, neck, breast, belly, thighs, and vent feathers 
should be of a bronzed copper colour, burnished with metallic 
lustre, solid and even. But this appearance does not pervade 
these feathers down to the quills, as underneath they are of a 
dull black, which should not, however, assert itself to the eye, 
though it generally does about the thigh and vent feathers. 
The back, wings, and rump should be as black as possible, 
(though generally more or less bronzed), accompanied by 
metallic tints of green, blue, purple, and ruby colour, which 
show in any light, but which in a strong, or sun-light, when 
the bird is moving about, sparkle like coloured jewels of 
price. The flight feathers are bronzed black, or kite-coloured, 
and the tail is blue black, with a black bar at the end. I 
have heard of black-tailed Archangels, but have never seen 
any ; nor do I consider that they should be other than dark 
blue-tailed, both on account of the greater variety in the 
plumage, and because, though blue-tailed, they show as 
much lustre on their feathers as any breed we have; at 
least, in Germany, from where we got them, the standard, 
according to Neumeister, is the blue-barred tail. The legs 
and feet should be unfeathered, and of a bright red, the 
nails dark. 

Besides the above coloured Archangel pigeons, there are 
others whose whole plumage is more subdued. The copper 

K 



98 FANCY PIGEONS. 

is changed to yellow, the back and wings to a blue-black, 
and the tail to light blue, barred with black. This variety 
has but little lustre compared to the other. It is a natural 
change that occurs in, and that has a value for, breeding. 
I have bred such from two birds of standard colouring; and 
they may be matched to the dark variety, when they will 
breed both colours, and others midway between. 

The Archangel does not assume its full colour till after its 
second moult, for the four or five centre feathers of the 
secondary nights are not changed during the first. The 
breeder has, however, a good idea of what colour a bird will 
become when it leaves the nest. 

There are so-called Archangels all white and all black, 
which may have originated from standard birds as natural 
sports, by way of albinism and melanism. The black variety, 
with its metallic lustre, is very pretty. German authors mention 
several other varieties, such as blues with black bars, blues 
without black bars, blues with white wing bars, blues and 
blacks with white flights, blues and blacks with white nights 
and heads. Blue Archangels are the yellow-breasted, blue- 
winged type. 

The Miroite Pigeon. 

This is a French variety, described by Boitard and Corbie, 
and mentioned by Brent. The French writers describe it 
thus : " It is inconceivable that none of the authors who 
have written about pigeons have mentioned this race, so re- 
markable for the beautiful colour of its plumage. Is it 
because they never heard of it ? This cannot be, for, although 
not common, all amateurs know it, and some possess several 
varieties of it. Is it because they have not regarded it as a 
pure race ? This cannot be the reason, for these pigeons are 
positively a pure race, since they cannot be crossed with any 
other variety, however much they resemble it, without being 
lost. Be this as it may, these birds have the general form 



99 PIGEONS OF COLOUR. 

of the Mondains (common Runts), and can scarcely be dis- 
tinguished from them, except by the striking beauty of their 
plumage. They never have a cere round the eyes, and are 
generally yellow in the iris. 

" Pigeon Miroite Rouge is the colour of the red blood 
of an ox, interrupted at two-thirds of an inch from the ends 
of the flight and tail feathers by a grey-white bar, half an 
inch broad. The ends of these feathers are of a red colour, 
a little clearer than the rest of the body; eye, yellow iris. 
This charming variety, of medium size, produces well, and 
merits, by all accounts, the care of amateurs. 

" Pigeon Miroite Jaune. This pretty bird only differs from 
the preceding by the ground of its plumage, which is yellow ; 
moreover, it is miroite the same on the flight and tail 
feathers. It has the same fecundity. 

" Pigeon Petit Miroite. Similar to the preceding, but much 
smaller about the size of the Rock Pigeon. This charming 
bird is a good breeder." 

Brent says the word miroite is difficult to translate. He 
was informed that it meant, composed of three colours, of 
which two were blended in one. A French gentleman has 
informed me that miroite means flashing e.g., the neck of 
the Blue Rock Pigeon is said to be miroite. The Miroite may 
therefore take its name from its great metallic lustre, or it 
may be a technical name, derived from the blending of the 
colours in its tail and flight feathers. The Miroite Pigeons 
may be had in Paris. I was recently offered some by the 
Parisian dealer, M. Yallee. 

The Hyacinth and its Sub-varieties. 

The Hyacinth Pigeon stands at the head of a French breed 
which is found in various colourings, and which are all 
included under the name of Pigeons MailUs (Mailed, Armoured, 
or Speckled Pigeons). They are large, smooth-headed, and 
clean-legged pigeons, and have been classed by French 

K 2 



100 FANCY PIGEONS. 



naturalists with the Pouters, as they have the power of 
slightly inflating their crops. I knew a fancier who bred them 
extensively, and his birds would have been correctly described 
as middle-sized Bunts, with a slight dash of the Pouter. They 
are classed as follows : 

Pigeon Maille Jacinthe (Speckled Hyacinth Pigeon). The 
shoulders as in a Turbit, or the Manteau in French, of clear 
blue, chequered or spangled in a particular pattern with 
white and black, or a black and blue bar on all the 
feathers, the outer side of the blue bar having a white 
spot, or spangle; the ten flight feathers of each wing pure 
white ; the head, neck, breast, belly, and tail dark purple - 
blue; the tail barred with black. 

Pigeon Maille Jacinthe Plein is a little less in size than 
the preceding, but similar in colouring, except that it has 
dark blue, instead of white, flights. 

The following varieties are said to be found both with 
white flights, and plein, or with dark flights. 

Pigeon Maille Couleur de Feu, red or flame-coloured, similar 
to the Hyacinth, but with red, instead of white, spangles. 

Pigeon Maille Noyer, coloured like walnut wood, or in- 
clining to yellow in the spangles. 

Pigeon Maille Pecker, or peach-coloured in the spangles. 

The Noyer is considered as a cross between the Jacinthe 
and Couleur de Feu; and the Pecher as a cross between the 
Jacinthe and Noyer. Each variety is, however, established. 
and breeds true, according to Boitard and Corbie. 

All I have seen of these varieties were of the dark-flighted 
kinds. These pigeons have been promiscuously named Hya- 
cinths, Yictorias, and Porcelains in our pigeon literature; but 
the above description is that of undoubted authorities, the white- 
spangled ones alone being entitled to the name of Hyacinths. 
The white-flighted varieties appear to be larger than the 
plein, and to have more of the Pouter in them, and I think 
I can recognise them in Moore's "Columbarium" as follows: 



101 PIGEONS OF COLOUR. 



" The Parisian Powter. This Pigeon was originally bred at 
Paris, and from thence brought to Brussels, whence it was 
transmitted to us; it has all the Nature of a Powter, but 
is generally long crop'd, and not very large; it is short - 
bodied, short-leg'd, and thick in the girt. What is chiefly 
admir'd in this Bird is its Feather, which is indeed very 
beautiful and peculiar only to it self, resembling a fine piece 
of Irish stitch, being chequer'd with various Colours in every 
Feather, except the flight, which is white ; the more red it has 
intermix'd with the other Colours the more valuable it is. 
Some are Gravel ey'd, and some bull ey'd, but it is equally 
indifferent which eye it has." If for " every feather " we read 
the wing coverts which are the only feathers, except the 
flights and tail, that can possibly be spangled in pigeons in 
the above way Moore's description of the Parisian Pouter, 
(the Parazence Pouter of the treatise of 1765), agrees with 
that of the sub-varieties of the Pigeon Maille Jacinthe, or 
Hyacinth. 

The Polish Lynx Pigeon. 

This pigeon, according to Priitz, has only lately been intro- 
duced, by Professor J. B. Yon Rozwadowsky, of Cracow, to 
the notice of German fanciers. It is described as a large, 
plain-headed and legged bird, measuring about 15in. from the 
beak to the end of the tail, strongly-built, low, and broad- 
chested; a good forager at all seasons of the year, a free 
breeder, and especially good as a table bird. Its general 
appearance is that of a slightly inflated Pouter. The colours 
of the breed are black and blue; the same with white wing 
bars; also others with both white bars and white scales, or 
chequers, on the wing coverts. Sometimes the flight feathers 
are white. Beds and yellows are not known. 

This is the description of the Polnische Luchstaube, as 
given by Priitz, and it seems to coincide in some respects 



102 FANCY PIGEONS. 



with that of the Hyacinth of Boitard and Corbie (1824), the 
French authors. 

The Carp-scale Pigeon. 

This pigeon, known in Germany as the Karpfenschuppige 
Taube, is of the common type. It is smooth-headed, red or 
yellow-eyed, and has its legs covered with feathers of a 
medium length. Its colour is dark blue, with lustrous neck, 
except the mantle or shoulders, which are chequered as in 
the French Hyacinth and its sub-varieties. Some years ago, 
specimens were occasionally exhibited in this country under 
the name of Hyacinths. I have bred a number of them, and 
found that they varied in colour in the same way as dark 
Blondinettes, which they resembled in colour very much, 
except in having no white marks on flight and tail feathers. 
The nestling feathers are of a dull, rusty hue, which disappears 
after the first moult, when some become laced, and others 
arrow-pointed on the wing coverts. 

The Annatalozia Pigeon. 

Such is the name of a pretty Toy Pigeon, which comes from 
Asia Minor. It is of the size of a common Tumbler; smooth- 
headed and grouse-legged ; short-beaked, and yellow or orange- 
eyed; marked on the head like a Nun or Domino, either 
black, blue, red, or yellow, and with coloured primary flight 
feathers to correspond, the rest of the plumage being white. 

The Red Indian Pigeon 

Is another breed of Asia Minor, which has the make and 
shape of a common, clean-legged, large, flying Tumbler. Its 
colour is a glossy, burning, blood red, to the ends of the 
flight and tail feathers. It has been used as a cross to give 
colour to red and yellow Dragoons. 



Chapter XII. 




<X PIGEONS OF PECULIAR FEATHERING. x> 
The Frizzled Pigeon. 

HE Frizzled Pigeon, or Friesland Runt, as it 
was formerly called, is not a Runt of the 
large kind, but a bird of the size and shape 
of a Common Pigeon. Moore writes of it as 
follows : " This pigeon comes from Friesland, 
and is one of the larger Sort of middle siz'd Runts; its 
feathers stand all reverted, and I can't see for what it can 
be admir'd, except for its Ugliness." So far Mr. Moore, 
whose successors, Mayor and Girton, follow on the same 
string, with variations, both adding that these pigeons were, 
in their time, very scarce in England. The Friesland Runt 
which name I merely use because it was formerly so called, 
and because it matters little what name it goes by, so long 
as it is not that of another pigeon must have become 
extinct in England; but of late it has re-appeared from 
abroad. It is known as the Lockentaube in Germany, where 
it is said to be rare; and Neumeister says it comes from 
Hungary. It is usually smooth-headed, and stocking-legged, 
without much feathering on the toes. In colour it is gene- 



104 FANCY PIGEONS. 

rally blue or mealy, but I have seen turbit-marked ones, with 
bronzed black shoulders. Its feathering is similar to that 
of the Frizzled Fowls, or Sebastopol Geese that is, reverted, 
making it appear to have been ou in a storm. This appear- 
ance is owing to the concave surface of the feathers, more 
especially those of the wing coverts and back, being outward 
instead of inward, or next the body, as in other pigeons. 
On its re-introduction into England, where it has been 
common for some years back, and where it has done some 
winning in the "Any other variety" classes, it was called 
by the name of another pigeon, one of an opposite character 
to it the Frillback. This was the more inexcusable, as the 
Frillback was not extinct in England. This bird, being neither 
a Runt nor a Frillback, may be appropriately named the 
Frizzled Pigeon. 

The Frillback Pigeon. 

The first mention of this curious bird was in the "Treatise 
on Pigeons," dedicated to John Mayor, published in 1765. As 
the description is very good, concise, and clear, I reproduce it. 
" The Frillback is something less in size than a Dragoon, and 
in shape like the common Bunt ; their colour generally (if not 
always) white; and what is chiefly remarkable in them is the 
turn of their feathers, which appear as if every one distinctly 
had been raised at the extremity with a small round, pointed 
instrument, in such manner as to form a small cavity in each 
of them." The Frillback, which is the German Strupp oder 
Perltaube (Bristle, or Pearl Pigeon), is said to be a native of the 
Netherlands, and Brent met with it in Saxony. It is of the 
size of the common field pigeon, and is described as always pure 
white in colour, with an orange or gravelly red iris. I believe 
this variety is usually white, at least, I have never seen it of 
any other feather. They are turn-crowned, and generally 
smooth-legged; but I have seen specimens with well-feathered 
legs and feet. Their peculiar appearance is caused by the 



105 PECULIAR FEATHERING. 



ends of their feathers, more especially those of the wing 
coverts and secondaries, being goffered or crimped, as if by 
a pair of curling tongs, as Brent describes it. This appear- 
ance is often seen in a less degree on hard-feathered pigeons, 
like Dragoons. As Brent says, the Frillback must not be 
confused with the Friesland Runt. Some fanciers, however, 
are of opinion that the Frizzled Pigeon must have been 
produced from the Frillback; but I think this is doubtful. 

The Lace Pigeon. 

The Lace Pigeon is another variety, distinguished, like the 
Frizzled and Frillback Pigeons, by the peculiar formation of 
its feathers. It has its prototype in the Silky Fowl of 
China and Japan, which early travellers called a fowl bearing 
hair or wool on its body instead of feathers. This pigeon 
was unknown to Moore, and was first described in our pigeon 
literature in the " Treatise " (1765), where a very good plate 
of it may be seen. It is described as white in colour, turn- 
crowned, and as being valued on account of its scarcity, 
and the peculiarity of its feathers, "the fibres or web 
of which appear disunited from each other throughout 
their whole plumage, and not in the least connected, as in 
common with all other pigeons, where they form a smooth, 
close feather." 

The Lace Pigeon, which is known in France as the Pigeon 
Sole (Silky Pigeon), and in Germany as the Seiderihaartaube 
(Silken-haired Pigeon), is of much the same size and bearing 
as the common field pigeon. It is almost always pure white 
in colour, and generally smooth-headed. The fibres of all 
its feathers are disunited, and appear as if every second 
one had been cut out. The wing coverts, and quill and 
tail feathers, with their long, fringed rays, have given it 
its English name of Lace Pigeon. It is not so hairy or 
woolly in appearance as the Silky Fowl, but more like the 
produce of that fowl when crossed with a common one. Its 



106 FANCY PIGEONS. 



legs and feet are either quite smooth or slightly feathered; 
its irides are dark hazel. Being unable to fly, it must be 
kept in confinement, and under special conditions. However 
interesting as an object of curiosity, it presents little varia- 
tion in its form or feather, and, consequently, will always be 
rather uncommon. It has the power of somewhat repro- 
ducing its peculiarity when crossed with other pigeons, and 
the French have a half-bred looking Fantail, called the Pigeon 
Trembleur Paon de Soie, from which the Scotch Lace Fantail, 
to be afterwards noticed, has been perfected. 

The Frizzled, Frillback, and Lace Pigeons, are examples of 
natural sports perfected by selection. If lost, breeders could 
not recover them, but would have to wait till Nature pro- 
vided them with a new beginning on which to work. As 
they exist, they can be kept up, in a fair degree of quality, 
with but little trouble as compared to many kinds that are 
called mere feather varieties, fine specimens of which are 
consequently much more valuable than they are. If fancy 
pigeons were separate creations, and not descended from a 
common origin, I wonder how the Lace Pigeon existed till 
taken in charge by pigeon fanciers. 

The A/lane Pigeon. 

The Mane, or Curly Moor Head Pigeon (die Mdhnentaube 
oder Krausige Mohrerikopf], is said by Neumeister to be 
probably the Latz Pigeon perfected by long breeding. From 
his description of it they appear to have much in common. 
It is rather larger than the field pigeon, broader-breasted, 
and more thickset in make. It is said to be found chiefly 
in Thuringia and the Saxon Erz mountains, and gene- 
rally with black markings. " Its rather thick, strong beak, 
is polished black, its eye large, and brown in the iris. The 
thighs, legs, and feet are heavily feathered, the claws white. 
The ground colour is white, except, as in the Latz, the head, 
front, and sides of neck and breast, which are black ; the tail, 



107 PECULIAR FEATHERING. 



with its coverts, is, however, also black in this variety. Its 
characteristic is the white waving mane on the back neck, 
reaching upwards, downwards, and to the sides of the neck, 
parting the black of the bodice marking from the white. 
The mane consists of thinly sown, flaky feathers, hanging 
around the neck disorderly, and in the form of a mane, not 
by any means close, as in the Jacobin, but reaching as far 
down the neck as the coloured bodice does in front." 

The chief difference between the Latz and Mane Pigeons 
seems to lie in the greater development of loose, disordered 
feathers at the back of the neck, the former having only a 
large hood, while these feathers in the latter take the form 
of a waving mane. The coloured tail and greater develop- 
ment of leg feather are also properties of the latter; but 
they are evidently near relatives. 

The Mane Pigeon has been occasionally exhibited at the 
principal shows in this country during the last few years. 

The Egyptian Swift Pigeon. 

This pigeon, which is of Eastern origin, was first de- 
scribed in Fulton's Book of Pigeons, by Mr. Ludlow, who 
says that it is an Indian variety, but that it has been 
cultivated in Cairo and Alexandria, whence the best speci- 
mens have been imported into England ; hence its name the 
Egyptian Swift. I never met with it in Bengal, nor heard 
fanciers there speak of such a variety; but I believe there 
are many distinct breeds of pigeons existing in Hindostan, 
especially in the North-west, still unknown to us, and the 
Swift may be among them. This variety of the domestic 
pigeon has its name from the Swift, or Hawk Swallow, on 
account of its abnormally long flight feathers. Though a 
bird of ordinary size, it has the appearance of being larger 
than it is, from the fact of its feathers being long and loose. 
In this respect it resembles other kinds, such as the Trumpeter 
and Jacobin. The scapular feathers, on account of their length, 



108 FANCY PIGEONS. 

incline downwards. Both the flight and tail feathers are 
excessively long, the former being carried crossed above the 
latter, and measuring as much as 32|in. from tip to tip, 
when outstretched, according to Mr. Ludlow, who also says 
that the tail primaries measure 7iin. between tips of quill and 
fibre. As a comparison, I measured an ordinary-sized flying 
Tumbler cock in the same way, and his outstretched wings 
covered 27in., while one of his tail primaries was 5|in. The 
flights and tail of the Swift, therefore, extend 2fin. beyond 
those of similar sized pigeons. To see how these measure- 
ments would compare with those of the Pouter, I measured 
a blue pied cock of 19iin. in feather, and found that his out- 
stretched wings covered 37in., and that one of his tail feathers 
was no less than 8y\in. in length. The Swift stands low, on 
unfeathered legs, is smooth-headed, and is represented by Mr. 
Ludlow as an owl-headed, gulleted pigeon, with a narrow flesh- 
coloured eye cere and yellow iris. He says it is found 
in various colours, such as blue, blue-chequer, almond- 
feathered, and chocolate colour, heavily shot with yellow 
on the neck and wing coverts, which latter is the colour 
Mr. Ludlow has chosen for his illustration, and which might 
be called an exaggeration of the golden-dun found in 
Short-faced Tumblers. As represented by him, it is a very 
beautiful colour, and one not found so pronounced in any 
other variety I know of. 

Instead of being an advantage to the Swift in flight, its 
long wings are an impediment to it, as the feathers are thin, 
and weak in texture. Like the Hawk Swallow, it rises from 
the ground with difficulty, but, unlike it, cannot make use of 
its long wings when once in the air. I once, when my age 
could be told by a single figure, caught a Swift Swallow in a 
garret, which I played with on the grass for some time, as it 
never attempted to fly away ; but happening to throw it slightly 
from the ground, it went off like an arrow from a bow. 

Mr. Ludlow says the Swift is hardy and long lived, one 



109 PECULIAR FEATHERING. 



cock, an old one on his arrival in Birmingham, in 1864, 
having lived till 1875. 

Regarding the age of fancy pigeons generally, there was, 
some years ago, a notice in the Field newspaper, of the 
death of a "White Trumpeter, belonging to Mr. Gates, 
formerly an exhibitor of this breed, at the age of twenty- 
two years, which is the same age as the pigeon Willughby 
(1676) refers to in the following passage : " Albertus 
sets the twentieth year for the term of a pigeon's life. 
As for tame pigeons (saith Aldrovandus), a certain man 
of good credit told me that he had heard from his 
father, who was much delighted in pigeons and other 
birds, that he had kept a pigeon two and twenty years, 
and that all that time it constantly bred, excepting the 
last six months, which time, having left its mate, it had 
chosen a single life." The oldest pigeon I ever had was a 
common flying Tumbler, red in colour, which was fifteen 
years old, and in good condition. I have known of a 
Pouter cock breeding well when twelve years old; but it 
would cheapen the price of fine pigeons if they usually lived 
so long. 

The Swallow-tail Pigeon. 

I have never seen the variety of domestic pigeon that 
has a forked tail, like the common House Swallow, and no 
pigeon fancier, either here or abroad, seems to have 
described it from actual observation. The existence of 
such a breed seems to depend on what has been said by 
Bech stein, the German naturalist, from whom Brent, who is 
the only fancier who mentions it, has gathered the following : 
" Die Taube mit Schwalbenschwanz. Bechstein, in his ' Natural 
History of Germany ' describes this variety as occasionally to 
be found among the collections of pigeon fanciers, and says 
they are blue, chequered, or black mottled, the outer feathers 
of the tail being much prolonged, or forked like that of the 



110 



FANCY PIGEONS. 



Chimney Swallow, from which circumstance they derive their 
name." And Brent adds : " A pigeon-fancying acquaintance 
informed me that he once had a pair of Swallow- tailed Bald- 
heads, which he purchased in Manchester : so I conclude this 
variety is also to be met with in England, though I have 
not seen it. Some of the wild pigeons or doves of foreign 
countries have long, wedge-shaped tails, but such a formation 
of tail I have never seen or heard of among our domestic 
pigeons." 




Chapter XIII. 




o< THE RINGBEATER PIGEON. X> 

NDER the names of Smiter, Finnikin, and 
Turner, our former writers on pigeons have 
described varieties agreeing more or less with 
the French Pigeon Tournant, and German 
Ringschlager, or E/ingbeater. Willughby says 
of Smiters : " These do not only shake their wings as they fly, 
but also, flying round about in a ring, especially over their 
females, clap them so strongly, that they make a greater 
sound than two battledores, or other boards, struck one against 
another, whence it comes to pass, that their quil-feathers are 
almost always broken and shattered; and sometimes so bad, 
that they cannot fly." He describes the Turner merely as 
"having a tuft hanging down backward from their head, 
parted like a horse's mane ;" and the Finnikin, " like the pre- 
cedent (the Turner), but less." 

Moore describes no Smiter, but his Finnikin "is in Make 
and Shape very like a common Runt, and much about the 
same Size. The crown of its head is turned much after the 
manner of a snake's head; it is gravel-eyed, and has a tuft 
of feathers on the hinder part of the crown, which runs down 



112 FANCY PIGEONS. 

its neck, not unlike a horse's mane ; it is clean-footed and 
legged, and always black or blue pied. When it is sala- 
cious, it rises over its hen, and turns round three or four 
times, flapping its wings, then reverses, and turns as many 
the other way." 

The Turner, he says, " is in many respects like the Finnikin, 
except that, when it is salacious, and plays to the female, it 
turns only one way, whereas the other turns both ; it has no 
tuft on the hinder part of the head, neither is it snake- 
headed." 

Brent says he only saw one pair of Ringbeaters, which were 
at a pigeon dealer's in Coblentz. They were common-looking 
birds, with peaked crowns and red and white plumage. Their 
peculiar movement and circling flight were described to him, 
and he noticed that the vanes were beaten off the ends of 
their flight feathers. 

Boitard and Corbie describe the Pigeons Tournants as stronger 
than Tumblers, stocking-legged, generally blue chequered, red, 
or pearl white in colour, marked with a pure white horseshoe 
mark on the back. "Whatever may be the space they are 
shut up in, they ascend to the ceiling, then descend, de- 
scribing circles, first to right, then to left, absolutely like a 
bird of prey, which hovers, and then chases from high in the 
air." They say amateurs have discarded them on account of 
their quarrelsome and jealous disposition, which causes much 
mischief in the aviary. 

The Pigeon Lillois Claquart, or Lille clapper, is a variety 
of the Lille Pouter, which Boitard and Corbie have confounded 
with the Turner. "It makes a noise with its wings when 
commencing to fly, like a clapper; hence its name." This is 
a usual thing with half-bred Pouters, and I have often seen 
such kept as decoys for stray pigeons. 

Brent could find nothing in German books regarding the 
Bingbeater ; but, in the last edition of Neumeister, I find 
a description of this curious breed, from which it appears 



113 THE RINGBEATER. 

they may now be got, not only with all their peculiarities 
of flight, but bred to feather as well. He says : " The 
excellent pigeon fancier, Fiihrer, describes this pigeon, quite 
unknown in the North of Germany, in the following way : 
The Eingbeater is a pigeon only yet appearing on the Lower 
Rhine, and here and there in Westphalia, of stately size, 
strong figure, and good bearing. The head is covered with a 
pointed hood; the forehead of middle height, the beak light 
coloured, the irides according to the plumage, the eyelids 
bright flesh-coloured, the neck robust, breast and back pro- 
portionately broad, the legs and feet smooth." He describes 
a peculiarity in the primary wing feathers, which I under- 
stand to be, that the fifth from the outside is very much 
shorter than the fourth, so that, when the wing is extended, 
the four longest feathers seem to have grown away from the 
others, and are not in the usual gradation. " The plumage 
is close-fitting, and marked in all colours as follows : The 
whole head is white, the line of marking being the breadth 
of two straws below the eyes; the tail, with its covert and 
six flights a side, are white." I am not sure from the 
description whether this variety is white or coloured on 
belly and thighs. Their flight is described thus: "The 
characteristic of these pigeons is their flight; it is true they 
never fly farther than from roof to roof, but not for a single 
yard without flapping their wings together, so that it sounds 
afar; this is particularly done by the cock when courting 
his hen. A good beater must beat a ring round her from 
five to six times i.e., flying around in a circle right and 
left, making a loud noise by beating his wings together. 
The hen beats likewise, but less strongly; both beat most 
in spring. In autumn their flights are so much beaten down 
that they cannot fly, and they easily meet with accidents. 
Their quite ragged pinions are then sometimes pulled out, 
which does not hurt them when done only once in a year. 
Those birds are most valuable which flap much, and yet pre- 

L 



114 FANCY PIGEONS. 

serve their pinions well. The young ones begin to flap as 
soon as fledged. The Ringbeater is a healthy, very lively, 
and quarrelsome bird, causing much disturbance in the loft, 
and unfitted to live with other pigeons. It is also very 
prolific, and it is a matter of wonder that it is not more 
spread. Besides good ringbeating, we require in this pigeon 
a considerable size of body, fine bright colours, and pure 
markings. The price of purely marked black and yellow 
ones is several marks a pair; the red, mostly bad in colour, 
are cheaper." 

The E/ingbeater is a pigeon that would be valued by many 
in this country, where, as appears from the pigeon books of 
the last century, it was formerly not uncommon. It is the 
same bird that Willughby wrote of as the Smiter, and which 
Moore calls the Finnikin, though evidently now bred for colour 
and marking as well as ringbeating. It was no doubt produced 
by selection from such as had its peculiar flight in a modified 
degree. In a loft of Tumblers some lively cock will often 
be found having a good deal of the above description in his 
flight. 




\ Bin! -lib 






> 




THE TRIGANICA, OK MODENA PIGEON. 



Chapter XIV. 




X THE TRIGANICA PIGEON. X> 

| N the city of Modena tlie sport of pigeon- 
flying has been in vogue from time im- 
memorial. Those who are devoted to this 
sport are called Triganieri, and the bird 
they employ is known as the Triganica, or 
Triganina Pigeon. Historical evidence carries the sport back 
to the year 1327, the date of the Modenese Statute, De 
Columbia non Capiendis nee Trappola Tenenda. In the same 
Statute, reformed in 1547, the word Triganieros, used only 
in Modena, is first found. In the Latin poem, De Aucupio 
Coternicum, by the Modenese, Seraphino Salvarani, published 
in 1678, there is a fine description of the method in which the 
Triganieri carry on their aerial warfare. Tassoni has alluded 
to them as 

... A company of loose livers, 
Given up to gaming and making pigeons fly, 
Which were called Triganieri, 
Natural enemies to the Bacchettoni, 

the latter being " certain people who go about by day kiss- 



116 FANCY PIGEONS. 

ing little pictures painted on boards, and in the evening 
assemble together to use the scourge on their bare backs." 
About the time that Moore wrote his " Columbarium," Dr. 
Domenico Vandelli was writing a description of the sport 
carried on with pigeons by the Triganieri, which differs 
but little from that in vogue at the present day. The dove- 
cotes of the Modenese fanciers are on the roofs of the houses, 
and they are surrounded by stepped platforms, on which the 
Triganieri stand, directing the flight of their pigeons by the 
waving of a little flag at the end of a pole. The flag, some 
grain of which the birds are fond, and the shrill whistle of 
the owner (instead of which a cornet was used in olden 
times), are all the means used for directing them. The object 
of the sport is the pleasure of making them fly as required, 
and the capture of birds belonging to enemies. Some of the 
phrases used will illustrate the methods employed. 

Guastare, is to let loose for flight one or more pigeons for 
the first time. 

Sparare, is to let loose for flight, and to send round in 
circles, the pigeons already trained. 

Mischiare, is to join together, and confuse in one single 
band, the various flying bands which belong to several Tri- 
ganieri, taught to do this by a signal given them by their 
respective masters. 

Strappare, is the sudden division and separation of the united 
bands, at the whistle of any Triganiere, who thus calls back 
his band to his own roof, when they are all united together. 

Scavezzare, is the signal which the Triganiere makes with 
his flag to his band, when he observes, mingled with his own 
birds, one or more strange pigeons, which they can more 
easily surround, and bring to his dovecote. 

Avvujare, is to induce a band, into which some strange 
pigeons have been brought, to fly backwards and forwards in 
long-continued flights around the dovecote, in order to seize a 
favourable opportunity of making them descend all together. 



117 THE TRIGANICA. 

Trattare, or Gustare, is the giving of grain to the pigeons 
when they have descended, as a reward for having been obe- 
dient in their flight to the signals of the Triganiere. 

Tirar giu niente, is the recalling of the flock of pigeons by 
their master when they do not obey his signals, without 
giving them food, the better to incite them to obedience. 

Andare indietro spalla, is to feign to send the pigeons to 
mingle with others, and, when they have almost mingled, to 
call them back suddenly, with the probability of some of the 
pigeons of the other bands returning with them. 

Dare la mano, is the act of taking up the strange pigeons 
which have perched on the platform with the pigeons of the 
Triganiere. 

When Yandelli wrote, the sport was carried on in four 
ways. First, on the terms of good friendship, in which a 
reciprocal restitution of captives was made without compen- 
sation. Second, on the terms of fair battle, by the redemp- 
tion of the captives at a price agreed upon by the combatants. 
Third, on declared war, when the pigeons were taken with 
impunity, and with no obligation on the part of the captor 
to restore them. And, fourth, on war to the last drop of 
blood, when the captive was immediately hung from the 
platform in full sight of the dovecote of the adversary ; or 
there was attached to its tail a little bottle of gunpowder, 
in which a fuse was placed, and then, when the enemy sent 
out his pigeons, the captive was let loose, after the fuse had 
been fired, so that, when it arrived in the midst of the flight, 
the bottle burst, and many of the pigeons near were killed 
or wounded. 

In the present day, however, such cruel reprisals are not prac- 
tised, and the sport is generally carried on a lira, or on the terms 
of the redemption of captives at the rate of a Modenese lira. 

I am indebted to the Italian books to be mentioned in the 
Appendix for the foregoing information on the Triganieri, and 
chiefly to Malmusi's "Dei Triganieri," 1851. 



118 FANCY PIGEONS. 



The Triganica Pigeon, which is of comparatively modern 
origin other varieties, as described under the Archangel 
pigeon, having been previously used for the sport is said 
by Neumeister to be a variety of the Huhnertauben, under 
which classification he describes it. The marking is certainly 
very similar to that of the Florentiner, but the Triganica 
Pigeon is now only a medium-sized bird, and, though many 
of them carry their tails somewhat erect, they ought to carry 
them horizontally. This variety certainly shows some rela- 
tionship to the Huhnertauben, or Fowl-like Pigeons, in being 
high on the legs, short in the nights and tail, and in being 
marked much the same as the Florentiner ; but its shape is 
in every respect modified, and other elements have, without 
doubt, entered into its composition. 

There are no less than 152 colours in this variety, all of 
which have received names from the Triganieri, and these 
may be found in Professor Bonizzi's "I Colombi di Modena." 
Seventy-six of these are what are called schietti, or pure 
colours that is, the pigeons are all coloured, without any 
entirely white feathers, and the other seventy-six are the 
corresponding gazzi, or magpies of these colours that is, 
pied with white, like the illustration. Some of the most 
beautiful colours are black, with the wing coverts chequered 
with red, which I have attempted to show in the woodcut 
illustration. Black, with the wing coverts heavily tipped 
with red, so that the whole shoulder, as in a Turbit, is red, 
the head, flights, and tail being black. The same, with 
yellow-chequered or whole yellow shoulders. Dun head, 
flights, and tail, the shoulders buff, but tipped with bright 
yellow. The same with solid yellow shoulders. Blue mag- 
pies, with red or yellow wing bars, black-barred blues being 
of no value. Light blue, of a uniform tint, without any wing 
bars. Black and white grizzles, in which every coloured 
feather should show black and white. Blue and white grizzles. 
Three-coloured birds, in which every feather should show 



119 THE TRIGANICA. 



black, red, and white. Oddities, having one wing of one 
colour, and the other of another colour. I had lately some 
good Triganica Pigeons, light blue in colour, marbled on the 
shoulders with dark blue, and with yellow wing bars, like the 
coloured illustration. 

These pigeons are bred by many fanciers who have neither 
time nor inclination for the sport as practised by the Tri- 
ganieri proper. Some of the colours are rare, and only in 
the hands of their producers, who are so jealous of parting 
with them that they would rather destroy their surplus stock 
than let the breed out of their hands. The magpies present 
the same difficulties in breeding as other pied pigeons, 
coloured feathers in the parts that should be white, and 
vice versa, troubling the breeders in Modena as much as 
they do us in our pied varieties; so that a perfectly marked 
pigeon is a rarity, and is, consequently, valuable. 




Chapter XV. 



<X SEVERAL VARIETIES OF EAST INDIAN PIGEONS. X 
The Sherajee Pigeon. 




HE Sherajee, so named in Bengal, but called 
Sherazie in Northern India, is a favourite 
pigeon throughout Hindostan. The name is, 
no doubt, derived from the city of Sheraz, 
in Persia, where it might possiby have origi- 
nated. This pigeon is, in shape and size, very similar to the 
tight-feathered Trumpeters common in this country before 
the so-called Russians were introduced. The head and beak 
of the Sherajee are of the common type, the latter neither 
short, nor long and thin; and birds of good colour always 
have a reddish tinge on the eye ceres, beak wattles, and 
the edges of the mouth. The irides are dark hazel colour, 
the head is unhooded, and the legs and feet are feathered. 
Long toe feathers, spreading out on each side, are much 
admired. The marking of the Sherajee is peculiar to it- 
self, nothing similar to it being found in any other variety 
that I know of. The upper mandible is coloured, except 
with those colours that are generally accompanied by a, flesh- 



121 EAST INDIAN VARIETIES. 

coloured beak ; and the marking, commencing at the beak 
wattle, runs over the head and down the back of the 
neck, till it meets the back and wings. Looked at in 
profile, the marking should show a clean division down the 
side of the neck ; from behind, the neck appears all coloured, 
and from before, all white. The back, wings, and flight 
feathers are also coloured, the rest of the plumage being 
pure white. 

A rarer variety of the Sherajee is that known as the 
Mottled. The breast of this variety must be well-mottled with 
single feathers, no two of which ought to touch each other. 
This is a kind of mottling peculiar to Indian fancy pigeons, 
being the reverse of what is required in this country, where 
standard mottling is always composed of single white feathers 
on a coloured ground. The Mottled Sherajee, when anything 
like perfect, becomes a very valuable pigeon, and is often sold 
at so much the mottle; I was told, on good and satisfactory 
authority, that as much as 1000 rupees had been paid for a 
fine bird of this breed. While a few coloured feathers on 
the breast of the Sherajee only spoil what might otherwise be 
a good plain-breasted bird, when the number reaches to about 
thirty single, well-separated mottles, the value is reckoned 
something in the same way as that of the diamond, by 
squaring the number of feathers, and multiplying by a 
price. After all, 1000 rupees, formerly equal to about 100 
sterling, is no more than has been paid in this country for 
a Carrier, and Indian potentates are known to be as keen in 
acquiring the objects of their fancy as people of any other 
country. 

The Sherajee can only be seen good in the collections of 
experienced pigeon fanciers, though no bird is more common 
in the places in Calcutta where pigeon shops abound. I have 
seen them in black, red, yellow, and dun, also in blue and 
silver, both barred and barless, and in many oif colours. 
Those found for sale in the bazaars are generally of black 

M 



122 FANCY PIGEONS. 

marking, and often either bare or only half-feathered on 
the legs. 

Some five or six hundred large vessels leave Calcutta for 
Great Britain every year, and few of them without some live 
stock on board as pets, for sailors are very fond of a monkey, 
parrot, or pair of birds to amuse themselves with on the 
long voyage. In this way, many black Sherajee Pigeons, such 
as can be bought for 2s. or 3s. a pair, have reached this country, 
and probably they have been coming for the last 200 years 
or more ; but the earliest mention of this breed I know of 
in our literature, is in the Poultry Chronicle, vol. iii., page 
443, in the report of Prescot Show, in Lancashire, on the 4th 
July, 1855, as follows : " The pigeons seemed to be the sub- 
ject of universal interest. Among these were two pens, 
quite new (and distinct as to variety), and which, we believe, 
have never hitherto been shown at any public competition, 
We allude to birds entered as 'Tailors.' Why so called we 
know not, but are informed the original parent birds were 
imported from the Canadas (under that name), at an immense 
expense, by the late Earl of Derby, for the Knowsley aviary." 
And then follows the description of them, agreeing with 
what I have given of the Sherajee, except as to mottled breast 
and feathered feet, which shows them to have been merely 
sailors' pigeons, though called " Tailors " ; and no doubt they 
were bought in Liverpool out of some East India vessel, the 
Canadas not having any such stock to part with. Again, at 
page 491 of the same volume, they are referred to by Mr. Brent 
as follows: "I beg to second Mr. Eaton's appeal to pigeon 
fanciers, and hope they will support the Anerley Show; and 
trust to see some of the rare varieties there, such as Laughers, 
Silk Fantails, Taylors, and others." 

In Brent's Pigeon Book, and in Eaton's 1858 Treatise, the 
name of " Tailor " is dropped, and that of " Lahore," or " Martin," 
substituted, the former being given because Brent had found 
they came from that city, and the latter on account of their 



123 EAST INDIAN VARIETIES. 

resemblance in marking to the Martin, or Window Swallow 
(Hirundo urbica). 

The Mookee Pigeon. 

This is another Indian pigeon, of pure and distinct race, 
that has not been unknown in British seaports having a con- 
nection with the East Indies, during the past twenty or 
thirty years ; but which was not recognised until I pointed it out 
some years ago, as the Narrow-tailed Shaker of Willughby's 
" Ornithology," published in London in 1676. Willughby says 
of this kind : " Narrow or Close-tailed Shaking Pigeons 
Anglice, Narrow-tailed Shakers. These agree with the pre- 
cedent (the Broad-tailed Shakers) in shaking, but differ in 
the narrowness of their tails, as the name imports. They 
are said also to vary in colour. This kind we have not as 
yet seen, nor have we more to say of it." Willughby had 
this information, without doubt, from some pigeon fancier 
who knew the breed, though he does not name his authority, 
as he elsewhere names Mr. .Cope, of Jewin-street. 

When Moore wrote his " Columbarium," about sixty years 
later, he described the Narrow-tailed Shaker, the last kind 
mentioned in his book, as follows : " This Pigeon is reckon'd 
by some a distinct Species, tho' I am apt to believe it is 
only a bastard breed between the foregoing (the Broad-tail'd 
Shaker) and some other Bird. Its neck is shorter and 
thicker, its back longer, the Feathers of its Tail are not so 
much spread out, but fall as it were double, lying over one 
another, and the Tail generally lops very much." And thus, 
from Moore onwards, every writer described the Narrow-tailed 
Shaker as a crossbred Fantail, as no doubt the bird above 
described was, Moore never having seen the true breed. But 
it will be observed that Moore says : " This Pigeon is reckon'd 
by some a distinct species." No pigeon fancier would reckon 
a crossbred Fantail as a distinct species, so there were, 
even in Moore's time, some who either knew, or had been 



124 FANCY PIGEONS. 



told, about the true Narrow-tailed Shaker, which is the Indian 
Mookee, a pigeon having the tremulous shaking neck of the 
Fantail, and a close, narrow tail, with the normal number of 
twelve feathers. 

The head of the Mookee is flat, showing no stop, and its 
beak rather longer than that of a common flying Tumbler; it 
is also generally peak-headed. The irides are dark hazel in 
colour. The upper mandible is white, and the lower follows 
the plumage. The whole head is white above a line running 
across the eyes. The two longest flight feathers should be 
white, and all the rest of the bird coloured. The head often 
comes foul or unequally cut, and the flights often foul. 
Three, or even four a side, are better than unequal flights, 
but two a side are considered the standard. The curious 
thing about the Mookee is the tremulous shaking of the neck, 
which is never absent, and which is most constant when the 
bird is salacious. It is singular to see the cock driving the 
hen to nest; his head and neck shake continually backward 
and forward, but he never loses his balance. The tail is 
carried horizontally and close, as in most pigeons. 

I have seen all colours in this breed, as in the Sherajee, 
but the great majority are black. Blues with black bars, 
barless blues, and duns, are next in order of number, while 
reds and yellows are comparatively scarce, though they were 
to be seen in the possession of several Calcutta fanciers ten 
years ago. 

Putting aside the curious markings, it is obvious that the 
Mookee is not a bastard Fantail, for, united to a close tail 
of twelve feathers, it has all the shaking of ordinary Fantails ; 
and it is known that, in crossing the Fantail, its tremulous 
neck motion is lost long before the tail is reduced to twelve 
feathers. It is as probable that extra tail feathers in the 
Mookee resulted in the Broad-tailed Shaker as that it was 
bred down from the Fantail. No one can say now how either 
variety was produced, and to experiment on the subject would 



125 , EAST INDIAN VARIETIES. 

be wasting time that might be better employed, as we have 
both varieties ready made to our hands. 

The Mookee is a good breeder and feeder. It is a long- 
lived pigeon. One dun cock that I sent to Dundee from 
Calcutta, old when he left, lived for ten years afterwards. 

The Goolee Pigeon. 

The Goolee is a small pigeon, not much larger than the 
Short -faced Tumbler. It was in the possession of a Mr. 
"Wood, one of four brothers, all pigeon fanciers in Calcutta, 
that I first saw a good collection of Goolees, and what 
at once struck me, was their close resemblance in shape 
and carriage to our Short-faced Tumblers. The Goolee has 
a spindle beak, like that of our small, clean-legged, flying Tum- 
blers, and an abruptly rising forehead, showing a decided 
stop. "Were the best of them to be subjected to treatment 
from the skull improvers that are said to be used in this 
country for shaping the heads of Short-faced Tumblers, the 
result would be birds differing little from these pigeons, 
except in colour. Indian fanciers, however, do not use such 
instruments, for they only value properties that can be bred 
in their pigeons. 

The upper mandible of the Goolee is coloured, the lower 
white ; but reds and yellows have generally light beaks. The 
marking of the head and neck is the same as in the 
Sherajee. The irides are usually dark. The tail, with its 
coverts, is coloured. This marking is found in all solid 
colours, and, when the colours are rich and lustrous, as they 
often are, the eye ceres and corners of the mouth are of a 
decidedly reddish hue. The rest of the plumage is white, 
except in a rarer variety, known as the Mottled Goolee. 
The mottled variety, to be right, must have a rose pinion of 
coloured feathers on the wing coverts; when this rose pinion 
is composed of well -separated feathers the effect is very 
pleasing. Some of the Mottled Goolees are of three colours, 



126 FANCY PIGEONS. 

such as dark dun on head, neck, and tail, yellow mottled 
shoulders, and white ground. I have seen them of this rare 
combination of colours, and I believe other three coloured 
varieties exist, such as black marked ones with red mottled 
shoulders. The Goolee is clean-legged, walks on tip-toe 
when proud, trails its wings, and has the carriage of a good 
Almond Tumbler. There are in Bengal as many degrees in 
quality in this variety as there are here between the best 
Short-faces and Common Flying Tumblers. The choicest birds 
can only be seen in the possession of experienced breeders, 
and are never offered for sale in the bazaars. The Goolee 
shares with the Sherajee the position of chief favourite 
among Calcutta pigeon fanciers, some preferring the former, 
others the latter. Fine specimens of both kinds fetch long 
prices. 

The Lowtan Pigeon. 

The Lowtan is indeed a curiosity among Pigeons. It is a 
native of India, and was quite unknown among fanciers in 
Britain until some letters regarding it, from Indian corre- 
spondents, were published in the Meld newspaper. These may 
be found in Tegetmeier's book, and give a good account of 
it. I knew the Lowtan very well in Bengal, and have seen many 
of them. In size they were the same as the common Field Pigeon, 
and all I have seen were pure white, with a turn crown. Their 
eyes were dark hazel, their legs and feet unfeathered, and in 
general appearance they were quite common-looking pigeons. 
To make the Lowtan perform, it is laid hold of across the back, 
held horizontally, and shaken smartly from side to side three 
or four times. This seems to put it into a fit, for, on being 
placed on the ground, it immediately turns head over tail 
till exhausted; but it is generally picked up after fluttering 
about for a short time, as there is a belief that it would die 
if left alone, though this is not the case. Whether the Lowtan 
suffers pain or not when made to roll about I cannot say, but 



127 EAST INDIAN VARIETIES. 

if it does it soon recovers, for on being taken up during its 
fluttering fit it becomes quiet, and when let fly it will at 
once play up to its mate, if a cock, or commence to eat as if 
nothing had happened. There is no variety in its exhibition, 
which is rather unpleasing after being seen once or twice, 
and those who keep Lowtans seldom put them through their 
manoeuvres. 

One of the correspondents referred to, writing from Madras, 
mentions two varieties of the Lowtan, one being the Kulmee, 
or high caste kind, that would roll about on being merely 
touched on the head or peak ; while the other kind, the Sadhee, 
or Common Lowtan, required to be shaken as I have described 
before it would perform. 

The other correspondent, writing from Rohilcund, had kept 
the /ommon Lowtans for two years, and on inquiring for the 
high caste, or Choteen Lowtans so called because they were 
said to roll on the chotee, or turn crown, being touched he pro- 
cured four specimens, all of which rolled on being struck on 
the back of the head with the forefinger. One of them was 
similar to his Common Lowtans ; another similar in appearance, 
but Turbit marked, being white with dark shoulders; and the 
other two had "great long legs, feathered to the toes." 

I never saw any of the kind that performed on being 
merely touched, nor other than pure white ones. 

I saw a pair of White Lowtans two years ago, in one of the 
pens, at a meeting of the National Peristeronic Society, in 
London. No one knew what they were until I put them 
through their peculiar performance, to the amusement of the 
spectators. 

The breed is mentioned in the " Ain-i-Akbari," or " Institutes 
of Akbar," written about the year 1600. 

East Indian Flying Pigeons. 

When passing through the streets of large cities in Northern 
India, from an hour before sunset till dark, an observer may 



128 FANCY PIGEONS. 

see many people on the flat roofs of the houses, directing 
the flight of large flocks of pigeons by means of flags 
attached to long bamboo poles. This sport is carried on 
with great energy in the city of Delhi, where I have 
seen immense numbers of pigeons flown in this way. In 
Calcutta also, anyone who may be passing through the 
native parts of the city, near sunset, will see the same sport 
carried on by numerous pigeon flyers. Garden Reach (the 
southern suburb of Calcutta) was formerly the residence of 
many of the principal merchants and civil servants, whose 
palatial houses, standing in their compounds of from two to 
twenty acres of ground, are now (1878) chiefly owned by the ex- 
king of Oude, a State prisoner there, who has gradually 
bought up a great many of them, and surrounded them by 
a high wall. When passing up the Hooghly river, I often 
saw flights of pigeons that seemed to number thousands, 
flying, to all appearance, under command, over the King's 
grounds ; but, as it seemed impossible to gain admittance to the 
place, I could never get a closer inspection of them, till, 
observing in the newspapers one day that certain people 
would be admitted, I hastened to avail myself of the 
opportunity. The ex-king of Oude has what is said to be 
the largest private collection of rare birds and animals in 
the world, on which he has spent an immense sum of 
money, and of which he is very fond. It would be out of 
place here to describe the beautifully laid out grounds, the 
lovely plants, the rare animals, the marble-margined tanks 
or ponds, surrounded by gilded railings, and full of rare 
aquatic birds, and the houses fitted up as aviaries, and full 
of the most gorgeously feathered birds ; so I shall confine 
myself to a description of the four great flights of pigeons, 
which are kept in four of the houses in the King's grounds. 
These flights are said to number about a thousand in each, 
and are composed of only one breed, the native name of 
which I forget. This variety is a medium-sized, very hard- 



129 EAST INDIAN VARIETIES. 

feathered, smooth-headed, bare-legged, boldly upstanding, 
rather long-faced pigeon, not unlike the cross between a 
Dragoon and Tumbler. It is invariably pied in colour, the 
head and neck, as far as in Triganica, or Nun Pigeons, 
being usually coloured. The rest of the plumage is white, 
on which irregular patches of colour, differing in different 
individuals, may be found. It is difficult to find any two birds 
exactly alike in marking. The four large flocks are of four 
colours, one being black pied, and the others red, yellow, 
and blue pied. The houses these flocks are kept in were 
formerly dwelling houses, in the upper rooms of which I 
was told the pigeons were bred. The keeper of each flight 
has a long bamboo, to which is attached a small flag, and 
a jar of seed, something like millet in appearance. He 
must also be an adept in uttering a shrill whistle, 
produced by placing his first and second fingers between his 
lips. It will, therefore, be seen that the modus operandi of 
directing the pigeons is exactly the same as that in use in 
Modena. The flight I observed first was composed of blue 
pieds, whose keeper drove them out of the lower hall of 
the house in which they were with his bamboo. They all 
settled on a large rack, such as is fitted up in greenhouses 
for placing the pots on, which stood in front of the house. 
He then gave his shrill whistle, waved his flag, and the 
whole flock rose into the air. The other flights were up at 
the same time, and it was a fine sight to see them inter- 
mingling, separating, and wheeling round in their flight, the 
dense masses casting shadows on the ground like passing 
clouds, and the whizzing of their many wings being pleasant 
to hear. After they had flown for some time, I asked the 
keeper to bring them down, and I could then see how quick 
they were, for, the moment he dropped his flag, and put his 
hand into the seed jar, they stopped in their flight, hung 
in the air for a moment, and then came down to the 
ground at my feet with a rush. The keeper went in amongst 

N 



130 FANCY PIGEONS. 



them, and picked up one, which he shook from side to side, 
and then tossed into the air. It was a yellow pied, from one 
of the other flights. 

It is probable that pigeon flying carried on in this way has 
travelled westward from Asia. The Italian books make men- 
tion of a similar practice being common in Moscow. It is 
well-known that the Taj Mahal, at Agra, and other fine build- 
ings that are the glory of the East, were designed by Italian 
architects, and nothing is more likely than that some of 
the Italians, who were in India from two to three hundred 
years ago, may have been pigeon fanciers, and taken the 
sport home with them. There is even some resemblance in 
the respective breeds used for the sport in Italy and India. 
The Modenese Statutes of 1327 and 1547 prohibit the snaring 
of pigeons by nets or strings, but they do not prove con- 
clusively that this sport was in use then. Some of the 
Venetians may have originated the sport in the fifteenth 
century. The Venetians had intimate business relations with 
India 400 years ago, and their coins are still plentiful there. 
I have bought old Venetian ducats in India, where they are 
valued for their purity, and hoarded up with the gold 
Mohurs of Akbar. The sport of pigeon-flying may have 
reached Italy from Turkey or the Levant, for I have no doubt 
it is carried on in Persia, Turkish Arabia, and Asia Minor, 
in very much the same manner as in Hindostan. 




Chapter XVI. 




OTHER DISTINCT KINDS OF ASIAN PIGEONS. 
The Mahomet Pigeon. 

HE Mahomet, formerly known in England as 
the Mawmet, was first described by Wil- 
lughby, in 1676, who says : " Mawmets, 
called (as I take it) from Mahomet, per- 
chance because brought out of Turkey, 
notable for their great black eyes, else like to the Barbaries." 
Willughby must either have seen such pigeons, or had his 
description of them from others. When Moore wrote his 
book, some sixty years later, he knew of no pigeons "notable 
for their great black eyes," but he describes the Mahomet as 
"no more in Reality than a white Barb, which makes the 
red tuberous Flesh round the Eyes look very beautiful." In 
the preface to the "Treatise on Pigeons" (1765), the author 
admits that his book is "on the plan of Mr. Moore," but 
says that he has corrected some of his errors, and made 
many additions. After mentioning Moore's description of 
the Mahomet, he proceeds : " so far Mr. Moore ; but it is 
the opinion of many fanciers, that the Bird called a mahomet 
is nearly of a cream colour, with bars cross the wings as 

N 2 



132 FANCY PIGEONS. 

black as ebony, the feathers very particular, being of two 
colours: the upper part, or surface of them, appearing of a 
cream, and underneath a kind of sooty colour, nearly 
approaching to black; as are likewise the flue feathers, and 
even the skin, which I never observed in any other Pigeons 
but these : its size much like that of a Turbit, with a fine 
gullet, and in lieu of a frill; the feathers rather appear like 
a seam ; the head is short, and inclined to be thick ; hath an 
orange-eye, and a small naked circle of black flesh round the 
same ; and a beak something resembling that of a bullfinch, 
with a small black wattle on it." 

In the pages of the Poultry Chronicle (1854-55) will be 
found a discussion on the Mahomet Pigeon. Mr. W. Wood- 
house, who had been breeding and also showing crested, 
three-quarter bred white Barbs, as Mahomets, informed 
fanciers in his letter to that journal, on 13th December, 
1854, how he bred them. Brent would not accept these 
birds as Mahomets, for he had shortly before, when writing 
of them, quoted the above description of the true breed 
from the Treatise, and had actually seen a pair in London. 
He says : " This is one of the varieties of fancy pigeons 
with which I have but a very slight acquaintance, having 
only once seen a pair at a London dealer's, and their ap- 
pearance gave me the idea of a cross between an Owl and 
a Barb Pigeon; nevertheless, their seam and black wattle, 
cere, and skin, I consider sufficient distinctive peculiarities 
to give them a place among fancy pigeons as a separate 
variety." 

About the year 1868, Mr. Boyd, of Edinburgh, brought 
home with him, from Constantinople, a pair of Mahomets. 
They became the property of Mr. James Wallace, of Glasgow, 
who showed them there, in 1869, as Damascenes. The hen 
lived but a short time, and the cock came into my possession 
in 1878 ; but he was then past breeding, and shortly after- 
wards met his death from an accident. In 1883, several pairs 



133 OTHER ASIAN PIGEONS. 

were brought to this country from Asia Minor, some of 
which came into my possession. 

In shape and size of body, the Mahomet is not unlike the 
Barb, and, were it not that its beak and eye wattles are 
nearly black, instead of red, it might naturally be supposed 
to be of the Barb race. The head is full and round, the 
beak short and thick, but not hooked; the irides are bright 
orange or deep yellow, and the beak and eye wattles, though 
almost black, are covered, when in health, with a powder 
that makes them of a beautiful blue colour. In colour, this 
pigeon is of the most lovely light blue, frosted all over as 
if with powder, except on the wing bars, flights, and tail. 
The bars should remain, as in the old description, as black 
as ebony. The flights are of a medium tint, darker than 
shown in the illustration, as is the tail, except that it has 
the jet black bar at its extremity. The lower part of the 
neck is lustrous with hues of very light green and purple. 
The beak and nails are black, the feet and legs bright red, 
sometimes stockinged, but I much prefer them smooth. 
Although of such a beautiful light blue, or what is called a 
French white, tint on the surface, the neck and body feathers 
are dark bluish -black underneath when exposed ; but this 
must not assert itself when the bird is at liberty. This 
beautiful colouring is not confined entirely to the Mahomet, 
as the same feather, or nearly so, may be found among the 
Ice Pigeons ; but what makes the former of such an original 
type is the dark eye wattles. It would almost seem to be 
related to the Owl race of pigeons as well, as it has a very 
pronounced gullet and seam, or division down the breast, 
though no actual frill. 

This distinction, and the shape of its head, make it a likely 
cross with the Blue Owl, which I know has been tried with 
success in more than one instance. 

It is a pity that the Mahomet is so scarce, for, although it 
has not in its composition what would make it, even though 



134 FANCY PIGEONS. 

plentiful, only to be seen of high quality now and then, as 
the Pouter or Turbit, it would be a beautiful and telling 
variety in an aviary of different kinds, and likely to breed 
very true to its characteristics. I know those I had were 
often picked out by strangers as the most beautiful pigeons 
in my aviary. 

The Mahomet shows the powdered blue colour in the very 
highest degree, and has the power of reproducing its colour to 
a great extent when crossed with a blue or silver pigeon. 

The Capuchin Pigeon. 

A pigeon under this name was described by Moore, who 
says that it is in shape and make very like the Jacobin, 
but something larger in body, longer in beak, with a 
tolerable hood, but no chain, though in feather and other 
properties the same. He says : " Some will assert it to be 
a distinct Species, but I am more inclinable to imagine it 
is only a bastard breed from a Jacobin and another Pigeon; 
however, thus far I am sure, that a Jack and another will 
breed a Bird so like it, as will puzzle the Authors of this 
Assertion to distinguish it from what they call their separate 
Species." 

Remembering what Moore has said of the Mahomet and 
Narrow-tailed Shaker, I doubt if his half-bred Jacobin was 
really what some fanciers asserted to be the true Capuchin. 
Moore evidently knew the motto, viam aut inveniam aut 
faciam, and it puzzles me to hear of any fancier asserting 
a half-bred Jacobin to be a distinct species ; however, if there 
was a pure race, as described, known as the Capuchin then, 
we do not know it now, for its description cannot apply 
to the bird we now class under that name. 

The Capuchin was first imported into England, and first 
described in Fulton's book, by my friend, Mr. H. P. Caridia, 
of Birmingham. It is, he says, a native of one locality of Asia 
Minor; and those I have seen are certainly of pure and 



135 OTHER ASIAN PIGEONS. 

distinct race. The head is round and full in front, the beak 
short and fine, the iris pure white, surrounded by a thin 
purple-black cere, and the beak and toe nails black. The 
plumage is a rich metallic black, sparkling with lustre, the 
tail, with its coverts, alone being white. Mr. Caridia says 
there are also similarly marked blues and whole-coloured 
whites. The Capuchin gets its name from an extensive close- 
fitting hood on the back of its head, which comes down a 
very short distance on each side of its neck. It carries the 
flights low, generally below the tail. It is thin-necked, 
broad-chested, and has much of the shape and carriage of 
the Short-faced Tumbler. It is said to be a good flyer, 
breeder, and feeder. 

I have heard some say that this pigeon is the original of 
our Jacobins, which I consider an hallucination. Its black 
eye cere alone points to a separate origin, but I believe the 
third or fourth cross from it and the Jacobin has resulted in 
very fair specimens of the latter breed, which I can easily 
imagine would be the case. I could fancy it to have origi- 
nated from the Jacobin and the Mahomet, but this is mere 
speculation. The breed as it stands may be many centuries 
old. 

The Coral-eyed Pigeon. 

The Coral-eye is a variety of the domestic pigeon well 
known in Bengal. I have seen these birds in the posses- 
sion of different fanciers in Calcutta, among whom they 
went by the above name ; and I believe their Hindo- 
stanee designation has the same meaning. In size and shape 
the Coral-eye resembles a strong English Owl Pigeon, but 
its head and beak are more of the common type, the 
latter not long and spindly, but of moderate length and 
thickness. It is neither turn-crowned nor feather-legged, and 
always, as far as I have seen, whole-coloured blue, with the 
usual black wing bars. What constitutes this pigeon of pure 



136 FANCY PIGEONS. 

and distinct race is the colour of its irides, which are large 
in size, and bolting, like the choice African Owl; in colour 
they are of a vivid ruby red, of the hue known among jewel 
merchants as "pigeon's blood." I have seen nothing nearly 
approaching them in any other breed of pigeon, for they 
are like big beads of living fire sparkling in the head of 
the bird, and so noticeable that they tell at the distance of 
several yards. This pigeon breeds true, but loses all value 
if crossed with another variety. It is an instance of the 
manifold variations that exist in that universal favourite, 
the domestic pigeon. I described this pigeon in the Journal 
of Horticulture some years ago, before which I am not aware 
that it was ever mentioned in this country. 

The Chinese Dewlap Pigeon. 

Some specimens of this very distinct variety of the domestic 
pigeon first made their appearance in Europe within the last 
five years. Three pairs of them were brought from China by 
M. Yallois, an officer in the French navy, for his brother in 
Paris, an enthusiastic fancier. One pair of them was given 
to M. Yictor la Perre de E/oo, who sent me some photo- 
graphs of them, taken from life. In size and shape they are 
similar to a large Homing Antwerp Pigeon. The head is of the 
Owl type, round and down-faced, the beak thick and short. Their 
greatest peculiarity is the enormous gullet, filling up the 
hollow of the throat, from the jew wattle to far down the 
neck, described as, and seeming to be, from the photographs, 
over half an inch broad. In colour they are blue, but marked 
in a very original way with a large white spot on the fore- 
head, white upper mandible, a white oval spot on each side 
of the neck, and with white flights, as shown in the illus- 
tration. The best gullet yet seen on any of our Frill-breasted 
Owl type of pigeons can only be called rudimentary when 
compared with that of this wonderful bird. 

The Dewlap Pigeons had brass bangles on their legs when 



137 



OTHER ASIAN PIGEONS. 



they arrived in France, showing that they had been favourites 
of someone. It is a general custom in Hindostan for fanciers 
to ornament their pigeons in this way. 

M. la Perre de Roo, in his Monograph on Domestic Pigeons, 
published in Paris, in 1883, names this variety Le Pigeon 
Voyageur de Beyrouth, being under the impression, when he 
wrote his account of them, that they came from Syria; but 
since then has informed me he had discovered they came from 
Pekin, in the way I have mentioned. I think it likely that 
other curious breeds of pigeons may still reach us from the 
same source. 




Chapter XVII. 




THE RUNT PIGEON. x> 

explained before, the name of Runt was 
formerly applied generally to all common 
pigeons in England, and is, no doubt, often 
still so used; but pigeon fanciers now use 
the name to designate the variety of gigantic 
pigeons which Moore and subsequent authors wrote of as the 
Spanish Bunt. I should suppose that the name was given on 
account of the breed having so little to distinguish it, in 
general conformation, from the common pigeon, that they were 
looked upon, when first introduced into England, as the com- 
mon pigeons of the place they came from, and that the name 
is not, as supposed by Willughby, a corruption of the Italian 
Tronfo, or of anything else. The Runt would appear to be 
of an ancient race. Dixon says: "But the point respecting 
Runts which most deserves the notice of speculative naturalists 
is their extreme antiquity. The notices of them in Pliny and 
other nearly contemporary writers are but modern records, 
for Dr. Buckland enumerates the bones of the pigeon among 
the remains in the cave at Kirkdale, and figures a bone which, 
he says, approaches closely to the Spanish Runt, which is 



139 RUNT PIGEONS. 

one of the largest of the pigeon tribe. Ever since the classic 
period, these birds have been celebrated among the poultry 
produce of the shores of the Mediterranean." 

The Bunt would, therefore, appear to have been distributed 
throughout Europe from Italy, and the name it bears in 
France, from where we get the best, is Pigeon Romain, which 
points to a like origin for the breed. 

Blue and Silver Runts. 

The general colours of the Bunt are blue and silver; but 
there are many others, some of which can claim a high 
position as fancy pigeons. The Blue and Silver have, perhaps, 
reached the greatest weights, and are probably the original 
colours. In appearance Bunts are like huge common pigeons, 
smooth-headed and smooth-legged, but having a rather heavy 
eye and beak wattle as they get old. The irides are generally 
orange in the Blues and lighter in the Silvers, and the eyes 
lie deep in the head, which, when viewed from before, appears 
narrow and pinched, considering the size of the bird. As 
to size, a matured pair of birds (cock and hen) weighing less 
than 41b. are considered small, and 51b. may be considered 
the maximum, although I have not heard of any being quite 
so heavy. From 41b. 12oz. to 41b. 15oz. has been often 
reached by show birds. 

Fancy Runts. 

The illustration given is from the cock of a pair of Bed 
Bunts I got from Messrs. Baily and Son, who imported them 
from France. Although in general shape and carriage of body 
they resembled the Blue variety, they at once proclaimed 
themselves of a different race. The irides are pure white, 
and form a very striking feature in their appearance. The eye 
wattle is heavy in front and pinched behind, and, with the 
beak wattle, is of as bright a red as in the Barb. The under 
mandible is much broader than the upper, even when shrunk, 



140 FANCY PIGEONS. 

as in matured birds ; while with young ones in the nest this 
point is so developed that it gives them a very strange ap- 
pearance. In colour they are of a rich, deep, burning red, 
glossy with metallic lustre, and within very little of the best 
red I have ever seen in any domestic pigeons. I have also 
had Yellow Runts of the same race as these Reds, and as 
good for their colour, but they were mottled in the way the 
Short-faced Mottled Tumbler ought to be marked, that is, 
rose pinioned on each wing, and handkerchief backed. The 
marking was just about as accurate as it could be painted 
in a picture. I am astonished, therefore, that, considering all 
these fine properties of colour, marking, real pearl eyes, and 
large size, anyone should write of the Runt as having only 
the one point of size. In France, these Fancy Runts are to 
be had in black, red, and yellow, both self-coloured and 
mottled. Pure whites with pearl eyes are, I believe, the 
rarest. They are all very bad fliers, and, although good 
breeders, the young are somewhat delicate, and difficult to 
rear. The fancy coloured ones do not reach the great size 
of the Blues and Silvers, and from 41b. to 4Lb. a pair is a 
good weight for them. Being powerful pigeons, Runts should 
not be kept with small varieties. When to great strength a 
spiteful disposition is joined, as it often is with them, they 
become rather dangerous to other pigeons. 

Boitard and Corbie mention several varieties of the Pigeons 
Remains distinct in colour and marking, some of the most 
beautiful being described as follows: 

Pigeon Romain Mantele. All red except the wing coverts 
and under body, which are white. Brent mentions these under 
the name of Tigre Rouge. The white mantle probably appears 
only after the first moult. 

Pigeon Romain Marcanu. Always black or dun (minime), 
the head having a mixture of white feathers, giving it a 
grey appearance; irides pearl. 

Pigeon Romain Gris Piquete. One of the largest of the 



141 RUNT PIGEONS. 



race; irides yellow; plumage grey, chequered with black over 
the body, a piquetures plus rapprochees sur la gorge ; feet 
lightly stockinged. 

Pigeon Eomain Minime Cailloute. Its colour is dun or tan, 
with the edge of the feathers of the mantle and throat of a 
pale hue, drawing to a clear fire colour; smooth legs and feet; 
pearl eyes. It is very productive. 

Pigeon Romain Soupe-de-lait. The smallest of the race. It 
has a thickish membrane on the nostrils, a cere round the 
eyes, and yellow irides. Its feet are bare ; its plumage is the 
colour of cafe-au-lait, with two bars of a deeper colour on the 
wings. This very pretty pigeon has also the essential quality 
of being tolerably productive. 

Pigeon Romain Argente. Head fond white, mixed with a 
clear slate colour; neck and throat bluish-black, reflecting 
green and metallic; the mantle of a bluish-grey tinted with 
white, each feather darker at the base, with a light white 
border. Flights of a blackish grey, barred with clear grey ; 
tail slate colour, with a black bar ; pearl eyes. This superb 
bird is generally very productive. 

The Montauban Pigeon. 

The Montauban Pigeon is a variety of the Runt, but not so 
heavy, though a large bird. It is chiefly black or white, but 
sometimes blue, brown, and mottled. It has a large shell 
crest, which should extend from ear to ear, and the legs are 
sometimes feathered. 

The Norwegian Pigeon. 

Brent says that the largest pigeons he ever saw were some 
white ones, with long feathers on the feet, that came from 
Belgium, and were called Norwegians. He says : " As I cannot 
give their exact size and weight, I forbear to state my ideas." 

The Roman Pigeon. 

Moore says : " There are other Sorts of Runts, as the Roman 



142 FANCY PIGEONS. 



Runt, which is so big and heavy it can hardly fly ; and the 
Smyrna Runt, which is middle-siz'd and feather-footed." 
These words are repeated by Mayor and Girton. I think it 
probable that the title "Roman" was merely the retention of 
the French name for some importations of Pigeons Romains. 
There is nothing in the " Columbarium" to indicate that the 
Roman Runt was of the Leghorn type. 

Runts as Table Pigeons. 

Eaton says of Runts : " I knew a pair sold for 25." They 
were likely something out of the common. At present they 
are not in great request, and it is a mistake to imagine that, 
because they are large, they are worth keeping from an agri- 
cultural point of view. Three pairs of common Tumblers, or 
two pairs of large Homing Antwerps, would weigh about the 
same as a pair of large Runts, and certainly not consume more 
food. I think either the Tumblers or the Antwerps would 
produce twice or thrice the weight of young ones in a year 
that the Runts would do in this country. Although Eaton's 
note regarding Runts is printed under Moore's account of the 
Leghorn Runt, the information he gives regarding them refers 
to the Spanish Runt (Pigeon Romain), not to the Cock-tailed, 
or Leghorn Runt. 

The Almond and Blue Grizzled Runt Pigeons. 

I have seen some very fine Runts in India, in the possession 
of the ex-King of Oude. He had almond-feathered and blue 
grizzled ones of great size, the latter the Pigeon Romain 
Argente, I fancy, and I understand they were procured for 
him, from France, by Mr. Jamrach, who took many of them 
to Calcutta about the year 1870. 

The Black-backed Gull Pigeon. 

I have never seen this variety, which has only been described 
by Brent, so far as I can find. He says : " Of this variety I 



143 



RUNT PIGEONS. 



have seen a few specimens in London, called also the great 
China Gull; but as to their origin I know nothing. In appear- 
ance they were much larger than the common kinds, approach- 
ing in form that of the Spanish Runts, smooth-headed and 
clean-footed. The scapular feathers, and the wings, with the 
exception of the extreme or the marginal pinion feathers, 
were black, the marginal flight feathers and the rest of the 
plumage being white, thus bearing a marked resemblance to 
the large Black-backed Gulls (Larus Marinus) so common on 
our coasts. I believe there are also some stuffed specimens 
of this variety in the British Museum." 




Chapter XVIII. 




X PIGEONS OF PECULIAR VOICE. X> 
The Trumpeter Pigeon. 

HE Trumpeter Pigeon has been known in this 
country since Moore's time, and is common 
on the Continent of Europe. In France it is 
called the Pigeon Tambour Glou-glou, and in 
Germany, the Trommeltaube, or Drummer. Its 
various names are, therefore, all derived from its voice, which, 
not being reckoned of any consequence in the show-pen, may 
be left unnoticed till I describe the form and feather of this 
wonderful pigeon. Until soon after the year 1865, when some 
very high-class Trumpeters were imported into this country, 
the breed appears to have remained almost stationary since 
Moore described it. The earliest picture of a Trumpeter I 
know of is that in the Treatise of 1765, which represents a 
very poor Black Mottle, with black flights and tail, and white 
body, over which is sprinkled about thirty-five black feathers. 
It has black thighs and leg-feathering, but is bare toed. The 
author of that book, who copied his description of the breed 
from Moore, says " they are generally pearl-eyed, black mottled, 
very feather-footed and legged, turn crowned like the Nun, and 







THE TRUMPETER. 



145 PIGEONS OF PECULIAR VOICE. 



sometimes like a Finnikin, but much larger, which are reckoned 
the better sort, as being more melodious." 

The Bokhara Trumpeter Pigeon. 

It would be of no advantage to minutely describe the 
Trumpeter as we had it before 1865, because the Central 
Asian breed, which was imported shortly after that date, put 
it entirely into the shade. The best we used to have were 
Blacks, Black Mottles, and Whites, though Duns, Reds, and 
Yellows were occasionally to be met with; and I once bred a 
very good Blue Mottle. The new breed, coming here via 
Russia, received the name of Russian Trumpeter, which is 
what the Germans call such birds as we formerly had, because 
they are said to be found in their greatest beauty in the 
neighbourhood of Moscow. It is not, however, a native of 
Russia, but of Bokhara, in Central Asia, and its appearance 
in Europe was, no doubt, the effect of the Russian conquests 
in the East during late years. At the same time, choice 
Trumpeters may have existed for a long while in the interior 
of Russia ; but if they have, I doubt not they originally 
came from Asia. Finding these choice birds described by 
Neumeister and Priitz as Bucharische Trommeltauben, I in- 
quired of several German gentlemen the meaning of the 
name whether it signified Bucharest or Bokhara but no one 
could decide. Afterwards, however, in the course of a corre- 
spondence with Mr. Charles Jamrach, of London, regard- 
ing some of these pigeons brought here by a Russian, he 
informed me that the man actually brought them all the 
way from Bokhara, with other live stock. So I think it 
is conclusive that they are a Central Asian breed, which 
has only lately reached us in its purity, all previous im- 
portations of Trumpeters having either been inferior, or 
allowed by Europeans to decline in quality; while, on the 
other hand, it is possible that, when European fanciers 
did nothing to raise the character of what they had, the 

o 



146 FANCY PIGEONS. 

Bokharians may have improved theirs from stock similar to 
what we had before. 

The Trumpeter is certainly a very high-class, original 
pigeon, but, for some reason, not a general favourite, though 
no one will deny that it has many beautiful properties. The 
reason that it is not more generally fancied and bred, is, doubt- 
less, the fact that it has nothing in its conformation very 
abnormal like the Pouter, Carrier, or Turbit, all of which 
birds present great difficulty in breeding towards an ideal 
standard while its peculiarities are almost entirely those of 
feathering, of such a fixed type, that it presents little scope 
for competition. Were as many fanciers to employ their time 
in breeding Trumpeters as Pouters, there would be twenty 
of the former for one of the latter approaching perfection. 
Fanciers know this, and therefore the Trumpeter is left in a few 
hands, regarded more as a curiosity than as a fancier's pigeon. 
Supposing, with all its fine properties, the Short-faced Mottled 
Tumbler's standard of feather were to be fixed for the Trum- 
peter, it would then present difficulties which any fancier 
might be proud in overcoming; but this standard is not only 
full of difficulties, but is a standard open, above all others, to 
fraud. The Germans have for a long time bred Trumpeters 
to Turbit and other markings, though in doing so they have 
lost quality in the more important parts of the breed. Brent 
and others have written of the difficulty there is in preserving 
the voice and rose of the Trumpeter when it is crossed; 
but though it doubtless takes a long time to recover either, 
it can be done, as in the case of the Altenburg Trumpeter, 
which I shall afterwards describe, and which is not inferior in 
voice to the pure breed itself. Could all the peculiarities of 
the breed be well-retained, in addition to well-defined specific 
markings such as white, with coloured shoulders the Trum- 
peter would rank higher in the fancy than at present, when 
many care not how badly their birds may be mottled, or even 
splashed, so long as they are good in rose and other points. 



147 PIGEONS OF PECULIAR VOICE. 

The fancy points of the Trumpeter are rose, crest, eye, leg 
and foot feather, colour and marking, quality of feather, 
size, shape, and voice. 

THE ROSE is the first property of the Trumpeter, and is 
what makes it distinct from all other pigeons. The Priest, 
and other varieties which possess it, do so only in a modified 
degree, and are supposed to have derived it from this pigeon. 
The rose is formed by the feathers on the crown of the head 
growing out from a centre in regular form. In a good bird 
it will be large enough to form a complete covering to the 
head, hiding the eyes, reaching nearly to the shell crest, and 
covering the beak wattle, but not the point of the beak. All 
the feathers forming the rose should lie well down, without 
any irregularity, and the more circular and even the rose 
is at its edges the better. 

THE CREST is an extensive shell hood, reaching round the 
back of the head, almost from eye to eye, and finishing off 
at its extremities with an ornamental turn, of the same forma- 
tion as the rose. The crest ought to be of a cupped form, 
reaching over the head ; but though wanted as firm and com- 
pact as possible, it is always more or less loose in texture, 
from the nature of the bird's feather. The feathers forming 
the crest, and those supporting it, can be moved by the 
bird at will, and the crest is, therefore, seen more loose at 
some times than at others. 

THE EYE. Though described by the old writers as pearl- 
eyed, the Trumpeter was generally red or orange-coloured in 
the irides immediately before the introduction of the Bokhara 
breed. The latter have generally pearl eyes, regarding which 
a German author says : " The fine pearl eyes betray the noble 
race which exacts admiration from every fancier." 

LEG AND FOOT FEATHER. The legs and feet should be 
heavily hocked and feathered. In this property the former 
birds excelled the first importations of the Asian race; but 
the latter, from the silkiness of their feather, were more liable 

o 2 



148 FANCY PIGEONS. 

to have their long toe feathers broken, which partly accounted 
for the want of them. Their toe feathers want the strength 
of those of the old tight-plumaged birds, and seldom reach 
their natural length without damage. I have noticed, that 
birds bred from good imported ones, when inclined to close- 
ness of plumage, which is faulty, grow stronger toe feathers. 
It is almost impossible to preserve these feathers unbroken 
for any length of time after the moult. An examination 
of the feet will always show what strength of feather the 
bird is there naturally furnished with, though the feathers 
may be broken off short. 

COLOUR AND MARKING. The Bokhara Trumpeters are 
chiefly Blacks, and Blacks mottled or splashed in some way 
with white, though both Duns and Dun Mottles have been 
imported. The beak is almost always white, and is a pleasing 
feature in the breed, as it looks well just appearing from 
under the rose. The bird I sketched my illustration from 
was a very fine Dun Mottle, with a strong red cast through 
its dun feathers. It was not marked as I have drawn it, 
but was almost half white, with dark flights and tail. As 
a standard to breed from, I think the marking shown in the 
coloured illustration, which is the same as is wanted in the 
Short-faced Mottled Tumbler, is preferable to any gayer mark- 
ing; but so long as the white is disposed in single feathers, a 
bird mottled on the head and neck, as well as on the wing 
coverts and back, looks very well if the tail, flights, under 
parts, and leg and foot feather, remain black. Many 
Trumpeters are nearly white, and of late some have been 
bred entirely free of coloured feathers. 

Some are all black except the head and upper neck, which 
sometimes remain nearly white ; and if the rose alone could 
be got white, or even lightly grizzled, the rest of the bird 
remaining black, it would look very well, and such mark- 
ing might in time become fixed if bred for. I understand 
from Mr. T. B. C. Williams, who was lately travelling on 



149 PIGEONS OF PECULIAR VOICE. 

the Continent, that Blood Bed Trumpeters of high quality 
are in existence. He informed me that he saw a pair of 
them in Paris. Some idea of their rarity and value may 
be learned from the fact that the price asked for them was 
3,000 francs; and he learned afterwards that they had been 
sold at this price. He described them as fine in colour, and 
well-lustred. I have no doubt that there must be Yellows as 
well. I have never bred any of the new Trumpeters, but 
my experience with the former kind, both here and in India, 
with English ones, showed me, that they alter very much 
in feather during their first moult, after which I always 
found them to moult without further change. A bird which 
moulted into a fair mottle, always came out of the nest 
entirely black, or with only a few grizzled feathers on the 
wing coverts. If there was much white on a nestling, it 
generally got very gay, and some would become half white 
when almost black in the nest. I never saw a bird get 
darker during its first moult. 

QUALITY OF FEATHER. The choice Trumpeter should be 
long and loose in feather, the flights should reach beyond the 
tail, and all the feathers should be soft and silky in texture. 

SIZE. The size of the Trumpeter should be above the 
average of fancy pigeons; the larger it is the better, for, if 
rose, &c., are in proportion, large size adds to its appearance. 

SHAPE. The appearance of a good bird is that of a very 
low standing, broad-set, short-necked pigeon, almost close to 
the ground, unable to see about it, except in a downward 
direction; it gropes about from place to place, and is fond 
of retiring into corners, where it drums to its mate. 

VOICE. One of the chief pleasures in keeping Trumpeters 
is to hear their pleasant notes. They are, with their sub- 
varieties, and the Laughers, the musicians of the Colum- 
barium. I would think little of a bird, however good in 
fancy points, if quite deficient in voice; and, although it 
cannot be taken into account in judging at a show, it should 



150 FANCY PIGEONS. 



be carefully cultivated in tlie loft. Many of the old breed 
were capital drummers, and kept up a constant concert in 
their lofts ; but some of the new ones are very deficient in 
vocal powers, which is, perhaps, the reason they left their 
native place. The Trumpeter's voice does not seem to have 
been cultivated so well in this country as in Germany. 
From Neumeister and Priitz I gather what constitutes a good 
drummer there "Excited by anger or love, its voice falls 
directly, or from the usual cooing which, however, must 
rarely be heard in a good drum pigeon suddenly into that 
rolling, quivering, deep hollow drumming; at the same time 
mostly sitting still moving the beak, puffing up its crop a 
little the less the better moving to and fro the front part 
of its body, and trembling with its wings. For correct 
drumming, there are required a good beginning, a distinctly 
marked delivery, alternate rising and falling of the sound, 
shaking, and sustaining. The more frequently, and especially 
the more sustainedly, without stopping, it drums in good 
style, the more valuable is the pigeon. There are cocks 
which, with quite short interruptions, drum away for ten 
minutes, and make themselves heard the whole day, especially 
in spring, or if they get a good supply of hemp seed. Even 
when eating they drum away, and by a number of good ones 
a dunning noise is produced. The principal sounds come 
rolling out of the mouth like the beating of a drum, the 
lower mandible at the same time moving up and down. The 
sounds become by turns stronger and weaker, and die off till 
they can scarcely be heard. The more subdued sounds form 
a monotone rolling, which is produced in the interior with- 
out movement of the beak, and thus appearing to come 
from another bird altogether. There is no difference in the 
sounds whether the crop be full or empty. The hen also 
drums, less frequently, however, and with less force and 
perseverance." 

It is usual, during the breeding season, to clip the Trum- 



151 PIGEONS OF PECULIAR VOICE. 

peter's rose, not only that it may see better, but because 
it gets clogged -with food when feeding its young ones. 

Sub-Varieties of Trumpeter Pigeon. 

In Germany there is a sub-variety of the Trumpeter, 
marked like the Shield Pigeon, or exactly as a Turbit ought 
to be marked all white, with coloured shoulders. Neumeister 
figures them on plate 10 of his book, under the name of 
Bastard Trommeltauben. They are represented, on the same 
plate, with well-feathered feet, but with smaller rose and 
crest than the pure Trumpeters. The Black and Blue have 
white wing bars, the Red and Yellow are solid shouldered. 
In Tegetmeier's book there is a picture of a pair of these 
pigeons with red shoulders and white wing bars, called Letz 
Pigeons, under which name the author says they had been 
exhibited at English shows. There was probably some mis- 
take in the naming of them perhaps the Latz was meant 
at least, I cannot find the name in any German book. Brent 
says, in the Poultry Chronicle, that "lats-chige" rough 
slippered is a German provincial name for the Trumpeter. 

Neumeister also figures another sub-variety, the reverse in 
marking of the preceding, viz., all red and yellow with white 
shoulders. These probably come out of the nest self-coloured, 
and moult white- sided, like Tumblers and Runts. Boitard and 
Corbie describe some varieties of the Trumpeter which M. 
Corbie brought from Germany, the breed having become 
scarce in France at the time they wrote. These are the above 
Red and Yellow White-sides, Whole Blacks with White Wing 
Bars, Grey-headed Blacks, Blues with white heads, flights, 
and tails, and similar Blues, with the addition of yellowish 
wing bars. Some of these were probably Priest Pigeons. 

The Altenburg Trumpeter Pigeon. 

This variety of the Trumpeter, deriving its name from the 
district of Altenburg, is distinguished by its melodious vocal 



152 FANCY PIGEONS. 

powers. There are two, apparently distinct, varieties of these 
birds, the Buff and the Lavender Altenburgers. 

In colour, the Buff Altenburger is what is known in this 
country as yellow-mealy, being buff-coloured on the wing 
coverts, with yellow neck and wing bars. The legs and feet 
are covered with feathers of a medium length; the beak is 
rather long and slender; the iris yellow, or pearl-coloured; 
the head is smooth at the nape, but has a frontal tuft on 
the brow, which ought to be twisted up in the form of a 
peak ; and this, when well formed, gives the bird an original 
appearance. The voice of the Buff Altenburger resembles 
that of the Common Trumpeter. 

The Lavender Altenburger breed, which I kept for some 
time, appears to me to be quite distinct from the Buff. 
It is rather smaller, and more slenderly made, being about 
the size of a common flying Tumbler, which bird it re- 
sembles in form, except that its beak is somewhat longer. 
The eye is pearl-coloured ; the legs and feet are sometimes 
smooth, and sometimes slightly feathered. A peculiarity with 
most of those I have had, though not altogether unknown 
in other pigeons, was an inclination to webbed feet, the 
middle and inner front toes' of nearly all the young ones 
I bred being joined together throughout their whole length; 
but I am not aware if this is general in the variety. The 
head is unhooded at the nape, and the nasal tuft, instead 
of being single, and peaked, as in the Buff variety, assumes 
a double form. On each side of the brow, between beak 
and eye, there is a small tuft of feathers growing from 
a centre. In some specimens the tufts are quite distinctly 
separated from each other by the smooth upward-growing 
feathers of the forehead. The colour in this kind is a 
light lavender tinted blue, somewhat uniform throughout, 
except on the breast, when it merges into a bright yellow; 
and the wing bars are nearly white. There is also a Silver 
variety, which bears exactly the same relation to the 



153 PIGEONS OF PECULIAR VOICE. 



Lavender that a silver pigeon does to a blue one. The 
voice of this pigeon, in both sexes, is melodious, is quite 
peculiar to the breed, and differs from that of the Trumpeter 
and Laugher. It commences by a very highly pitched, pro- 
longed COO-TOO ; then, with the head down, and with shaking 
wings, the bird breaks off into a long- sustained roo-roo-roo- 
roo-wach-wach-wach-roo-oo, which is broken now and again by 
sighs, as if it were short of breath. The hen's voice is much 
lower in tone than the cock's, and is especially sweet as 
she goes to her nest, when she purrs like a cat for about 
half a minute. 

The Laugher Pigeon. 

The Laugher is a breed of pigeon that has been known in 
this country, off and on, since Moore's time. It seems to 
have died out and been re-imported several times. Brent 
mentions two stocks of these birds he knew of. The first 
closely resembled blue chequered dovehouse pigeons, but 
were rather smaller, and had very slightly feathered legs, the 
only difference he could notice being a slight fulness at 
the back of the neck, behind the head, and the edge of the 
eyelids being inclined to red. The cock of a pair he had 
was dark chequered, the hen the same, but pied with white. 
The other stock, which, he was told, was imported from 
India, and which were taken thence by Mohammedans who had 
been on a pilgrimage to Mecca, were of the same dovehouse 
form, but with narrow, peaked crowns, and in colour of a 
light haggle, or something between a grizzle and a gay 
mottle. 

Moore says of the Laugher: "It is red mottled; and some 
tell me they have seen blues. They are said to come from 
the holy Land, near Jerusalem." It seems, therefore, that the 
breed is of different colours, sometimes peaked, and some- 
times slightly feathered on the legs. Their peculiar voice is 
what makes them a distinct breed, and Moore describes it 



154 FANCY PIGEONS. 



thus : " When the Cock plays to his Hen, he has a hoarse 
Coo, not unlike the Guggling of a Bottle of Water, when 
pour'd out, and then makes a Noise, which very much 
imitates a soft Laughter, and from thence this Bird has 
its Name." 

These pigeons are known in France as Pigeons Chanteurs 
du Soudan, Les Rieurs du Soudan, or as Chanteurs de la 
Mecque; and in Germany, as Mekkatauben. The holy city of 
Mecca appears to be the head - quarters of the breed, 
whence pilgrims take them to Mahomedan countries. They 
have probably been taken to Hindostan for centuries, as 
Akbar's Kokah Pigeon, whose voice resembles the call to 
prayer, would seem to have been of this breed. In size and 
shape they resemble common flying Tumblers. The beak is 
slender, and rather longer than that of the common clean- 
legged Tumbler. They usually carry the wings low, especially 
when laughing. 

The first of this breed I possessed was a Blue hen, that 
appears to have been brought to Dundee in a vessel from 
Calcutta. I was told that, in a certain shop, there was a 
pigeon with a very strange voice, but differing from that 
of the Trumpeter. On going to see it, I learned it was 
sold, but recognised it from the description as a Laugher. 
I found where it had gone to, and I bought it. This 
bird was barren, but she had a perfect voice. I next 
got two Blues from M. la Perre de Roo. They came 
from Marseilles, and were both hens, so I was unable to 
get any young ones. As the colour of all these birds was 
peculiar, I will describe it. Their wing coverts were of a 
smoky, leaden blue, their wing bars not very distinct, and 
their neck feathers were glossed with a reddish purple tint. 
Shortly afterwards I found, in a different shop in Dundee, 
a cock bird of this breed, which also came from India. He 
was blue chequered, with a few white feathers on the head 
and rump. From him and one of the Blue hens I bred 



155 PIGEONS OF PECULIAR VOICE. 

several young ones, resembling their mother in colour, and all 
very good in voice. I afterwards got a fine pair of pure 
Whites, and some more Blues, from M. la Perre de Roo, 
who tells me that they are not as yet very common in France. 
One of the Whites was entirely clean-legged, the other had 
short feathers on the shanks, but none on the toes. I had 
a Blue well- feathered both on legs and feet; most of them, 
however, were entirely clean-legged, but on the middle and 
outer toes had feathers about half an inch in length, which 
style seems confined to this breed, at least, I do not at present 
remember any other variety so feathered on the feet, though 
bare-legged. Some of the Blues had a yellow iris, and some 
were hazel- eyed. The eye wattle, which is generally very 
narrow, and the corners of the mouth were reddish, and the 
beak light. 

The voice of the Laugher varies considerably, so much 
so, that I could tell each bird from its voice. They vary 
in the tone and length of their notes. Their ordinary coo 
is louder and more modulated than with pigeons generally. 
It is after cooing that, with the head bent down, and with 
the wings hanging and trembling, as with other " voice " 
pigeons, they break away into a prolonged hua-hua-hua-hua ; 
all who have heard the Laugher in my pigeonry for the first 
time have been quite struck by its voice, inquiring with 
astonishment, " What's that ; what kind of pigeon is that ? " 
and wishing to hear it repeated. In fact, one never tires 
of hearing it, especially when several birds, all differing 
somewhat in tone, are laughing in concert. The hens are 
nearly as musical as the cocks. A Black Pied Pouter 
cock paired with one of my odd Blue Laugher hens. She 
laid, and, her mate having been sold, sat on the eggs alone, 
and hatched and brought up a young one. This half-bred 
resembled an Austrian Pouter in shape, and was blue 
chequered in colour, without any white. I kept it to see if 
its voice would differ from that of an ordinary pigeon. When 



156 FANCY PIGEONS. 



moulted off, I found he (for it proved to be a cock bird) 
possessed a very strong, sonorous coo, but had great difficulty 
in breaking off into the laugh. Only twice did I hear him 
laugh, and that in a crude style compared to the pure 
birds; but I have little doubt that his young ones by a 
pure hen would have had very good voices had I kept, and 
bred from him. As this breed hails from Mecca, the holiest of 
Mussulman cities, I would expect to hear that it is there 
regarded as the descendant of Mahomet's pigeon. 





THE LEGHORN R U N T. 



Chapter XIX. 



PIGEONS WITH SHORT, ERECT TAILS. 




in Germany as Huhnertauben, or Fowl- 
like Pigeons, and existing in numerous varie- 
ties, these birds are not now valued in this 
country, as they appear formerly to have 
been. The peculiarities of this race are, to 
stand high, on long, unfeathered legs, to be short in the back, 
broad in the breast and body, to have a short, erectly-carried 
tail, and a long, swan-shaped, tremulous neck. 

The Leghorn Runt Pigeon. 

Moore, in his "Columbarium" (1735), describes this variety 
as follows : " The Leghorn Runt is a stately, large Pigeon, 
Seven inches or better in Legs, close feather' d, and fast Flesht, 
extremely broad chested, and very short in the back ; he carries 
his Tail, when he walks, somewhat turned up, like a Duck, 
but when he plays, he tucks it down; his neck is longer 
than any other Pigeon, which he carries bending like a Goose 
or a Swan. He is goose headed, and his Eye lies hollow in 
his Head, with a thin Skin round it, much like the Dutch 
Tumbler, but broader; his Beak is very short for so large 



158 FANCY PIGEONS. 

a Bird, with a small Wattle on it, and the upper chap a 
little bending over the under. 

"They are a very tender Bird, and great care ought to 
be taken with their young ones. I was offered Seventeen 
Shillings for a single Cock, and Sir Dolbey Thomas would 
have given me a Guinea and a half for the same Bird. 
There are very few true original ones of this breed in 
England; and if matcht to a Spanish Bunt, they will breed 
a very large Pigeon, closer in Flesh and Feather than the 
Spanish Bunt, and will breed much faster ; I have kill'd of 
their young ones which, when on the Spit, were full as large as 
middling spring Fowls. I here note that these and all 
other Bunts encrease in their bulk till they are three or 
four Tears old. 

"As to their Feather, they are various, but the best that 
I have seen were either black or red mottled. 

"There is a vast difference in these Birds, and I have seen 
very bad ones, that have been brought from Leghorn, little 
better than a common Bunt ; however, this is the genuine 
true Description of the Leghorn Bunt, which is more valued 
than any other sort of Bunts." 

The author of the " Treatise on Pigeons " (1765) quotes the 
foregoing, and adds : " Mr. Moore says they are a very tender 
Bird; but I must beg leave to dissent from that opinion of 
them, having kept them several winters in a little shed or 
room, one side of which was entirely open, and exposed to 
the easterly winds, with no other fence but a net which kept 
them confined. I have known four guineas given for a pair 
of these Birds. I have had a hen of the Leghorn breed 
which weighed two pounds two ounces avoirdupois weight." 
The illustration of this breed in the Treatise of 1765 repre- 
sents a large, heavy-looking bird, with sunken eyes and half- 
erect tail, but not nearly so pronounced in type as my illus- 
tration, which is taken from the Black or Black Mottled 
variety of the race, often shown of late in this country as 



159 PIGEONS WITH ERECT TAILS. 

the Burmese. It seems to me, after consideration, that 
Moore's Leghorn Runt was either the breed known on the 
Continent as the great Maltese Pigeon, or the species described 
by Neumeister as the Monteneur, said to be formerly common 
in Stralsund and Griefswald in Pomerania. As I shall after- 
wards show, when treating of the Pomeranian Pouter, there 
appears to have been some connection between the fanciers 
of London and Pomerania during the early part of last 
century, and my idea is, that Moore's Leghorn Runt, though 
apparently of the type of the great Maltese Pigeon, was so 
large that it must have been more like the Monteneur. 

A very exhaustive treatise on the Huhnertauben has lately 
appeared in G. Priitz's " Mustertaubenbuch," now publishing, 
in parts, in Germany. Mr. O. Neef informs me it is from 
the pen of the Baron Yon "Washington. 

The Burmese Pigeon. 

This variety, called in Germany der Epaulettenscheck, 
Huhntaube, or, as we would say, Shoulder-mottled Hen, or 
Fowl-shaped Pigeon, is certainly the most pronounced in 
type of the race. It stands high on the legs, with a short, 
erect tail, below which the flight feathers ought to meet at 
the points, though sometimes they are carried above the tail ; 
but this is not correct. The long, swan-shaped, tremulous 
neck, suggests a remote connection with the Fantail Pigeon; 
and, indeed, a fan- shaped tail on a good specimen of the 
Burmese would transform it into a long-legged Fantail. The 
tail feathers, however, in this bird, are as abnormally short 
as they are unusually long in a good Fantail; so that, when 
held in the hand, the feet ought to extend beyond them. 
Whether or not the Burmese came to Europe from Bunnah 
or India I am not aware, but I never saw anything like it 
during my residence in the Bast. The idea has struck me 
that either this pigeon, or the Mookee, might have been the 
Narrow-tailed Shaker of Willughby. In size, Burmese Pigeons 



160 FANCY PIGEONS. 



come midway between common pigeons and large Runts, 
being from 2Lb. to 31b. a pair. 

The following varieties of the Hiihnertauben, or Fowl-shaped 
Pigeons, are described by German writers : 

The Maltese Pigeon. 

Die Maltliesertaube (the Maltese) is of the size of a small 
English Bantam fowl, with a smooth head, somewhat long 
and tapering ; a truncate beak, strong nasal skin, deep set eyes ; 
fleshy, red eyelids; a somewhat projecting crop, broad back; 
round, arched breast ; small, short wings ; strong, smooth, red 
legs and feet ; and a very short tail, standing up straight over 
the pinions of the wings, and seeming as if cut off short with 
scissors. The lower part of the body behind is, as with 
the domestic fowl, thickly provided with down. The whole 
form is globular, almost as broad as it is long, and very high- 
legged. The Gallinaceous Pigeon has a turned-up rump, 
like the Fantail Pigeon. It takes long steps, and its bearing, 
gait, and the movements of its head, are like the common 
fowl. It propagates well, and brings up young ones all the 
year round, except during the moulting season. The plumage 
is, with the pure original race, self-coloured white ; next to 
it comes the whole-coloured blue. With other coloured ones, 
as black and brown, its characteristics are weakened. These 
birds are chiefly found in the neighbourhood of Linz. 

Judging from Neumeister's illustration, these birds would 
appear to weigh something like 31b. per pair. He figures a 
variety called the Kleine Maltheser, or Little Maltese, which 
appears little bigger than a common Tumbler. 

The Florentine Pigeon. 

Die Florentiner oder Piemontesertaube (the Florentine, or 
Piedmont Pigeon) is a peculiarly marked variety. The head 
and neck, the shoulders, and the tail are coloured. This 
marking is also found in other pigeons, such as the Modena 



161 PIGEONS WITH ERECT TAILS. 

Flying Pigeon. The Florentine is described as being about 
the size of an English Bantam hen, similar in characteristics 
to the Maltese, and generally with blue markings. German 
writers class the Modena Flying Pigeon as a variety of the 
Hilhnertauben, and it may have been produced from the 
Florentine; but although the Modenese Pigeon sometimes 
carries the tail raised, it ought to be horizontal. 

The Speckled Hen Pigeon. 

Die Huhnerschecke Taube (the Speckled Hen Pigeon) re- 
sembles the Maltese in its general points, but is seldom so 
round in build. Its head is fine; its wax-coloured, some- 
what strong beak is of the usual length; its neck and legs 
are somewhat shorter than the Maltese, and it seldom carries 
its tail so upright. It has often fourteen feathers in the 
tail; the inner side of the leg is sometimes provided with 
short feathers; the ground colour is white, with black, red, 
yellow, and blue speckles of a very intense colour. 

The Hungarian Pigeon. 

Ungar'sche Taube (the Hungarian Pigeon) is described as 
follows: By perseverance and chance, there has risen from 
the Florentine the so much liked, beautifully marked, 
and expensive Hungarian Pigeon. It is found mostly in 
Austrian Hungary. The nearer it approaches the Maltese 
in form, the better. The colouring of its plumage is beauti- 
ful; the black deep and velvety, with metallic sheen; the 
red and yellow fiery and sated; the blue clear. Its dis- 
tinguishing mark is the so-called " band " mark, which is 
peculiar to this pigeon. This white band, or stripe, begins 
at the nostrils, about the breadth of a straw, widens as it 
goes back, dividing the colouring of the head, and disappears 
at the nape of the neck, which is white down to the 
shoulders. The colour, therefore, runs over each eye, turns 
down by the ears, and forms a deep, pear-shaped bib on 

p 



162 FANCY PIGEONS. 

the breast. Viewed in profile, the front of the neck is 
coloured, the back of it white. The whole of the wing 
coverts and scapular feathers, the flights, the tail and its 
coverts, are coloured. 

The foregoing descriptions of the Huhnerschecke and 
Ungar'sche Tauben are from Priitz's Die Arten der Hanstaube, 
and the third edition of Neumeister's work, edited by Priitz ; 
but the latter, in his new work on pigeons, presently pub- 
lishing in Hamburg, describes the Huhnerschecke at great 
length, and gives illustrations of its head and neck, from 
which it appears to answer the above description of the 
Hungarian Pigeon, a breed he no longer notices. There 
seems to have been more than one name for the same breed, 
but, until I see the various sub-varieties of the race, I shall 
not be able to give a more intelligible account of them. It 
is a pity that taste among fanciers in this country does not 
tend more in the direction of the numerous beautiful varie- 
ties existing abroad; we might then see, at the large shows, 
more variation in form and feather than we have been accus- 
tomed to, and the long lines of Homing Antwerps, which are 
not really exhibition pigeons, would be replaced by something 
worth looking at. 

The Monteneur Pigeon. 

The Monteneur Pigeon is the last of this race mentioned 
by Neumeister, and I think it is the most likely of any to 
be the Leghorn Runt of Moore, as it is said to excel both 
the Romain and Montauban in size. Its description is as 
follows : " A formerly pretty well known, but for long very 
rare, pigeon, which, by its gigantic size, more resembles a 
hen than a pigeon. Body and breast strong, provided with 
a rather short tail. It proves somewhat clumsy in flight, 
while it moves easily on the ground with its unfeathered, 
rather high, legs. The long neck is, with the cocks, very 
strong, and the crop, when cooing, a little more inflated 



163 PIGEONS WITH ERECT TAILS. 

than with common pigeons. In size, the Monteneur excels 
both the Roman and Montauban Pigeons, has shorter wings 
and tail than these, and reminds one more of a domestic 
fowl than a pigeon. The colour is generally blue, dappled, 
or red. In the North of Germany, these pigeons were for- 
merly much bred in Griefswald, Stralsund, and Colberg, but 
seem to have become quite extinct there." 

The Strasser Pigeon. 

This pigeon is classed by Priitz among the feather pigeons, 
but said to be a cross product of the Florentine Hiihntaube, 
which it resembles in marking. It is said to resemble the 
Polish Lynx Pigeon in its extraordinary fecundity, and to be 
one of the best for table purposes, or as a nurse for more 
delicate breeds. 

Other Fowl-Shaped Varieties. 

Priitz mentions self-coloured reds, yellows, and White- 
shielded Fowl Pigeons, the latter being marked the reverse 
way of a Turbit-marked pigeon. 




Chapter XX. 




<X THE FANTAIL PIGEON. X 
History and Literature. 

RITERS on pigeons, both British and foreign, 
agree that Hindostan was the birthplace of the 
Fantail Pigeon. It is certainly there where it 
is found in the greatest numbers. That such 
a curious and beautiful domestic bird would be 
early taken by traders, from where it originated, into distant 
lands, there can be no doubt ; but it is impossible to fix any time 
for its arrival in Europe. The Romans, in all probability, would 
have it from India, if it existed there 2,000 years ago. I some- 
times think there must be old manuscripts existing that would 
be of great interest to pigeon fanciers, and, some day or other, 
old lore on the subject of our domestic pigeons may come 
to light when least expected. In Calcutta, the Fantail is the 
commonest variety found for sale, and I think I am well 
within the mark in saying that from 200 to 300 pairs of 
them annually leave that city, in vessels bound to the different 
ports connected with it by trade. Fantails have existed for 
at least two centuries in England, as we find from Willughby, 
who refers to them as "Broad tail'd Shakers called Shakers 



165 THE FANTAIL. 

because they do almost constantly shake or wag their heads 
and necks up and down. Broad tailed, from the great number 
of feathers they have in their tails; they say not fewer than 
twenty- six. When they walk up and down, they do for the 
most part hold their tails erect, like a hen or Turkey Cock. 
These also vary much in Colour." It is also necessary, for 
the better understanding of what I shall have to say, to 
quote Moore's description, who also terms the bird the Broad- 
tailed Shaker. "This Pigeon has a beautiful long thin Neck, 
which bends like the Neck of a Swan, leaning towards the 
Back ; it has a frequent tremulous Motion, or shaking in 
the Neck, especially when salacious, which is the Reason 
they are called Shakers. It has a full Breast, a very short 
Back, and a Tail consisting of a great Number of Feathers, 
seldom less than four-and-twenty, which it spreads in a very 
elegant Manner, like the Tail of a Turkey Cock, and throws 
it up so much that the Head and Tail frequently meet. They 
are called by some Fan-Tails, and I once saw one that had 
six-and- thirty Feathers in its Tail; but when they have so 
many Feathers, it is apt to make them lop their Tails, and 
not let it meet with their Head, which is a very great Fault. 
They are most commonly all white, tho' I have seen both black, 
blue, red, and yellow Pieds, but the white ones have generally 
the best Carriage in their Tail and Head : There are two 
Sorts of these Broad tail'd Shakers, the one having a Neck 
much longer and more slender than the other ; but the longest 
Neck is the most beautiful and the most esteem'd." 

If the chief varieties of fancy pigeons, excepting the 
English Pouter and Carrier, did exist in anything like 
perfection in Moore's time, they must have declined in quality 
during the following century; for it is during the lifetime 
of the present generation that the Barb, Trumpeter, Fantail, 
Jacobin, Owl, and Turbit have been improved, and in every 
case by the introduction of foreign blood; so that our day 
may be well termed the "renaissance" of the fancy. Moore 



166 FANCY PIGEONS. 

mentions two varieties of the Fantail, but tie long-necked, 
tremulous, short-backed variety, seems to have died out in 
England, along with good quality in the rest of the above- 
mentioned kinds. 

The Indian Fantail. 

Indian Fantails, as found in Calcutta, are usually entirely 
white, with large, well-spread tails, long backs, and without 
much tremulous motion in the neck. It is rare to get them 
both smooth-headed and free of leg feather, most of them 
having peak-crested heads, or grouse-feathered legs, while some 
have both. Indian fanciers are fond of putting small brass 
bangles on the legs of Fantails. This is done before the birds 
leave the nest, so that, when full grown, the ornaments cannot 
fall off. The bangles are hollow, and open at the edges, and 
have small metal balls put into them; their edges are then 
brought close together, and, as the birds walk about, a tinkling 
sound is produced. In India, the tail feathers of Fantails 
are sometimes cut off short, and the ends of Peacocks' tail 
feathers introduced into the hollow stumps. If well done, this 
has a pretty effect. After the entirely white Fantails, whole 
blues, and ash-coloured, or barless blues, are the commonest. 
The latter are nearly even in colour all over. I knew a 
fancier in Calcutta who had a breed of glossy green lustred 
blacks, with peaked heads and feathered legs. I knew of 
whole reds and yellows in India, but never saw any. They 
belonged to a doctor in the Government service at Dinapore, 
and at his death were advertised for sale, but before I could 
secure them, as I intended doing, they were bought by a 
native gentleman. I heard that fine coloured reds and 
yellows could be got in the North-west provinces of India. 

Dundee Fantails. 

Moore mentions having seen black, blue, red, and yellow 
pieds. Three old paintings in my possession, that appear 



167 THE FANTAIL. 



to be about 150 years old, represent Fantails. The best is 
a completely Turbit- marked, or Saddle-backed yellow, while 
the other two are almond-feathered. The latter have low- 
cut white heads and bibs, and are partly white in the tail. 
The author of the treatise mentions an almond Narrow-tailed 
Shaker, which was purchased by a certain nobleman. My 
two paintings of almonds represent more than Narrow-tailed 
Shakers, but they do not come up to the yellow Saddle-back, 
which is a very good Fantail. The red and yellow pieds 
must have become extinct in England, but black and blue 
pieds still exist, I believe. They also existed in Scotland 
fifty years ago, and were found in Dundee and its neighbour- 
hood. From forty to fifty years ago, there was imported into 
Dundee from where is not certain, though a fancier 
there, Mr. David M'Intosh, who remembers the bird well, 
asserts that it came from India a well-marked black Saddle- 
back Shaker hen, of high quality, which was the origi- 
nator of the breed known as Dundee Saddle-backed Fantails. 
This hen, crossed with the then existing breed of black and 
blue pieds, produced a race of pied Broad -tailed Shakers of 
the greatest excellence, which have, unfortunately, become very 
scarce. A fancier named Mudie, who was lame, and went 
by the name of "Cripple Mudie," had the strain about forty 
years ago, and he bred many excellent specimens of red 
and black-sided ones. He possessed the original hen, which, 
when mated with a black splashed cock, produced one or 
more red pieds, which were the progenitors of the Red- 
marked ones, now nearly extinct. From recent inquiries I 
have made, I believe this to be the true account of the 
origin of these birds. The original black-saddled hen was 
first secured by a Mr. Alexander Dow, who told me, in 1880, 
that he sold her to the said Mudie. One of the first pigeons 
I ever possessed was a red Saddle-backed Fantail. This 
was thirty-five years ago, and about ten years afterwards I 
had another red-sided cock of extraordinary style. The 



168 FANCY PIGEONS. 



latter could never breed while I had it, but when it became 
three or four years of age it began to breed. It was then 
in the possession of a fancier named Mure, or Muir, in 
Glasgow, to whom I sold it, and I believe its descendants 
are still to the fore in the "West of Scotland. The reason 
the coloured-sided birds became so scarce about Dundee was, 
that pure white ones became the fashion. To obtain these, 
crossing with whites was resorted to, but splashed and 
saddle-marked ones long continued, and still continue, to 
come, even when breeding whites together, on account of the 
coloured strain there is in them. As far as I ever saw, the 
Dundee Saddle-backs were seldom marked quite so accurately 
as a Turbit, but had generally more or less coloured feathers 
in the head, neck, and breast, and sometimes in the tail. 
The few good ones still in existence are marked more 
or less in the same way, though they do not appear so at 
shows. Careful breeding would, however, do much to rectify 
this, if even only a few persevering fanciers were to turn 
their thoughts to the breed. I know one or two who are 
directing their attention to Saddle-backs, and hope they will 
be successful. 

There is no doubt in my mind that the bird or birds 
which originated the Dundee breed of Fantails came from 
India, because I had one of the same style in Calcutta. It 
was a red Saddle-back cock, the exact counterpart of the 
one I sold to the Glasgow fancier some twenty-five years ago. 
I bought it in the Tiretta Bazaar, Calcutta, about 1870, and 
it was the only one of the wonderful Shaking breed I ever 
saw there. Not following up its history at the time, I never 
learned where it came from; but, on my return to this 
country, I wrote to a friend in India, who could procure me 
similar birds if they were to be got, and he told me they 
were very scarce, but that he knew of them. He died shortly 
afterwards, however, and I have not been able to learn more 
about them. The bird in question lived but a short time. 



169 THE FANTAIL. 

It was not clean cut, but had a mottled neck and breast, 
like the old Dundee birds. 

English Fantails. 

Twenty-five years ago, when shows began to get common 
in this country, white Fantails of a large size, with little 
action, loose in feather, and with immense tails, which were 
sometimes carried right over their backs, entirely concealing 
the latter, were often exhibited. Scotch fanciers, whose ideas 
of a Fantail were ail towards high style of carriage, could 
not endure these non-shakers, which, though called English 
Fantails, were, I believe, if the truth were told, nothing but 
imported Calcutta birds, or their immediate descendants. The 
battle for precedence between the two breeds for they are 
distinct breeds then commenced, and it has ended in a com- 
promise. English Fantail fanciers have crossed their large, 
motionless birds with the small Scotch shaking breed, and 
Scotch fanciers have bred for tail, so that both can now 
meet on the show bench with more equality than formerly. 
For my own part, I like the old breed of small, round, 
compact, close-feathered, dancing birds, which I never tire of 
admiring, as they are ever on the move. At the same time, 
they are seldom seen with the tails necessary for show 
birds, to breed which is the difficulty. They breed very true, 
although they have often been crossed to make them en- 
tirely white; and, except for the size, shape, and carriage of 
tail, they can so easily be bred good, that they present little 
scope for competition. 

Fancy Points. 

The properties of the Fantail are as follows: 
SIZE. Other things being equal, I prefer the Fantail as 
small as possible. I weighed a cock and hen, matured birds, of 
the Dundee shaking breed, and they were 12oz. and lOoz. respec- 
tively. The hen was extra small, the cock of an average size. 



170 FANCY PIGEONS. 

MAKE AND SHAPE. Although differing much in size, all the 
Fantails I have ever seen, excepting one pair, were of the same 
formation in head and beak, viz., the common type. Cocks are 
rather coarser in head than hens. The head is long, narrow, 
and flat, the beak long and slender. The beak wattle should 
be small, and there should be very little eye wattle. Smooth 
legs are necessary in the show Fantail, and nearly all fanciers 
prefer smooth heads. When the head is crested, the crest is 
generally a neat peak, and I never saw a shell-crested one. 
I do not dislike a peak crest on a good Fantail, though it 
necessarily takes from the rounded outline of the head and 
neck. I once saw a pair of white Fantails with rather round 
heads, and shorter and thicker beaks than usual, but they were 
not good birds otherwise. I believe they were imported from 
the Continent. Except for the flights, tail, and legs, the shape 
of the Fantail should be as round, compact, and close-feathered 
as possible. It should look like a pigeon pressed into the shape 
of a ball. A peculiarity generally found in the best Shakers is 
the split breast, an indentation running up the middle of it, 
which is most apparent in birds of good carriage. The legs 
should be moderately long. They are seldom too long, but 
often too short. 

CARRIAGE. The carriage of a first-class shaking Fantail is 
something wonderful to behold. The head is thrown back till 
it rests at the root of the tail, the crown of the head being far 
below the level of the breast. The head sometimes goes 
through the tail, which is a great fault. Some birds have an 
up and down motion in their necks, the head leaving its 
position against the tail, and returning to it by a succession of 
strokes. I dislike this style, and prefer the head to remain 
fixed in position, while the whole body of the bird is in a 
constant state of agitation. A good one is unable to walk 
forward while in action, but has to turn its tail in the direction 
it wishes to go, when it backs with a dancing style of move- 
ment. It will occasionally make three or four complete turns 



171 THE FANTAIL. 



round, as on a pivot. There seems to be some invisible 
influence trying to drag it off the ground, to counteract which 
requires all the power of gravitation. Resting only on the 
tips of its front toes, the hind ones are quite off the ground. 
The shoulders are carried close to the body, and the flights 
are often to be seen dragging on the ground. When a 
good one wants to fly, it turns its tail in the direction 
of the place it wishes to reach, when, after several feints, it 
makes a dash, turning rapidly in its flight. With all their 
extraordinary carriage, these birds are not bad fliers. Unlike 
other pigeons, they contract instead of spreading their tails 
in flight. 

TAIL. The tail feathers of the Fantail ought to be both 
longer and broader than in other pigeons of similar size. These 
feathers do not generally shed their fibres freely when growing, 
and, unless some attention is paid to this, by carefully scraping 
off the husk or skin as they grow, they will often reach their 
entire length without opening out, and become rotten. A little 
care will obviate this. Malformed tail feathers are common 
in Fantails. These are usually two separate, incomplete 
feathers, growing from one quill, often at right angles to 
each other, spoiling the appearance of the tail. The tail 
feathers ought to be frizzed at their ends and edges for 
about half their length from their extremities; not, however, 
like the feathers of the Lace Pigeon, but ten or twelve of the 
fibres may adhere together, and be divided from another set. 
Fantails with as many as forty-two tail feathers have been 
noticed. I never counted more than thirty-six. The number 
is not of so much consequence as the shape of the tail. It 
ought to form as complete a circle as possible, the opening 
at the bottom being something like a fourth part of the circle, 
or even less. Through this opening the flights should project, 
and not cross at their points. The perfect tail is quite flat, 
and, when viewed in profile, perpendicular. It ought not to 
incline forward, which is worse than being a little arched or 



172 FANCY PIGEONS. 

inclining backward. I have never seen the perfect tail on a 
really first-class Shaker, though I have seen it on a bird of 
no merit otherwise. The difficulty is to produce carriage 
and tail combined, and the nearest to it is, of course, the 
best. "While some persons even prefer an arched tail on a 
Shaker, they have not indicated how much or how little 
arch they want. Surely the perfectly flat, fan- shaped tail 
is what is wanted, and what has been seen, though not with 
all else perfect. My own illustration is not that of a 
quite flat-tailed bird, and is, so far, not that of a perfect 
specimen. 

FEATHER. I have referred to whole-feathered Fantails, such 
as white, black, blue, silver, red, and yellow, and to Turbit- 
marked, or Saddle-backed ones. The latter ought to have the 
wings, including the scapular feathers, coloured, the flight 
feathers and all else white. They have been seen very cor- 
rectly marked, though generally mottled on the head and neck, 
and otherwise foul, and such have often red or yellow irides. 
The eyes may be either hazel or gravel- coloured in a Saddle- 
back, but not broken. Yellow eyes would be difficult to breed, 
and would be so far an additional property. Whole-feathered 
yellow Fantails come from Germany, I understand, but are 
not of good quality. The Germans have, also, coloured birds 
with white tails, and reversely marked ones, as well as Saddle- 
backs, which are all described and illustrated by Neumeister. 
At a show held in Copenhagen, early in 1885, Saddle-backed 
Fantails, of various colours, were exhibited. I think much 
of my old paintings of almonds and a yellow Saddle-back, 
evidently portraits, as they show me that such birds formerly 
existed. 

Boitard and Corbie, in writing of the Fantail, say : " It is all 
white, or white with the head and tail black; they are also 
found with the shoulders (manteau) and tail affected with all 
the colours common to pigeons." Saddle-backs are preferred 
with only coloured wings ; but I have seen them with the tail 



173 THE FANTAIL. 

coloured as well. The German and French, names for the 
Fantail are Pfautaube, and Pigeon Trembleur Paon, both signi- 
fying Peacock Pigeon. 

The Fantail Club. 

The Fantail Club was established in the year 1885, chiefly 
for the purpose of endeavouring to put down the dishonest 
practice, so common of late, of manipulating Fantails, so that 
very ordinary birds are manufactured into the semblance of 
good ones. The adepts at this art have for years succeeded 
in carrying off the principal prizes, and sold numerous good- 
looking birds, which, after moulting in their purchasers' pos- 
session, have turned out ordinary spoon-tailed specimens ; but 
they have kept the secret of their art so well, that no one 
can say what methods they employ. Pasteboard, or wire 
frames, for fixing to the tail during its growth, at the annual 
moult, is said to be one of the means employed; while extra 
feathers, fixed into the quills of the natural ones, have actually 
been discovered in the tails of prize birds. Loading the lower 
tail feathers with lead, so as to form as complete a circle 
as possible, is also in vogue. When such frauds are con- 
stantly practised, honest men get disgusted, and go into 
some other variety, declining to compete with those who 
artificially improve their birds. 

The Lace Fantail. 

Lace Fantails, so called from their feathering being similar 
to that of the Lace Pigeon already referred to, are known 
in Germany as Seiden Pfautauben, and in France as Pigeons 
Trembleur Paon de Soie, names signifying Silken Fantails. I 
believe they are generally white, and were probably produced 
from the Fantail and Lace Pigeon. The Lace-feathered Fan- 
tails that have reached us from abroad could only be described 
as narrow-tailed; but from them, and good specimens of 
ordinary close-feathered Fantails, Scotch fanciers have pro- 



174 FANCY PIGEONS. 

duced the modern Laced birds, which, in some late instances? 
have been bred so good as to be able to compete successfully 
in classes of any variety of the breed. The Laced and common 
kinds, when bred together, produce young of both types, and 
the close-feathered ones so bred may be depended on, when 
bred back to a Laced bird, to produce a large proportion of 
the Lace-feathered variety. This peculiar feathering is, there- 
fore, not only maintained without difficulty, but easily trans- 
mitted to other pigeons. The only colour yet seen in Laced 
Fantails is pure white, but I think blacks and blues might be 
produced without much trouble. 

After describing this pigeon, Boitard and Corbie have the 
following: "Pigeon Trembleur de la Guyane. This superb 
variety has the tail large, and displayed like the Peacock, and 
has been brought from Guiana, from which it takes its name. 
The ground of its plumage is of a dull white; the wings are 
blue, shaded with a sort of bright eyes, and rays of black 
bars. All the races of small pigeons crossed with the Lace 
Fantail produced laced pigeons of all forms and colours; but, 
especially if the latter is bred with a pigeon with black-barred 
wings, their young will have fringed bars of various colours, 
imitating tapering fringes, and producing a very agreeable 
effect." This would appear to be a coloured-winged Lace 
Fantail, with a fancifully derived name, just as they name 
certain colours in other varieties "Siam." It seems unlikely 
that any special variety should hail from Guiana. 





THE JACOBIN PIGEON. 



Chapter XXI. 



THE JACOBIN PIGEON. 
History and Literature. 




TIRING the past few years, there has been con- 
siderable controversy over this variety, which 
is one of the choicest in the whole fancy. 
Such controversy was nothing new, for, although 
J it turned on a fresh question regarding what 
constitutes the true breed, our first writer of note on pigeons 
John Moore, himself clearly indicates that there were differ- 
ences of opinion in his day about this pigeon. Subsequent 
writers, mostly imitators of Moore, continued denouncing the 
Jacobins of their time as not the true breed, and there has 
been no rest for its breeders, as first one, and then another 
writer, felt called on to declaim in no measured terms against 
the generally accepted standard of the breed. I will give my 
ideas on the questions forming the chief differences of opinion 
later on, and commence with an account of what is known of 
the Jacobin from books. It is mentioned by Aldrovandus, in his 
" Ornithology," as the Columba Cypria Cucullata. Willughby, 
who was indebted to Aldrovandus for a good deal of what 
he wrote on pigeons, says : " Jacobines, called by the Low 



176 FANCY PIGEONS. 

Dutch, Cappers, because, on the hinder part of the head, or 
nape of the neck, certain feathers reflected upward encompass 
the head behind, almost after the fashion of a monk's hood 
when he puts it back to uncover his head. These are called 
Cyprus Pigeons by Aldrovand, and there are of them rough- 
footed. Aldrovandus has set forth three or four, either species 
or accidental varieties of this kind. Their bill is short, the 
irides of their eyes of a pearl colour, and the head (as Mr. 
Cope told us) in all white." It is to be noted, that there 
were Bald-headed Jacobins before 1676, according to what 
Mr. Cope, the Pouter fancier of Jewin-street, told Willughby. 

Moore, of course, gives a good account of the Jacobin, which 
was then, as now, called the Jack, for shortness. It was then, 
" if true, the smallest of all Pigeons, and the smaller still 
the better " ; and he adds : " there are but very few now to be 
found in England compleat." I think it unlikely that Moore 
ever saw such good Jacobins as are in existence at the present 
time, after reading that "the Feathers of this Chain ought 
to be long and close, so that, if you strain the Neck a little, 
by taking hold of the Bill, the two sides will lap over each 
other in some of the best." The very best, in his time, there- 
fore, required the above treatment before their chains would 
cross in front. Nowadays, many Jacobins exist whose chains 
lap over naturally, not only without straining the neck by 
"taking hold of the Bill," but without cutting out a piece of 
the skin of the throat, as " Mayor " (1765) says was practised 
for the same purpose. Moore describes a pigeon known as a 
Ruff, "larger than the true original Jacobine, tho' in shape 
and make much the same. It has a longer Beak, the Irides 
of the Eyes in some are of a Pearl Colour, in others of a 
Gravel Colour, the Feathers of its Hood and Chain are much 
longer, tho' the Chain does not come down so low to the 
Shoulders of the Wings, neither are they so close and com- 
pact as the others, but are apt to blow about by every blast 
of Wind, fall more backward off the Head, and lie in a rough 



177 THE JACOBIN. 



confus'd Manner, whence the Pigeon has its Name. The Strain 
of Jacobines has been much vitiated by matching them to this 
Pigeon, in Order to improve their Chain by the Length of the 
Buff's Feathers, but instead of this, the Jack is bred larger, 
longer-beakt, looser in its Hood and Chain, and in short worsted 
in all its original Properties." 

The account of the Jacobin in the Treatise of 1765 contains 
very little in addition to that of Moore, whose ideas are 
retained, though his language is altered. The ruff is also 
described, and its use in Jacobin-breeding condemned. Yellow 
Jacobins had the preference over the other colours. The por- 
trait or illustration in that book representing the breed is, 
however, very good, considering all things, and is the earliest 
fancier's picture of a Jacobin I know of, Willughby's, of 1676, 
and another in Albin's "History of Birds" (1734), not being 
worth consideration. The following passage from the Treatise 
(page 117) points to another picture of a Jacobin as existing, 
but I have not yet met with it : " The following being in itself 
so uncommon, and a fact, I cannot help taking notice of it : a 
person the other day passing through Fleet-street, seeing a 
print of this Bird " (the Jacobin) " at a shop window, stopped 
to make his observations thereon, and having well viewed it, 
he went in and purchased it, declaring to the seller, that he 
never saw a stronger likeness in his life; and as for the wig, 
it was exactly the same he always wore. For he imagined 
it altogether a caricatura of one of his intimate acquaintance ; 
and the person of whom he bought it, did not think it necessary 
at that time to undeceive him." 

The picture of a Jacobin in the Treatise represents a very 
round-headed, short-beaked, rather down-faced, apparently high- 
cut bird, with the broad eye wattle of a good Jacobin. It is 
entirely dark-thighed and vented, and full-flighted as far as 
seen. The chain feathers are long, but do not meet in front, 
as they ought to do. The mane is clearly brought out, but 
is not so even at its ridge as many modern birds have it. 

B 



178 FANCY PIGEONS. 



We know that the Short-faced Tumbler had not reached a high 
degree of quality when the author wrote, and, as he says, " the 
true Jack is a very small Bird, very little bigger than a 
tumbler ; " we know that, whatever its size was when Moore 
wrote, it was by no means the smallest of pigeons thirty years 
afterwards. The fact is, all the small varieties of pigeons 
produce extra small stock occasionally, and although small 
size is admired in many varieties, quality in the properties that 
go to make them excellent ought not to be, and is not, sacrificed 
for size. 

One of a set of eight oil paintings of pigeons in my posses- 
sion, evidently about 150 years old, is a self-coloured Jacobin, 
with feathered legs and bare feet. It is a gravel-eyed, short 
and open-chained, large bird, not worth consideration from a 
fancier's point of view. Although I was able to rub off the 
varnish from the other seven pictures, I could make nothing 
of this one ; but from what I can make out, it represents a blue 
with black bars. 

There is not much difference in modern opinion regarding 
what a Jacobin Pigeon ought to be, excepting on the property 
called the mane. Some say the mane is wrong, and that a 
breed existed having a clean division of the feathers all round 
the back of the neck, which was the true breed. If this is 
correct, I have never seen it, and, moreover, do not believe 
it is natural for the feathers of the Jacobin to grow in 
this way. I have formed this opinion from observation of 
great numbers of the breed, both British and foreign not 
poor, half-bred looking things, known in country places, and 
by mere keepers of pigeons, as Ruffs, but what were fairly 
good Jacobins. The feathers at the back of the neck in the 
Jacobin, Trumpeter, and some other varieties, can be moved by 
them at will, so that they assume different positions at different 
times. The Jacobin in the Treatise is certainly a maned bird ; 
and Brent wrote, in the Poultry Chronicle of 20th September, 
1854, when describing the Jacobin : " At the lower part of the 



179 THE JACOBIN. 



chain the feathers turn out all round, and expose a centre 
spot of white down." Exactly so; the rose is the centre of 
chain, tippet, and mane. The following is what the German 
ornithologist, Friderich, says in his " Natural History of Birds " 
(second edition, 1863), where he treats of pigeons at great 
length : " The feathery ruff runs along the sides of the neck, 
down over the angles of the wings, reaches upwards over a 
part of the crown, like a cowl, forming the mane (mahne) 
towards the back part of the neck. This feathery ruff is parted 
along the sides of the neck towards the front, the back, and 
the top." Mr. P. H. Jones had Jacobins with manes before 
1840, and Mr. Esquilant before 1850, according to their pub- 
lished statements. From all the foregoing, nothing could be 
more clear, than that the mane is not a modern property of 
the Jacobin. I am inclined to believe, that the mere assertion 
that it was modern has been the cause of most of the late 
disturbance, some fanciers being so conservative that they 
oppose, on principle, all new ideas. 

Another hallucination regarding the Jacobin is, that its head 
and beak, or its marking, were derived from the Bald-headed 
Tumbler. It was a short-faced bird before the Short-faced 
Tumbler was in existence. It would be something like a 
hundred years after "Willughby described it before a Short- 
faced Baldhead was produced. The Baldhead is first described 
in 1765, among common Tumblers. Is it for its marking that 
it is a relative of the Tumbler? Then why not choose the 
German Monk, Priest, Bingbeater, or even the old Bald-headed 
German Pouter, for its ancestor not to mention the Indian 
Mookee, and plenty more P To say that it derived its marking 
from the Tumbler, is about on a par with what a " judge " once 
said to me at a show, when I asked him why he had entirely 
passed some very good Baldheads in a class of Flying Tumblers. 
" Give a prize to these things," said he ; " why, they're bred 
from Jacobins." I could not reply to this, for I quite lost the 
power of speech. In comparing the pictures of the Jacobin 

K 2 



180 FANCY PIGEONS. 



and Almond Tumbler in the Treatise, the former is all we want 
in head and beak, the latter a mere Long-faced common Tumbler. 
Nothing could be more erroneous than to say, as Brent and 
others have said, that a Short-faced Baldhead with a Jacobin's 
hood and chain would be the perfect Jacobin. It might be a 
pretty pigeon, but it would be the very opposite of a Jacobin in 
many ways. 

Jacobin Properties. 

The properties of the Jacobin are size, shape, carriage, head, 
beak, eye, legs and feet, quality of feather, hood, chain, tippet, 
rose, mane, colour, and marking. It must not be inferred 
that I consider them valuable in the order named. I shall 
merely describe what I consider a perfect bird, and no bird 
can be considered very good which is not fairly well up in all 
points. The same remarks must be held to apply to my 
descriptions of all other varieties. 

SIZE. There is considerable difference in size among 
Jacobins. When other things are equal, the smaller pigeon 
is to be preferred. By equal, I mean equal in proportion 
to size. 

SHAPE. The neck ought to be long. This is a grand property, 
the effect of which can easily be seen by comparing long-necked 
and short-necked birds together. The body ought to be long, 
and narrow in girth. A well-bred Jacobin, which weighs the 
same, or even rather more, than a pigeon of another variety, 
will easily force its way through the bars of a cage which will 
effectually confine the latter. I have seen this illustrated 
in the case of a very small African Owl and a Jacobin, the 
latter being much the heavier pigeon of the two, which 
gives a good idea of the difference in shape between the two 
varieties. 

CARRIAGE. A Jacobin of the best type, whose head is well- 
smothered in hood and chain, is unable to see well about it. 
Such birds have a groping way of going about, and endeavour, 



181 THE JACOBIN. 



by stretching their necks, to see over those chain feathers 
which obscure their vision. Some of the longest-chained birds 
are, consequently, all the better for being clipped about the 
eyes during the breeding season, like the best Trumpeters. The 
real carriage of the Jacobin is seen when the cock is driving 
the hen to nest. The head is carried well up, and the chain 
will then lap over in front, if it ever will. 

HEAD. The head should be broad across the crown, and well 
rounded off over the eyes. There should be a little tuft of 
feathers projecting over each eye, like two small horns; but 
this is only seen in broad-skulled, short-faced birds, and not 
always in them. These tufts are quite a peculiarity of the breed. 
The forehead must be broad and prominent, well rounded in 
profile, from the crown to the beak wattle, and not showing a 
stop, as in the Short-faced Tumbler. A narrow skull, and run- 
out, or mousey head, is a great fault. 

BEAK. This should be short, and rather thick at its base, 
but coming to a fine point, with a downward inclination. The 
true beak is differently formed from that of the Owl tribe, 
not being so blunt and thick at the tip; the beak wattle 
should be fine and smooth. Any gullet is faulty, though it 
is sometimes found in good birds. 

EYE. The irides should be of a pearly white colour, but 
often have a reddish tinge round their outer circles. Clouded 
or dusky pearl, yellow, red, broken, and entirely dark, or bull 
eyes, are all found in Jacobins, and are all to be avoided. 
Bad as a bull eye looks, it can often be bred out easier than 
a yellow one, if it has not existed to any great extent in the 
strain. The eye wattle ought to be broad, and of a bright 
red colour. I have seen the wattle almost, if not quite, a 
quarter of an inch in breadth. In richness of colour it 
follows the quality of colour in the feather. Bad blacks, reds, 
or yellows, do not have a deep red eye wattle, though a straw- 
berry bred from a rich black and red may ; and such a wattle 
on a strawberry would indicate that it was of a good coloured 



182 FANCY PIGEONS. 



strain. I look on the broad bright red eye wattle as a great 
attraction in an otherwise good bird. 

LEGS AND FEET. Although the Jacobin may be got with 
feathered legs, such a variety having existed for centuries, 
being mentioned by Aldrovandus, Willughby, and Moore, our 
standard permits only smooth legs and feet, which should be 
small, neat, and bright red in colour. 

QUALITY OP FEATHER. The feathers should be soft and 
silky, of great length, making the bird appear larger and 
heavier than it would prove to be on being handled. The 
flights should extend considerably beyond the tail, as much 
as an inch when the bird is in the hand, though usually not 
to such an extent when it is at liberty; but the longer they 
are the better. 

HOOD. The hood is the property of utmost consequence in 
the Jacobin. It is formed by the feathers round the back of 
the head and upper neck all growing forward. The feathers 
of the head do not, in a good bird, turn up where they meet 
the forward growing hood, and so fall into the sweep of it, 
as they would prevent it lying close; but the hood forces 
itself through these feathers in a succession of regular steps, 
and every feather forming the hood should grow towards the 
beak. Sometimes the feathers on one side will grow towards 
the other, and so form a twisted hood, more or less faulty. The 
head feathers will often prove too strong for the hood, and cause 
it to stick up, which spoils the bird ; and there are altogether so 
many difficulties in getting a perfectly formed hood, that to 
obtain one naturally perfect, and which requires no faking 
whatever, is half the battle in producing a good pigeon of this 
variety. Supposing the formation of the hood to be right, its 
position is next to be considered. Some commence low down 
on the nape, and cannot, in consequence, come far enough 
forward. Such a hood, often plastered down at the back of 
the h^ad, is not what is wanted; it ought to grow well for- 
ward at the back of the head, and it will then, in a long- 



183 THE JACOBIN. 



feathered bird, get as far as the middle of the head, over the 
eyes. It should lie close, but not as if pasted to the head, a 
slight space between it and the crown being well liked. It 
ought also to be regular in its outline, and not split or 
divided in its centre, as many are, but compact, well filled 
up, and look like a feathered cap reaching over the head to 
protect it. 

CHAIN. The chain, or frill, is the continuation of the for- 
ward-growing hood feathers down each side of the neck. The 
first difficulty with a good chain is the cheek feathers, or 
whiskers, growing out against it, and causing irregularity in 
its shape, to obviate which they are often weeded out. The 
chain should come down on each side of the neck as far as 
possible, and, without " taking hold of the Bill," should at 
least meet in front, hiding the beak ; so that, in a first-rate 
bird, the crown of its head is alone visible, both beak and 
eyes being hidden in feathers. An exposed throat is faulty 
according to its extent. In birds whose chains lap over, this 
is not caused by one side lying right over the other, but by the 
two sides meeting, and forcing their way through each other, 
which, of course, causes a certain irregularity that cannot be 
avoided. Otherwise, the whole outline of hood and chain 
ought to be as even as possible. The feathers forming the 
hood and chain should present a smooth surface, each one 
lying in order; this is the difficulty with very long-feathered 
birds, the shorter-feathered ones, with half an inch or more of 
exposed throat, being much easier to produce good in this 
respect. 

It will now be seen how a long neck adds to the appearance 
of the Jacobin, and how it gives room for a display of chain. 
Let a short-necked one be ever so good in hood and chain, 
it looks mean beside an equally well-furnished long-necked one. 
The ends of the chain must turn beautifully round at the 
bottom. 

TIPPET. This is formed by the feathers growing backwards 



184 FANCY PIGEONS. 



over the shoulders and back. It ought to be full, and convex 
in shape all round ; and the longer and fuller in feather a 
bird is, the better it will be in this property. 

ROSE. Opposed to the theory that the perfect Jacobin 
should have a clean division of the feathers at the back of 
its neck, part growing forward, to form the hood and chain, 
and part backward, to form the tippet, is the fact, that on 
each side of the neck the feathers grow out all round from 
a centre, as on the head of the Trumpeter. The formation of 
the rose may be well seen in a young bird as it gradually 
feathers in the nest. When about three weeks old, the young 
one which will become good when matured has a perfectly 
formed rose on each side of its neck, the feathers at the top 
of which become the mane. At maturity, the rose should 
appear as an oval- shaped spot of white down, hollow in the 
centre; in those colours which have a white under down to 
the feather, as red and yellow. In blacks, the downy part 
of the feather is not white, but of a medium tint ; but, 
although the black cannot, therefore, have such a contrast 
in colour between the chain and rose, the formation of the 
latter should be correct. The formation of hood, chain, 
tippet, and mane, may be all very good, and yet the rose 
may be faulty from an awkward feather or two standing up 
in the centre of it, the removal of which would cause all to 
look well. 

MANE. The feathers forming the mane have no connection 
with those of the hood, but grow from low down on each 
side of the neck, being those which take an upward direction 
from the centre, known as the rose. They ought to fall in 
with the sweep of the hood and tippet, filling up the cavity 
which, but for them, would exist. A good mane is difficult 
to get, as, instead of its ridge being sharp and even, one 
of the sides forming it often presses down the other, causing 
a twisted mane ; or each side may force itself through the 
other at some part, and so spoil the hogged appearance it 



185 THE JACOBIN. 



ought to have. The feathers forming the mane are also 
movable by the bird at will, so that, what may be a good 
mane at one time, is at another only a mass of rough 
feathers. The outline of the hood and mane should form 
part of a circle, and the deeper in feather a Jacobin is from 
ridge of mane to bottom of chain, and the broader from 
front of chain to tippet, the better, for all of which a long 
neck is of the greatest consequence. The great difficulty is 
to get the whole formation even in its outline, and firm in 
texture as well, for, the feathers being long, soft, and silky, 
they are generally inclined to be loose. 

COLOUR. The chief colours of the Jacobin are red, yellow, 
and black, and, for the most part, they are of good quality. 
Before the introduction of certain foreign pigeons, Jacobins 
were, indeed, regarded as sometimes perfect in colour; but I 
have never seen any with the same lustre and fatty quills 
about the under body that I have referred to when writing 
of the Swallow, and which the Smyrna Turbiteens have 
in perfection. The red, yellow, and black are, however, 
generally good, and sometimes very good in colour, though 
not absolutely perfect when compared with Turbiteens. The 
thigh and vent feathers ought to be as lustrous as the 
wing coverts, though they often fall away in reds and 
yellows to a half tint, and sometimes to a mere grey, 
which is an indication of bad colour elsewhere. The nearer 
the thigh and vent feathers approach the colour of the wing 
coverts, the better will be the colour throughout. There are 
Blue and Silver Jacobins, but, so far, they do not approach 
the red, yellow, and black in quality. Mottles also exist, 
and they are an old variety, being mentioned by Moore. 
Mottles are chiefly reds, and, while retaining the white 
head, flights, and tail, should be marked as much as pos- 
sible with single coloured feathers over a white ground. 
Pure whites are favourites, and present a difficulty in regard 
to pearl eyes, being inclined, like other pure white pigeons, 



186 FANCY PIGEONS. 



to be hazel, or broken, in the irides. When whites have a 
coloured feather or two in the hood or chain, the pearl eye 
generally accompanies them; and as it is impossible to detect 
the removal of a few feathers, what appear to be White 
Jacobins at shows are not always so in reality. In off 
colours, the chief are the strawberry, or sandy, of various 
shades ; kites ; duns ; red and yellow chequers ; an occa- 
sional red or yellow mealy, with distinct wing bars ; and 
the very dark chequer, or bad black, which, while often of 
a fair black on the wing coverts, is of blue grey on the 
thighs and vent. These are all the result of crossing the 
black, red, and yellow, or the produce of sound colours and 
such as themselves. The first cross of black and red in 
all varieties of pigeons, even in those of superlative colour, 
often results in a strawberry, which is, accordingly, useful 
in breeding back to these colours, especially to the black. 
It altogether depends, however, on how the strawberry 
itself may have been breed, whether or not it may be a 
good match for some of the solid colours, its indiscriminate 
use being calculated to spoil good colours. I have known a 
pair of Red Jacobins produce red, yellow, black, and dun 
young ones in one season. This was on account of the way 
they were bred, the cock being from a red and black, and 
the hen from a red and a yellow. 

MARKING. The Jacobin, in common with many other 
varieties of fancy pigeons none of which have any con- 
nection with it, except that, as I believe, they all descended 
originally from a common origin is marked in the way called 
bald-headed. It has been so for at least two hundred years. 
Many instances occur to me of bald-headed pigeons being 
produced from a self-coloured bird when mated with a pure 
white. The first pair of pigeons I ever possessed, which I 
bought for sixpence, while they were still unhatched, and 
which I saw in the nest day by day as they feathered, were 
a pair of Baldheads a blue and a red and were bred from 



187 THE JACOBIN. 

a whole-coloured red cock and white hen. They were 
common pigeons of mixed race, and certainly may have had 
Baldhead Tumbler blood in them, but I think it unlikely. 
The young ones had very low-cut, slobbered necks, and I 
merely mention them to show that a coloured bird, mated to 
a pure white, often breeds coloured young ones with white 
points. I had lately a similar instance in my pigeon house. 
A pure white, peak-headed, cock common pigeon, with an 
appearance of Fantail blood, mated with a whole dun Tumbler 
hen, used as feeders, reared a pair of their own young ones, 
their eggs not having been changed. One was a blue Bald- 
head, and the other a dun Baldhead such another pair as 
those I began the fancy with, thirty-five years ago, when 
aged seven. Again, when passing through Leadenhall Market 
one summer, I saw a cage containing two or three dozens of 
blue and blue-chequered dovehouse pigeons, among which 
was one with clean white head and flights. I looked at it 
particularly, and felt certain it was of the same race as the 
rest. It was, most likely, the produce of a blue and a white, 
or albino, such as may be found in almost any field dovecote. 
In fact, a coloured body with white points may be found in 
many domestic animals, such as horses, dogs, and rabbits, 
and was doubtless originally produced from the cross of 
self-colours with albinos. I merely mention all this, because 
some people refer the marking of the Jacobin to the Bald- 
headed Tumbler, while nothing is more certain than that it 
could have been produced without any admixture of alien 
blood. 

The head of the Jacobin ought to be white above a line 
running from the mouth across the eyes. Both mandibles are 
white in rich-coloured reds and yellows ; but a high-cut black 
has often the lower mandible coloured, or partly so. There 
is a natural line between the eyes and mouth, which serves as 
a guide for marking; at the same time, a few of the short 
feathers below this line are generally white, or, if not, a few 



188 FANCY PIGEONS. 

of those above it are sometimes coloured, for it is difficult to 
get the marking quite exact. When the white comes below 
the eyes, or any way down the throat, the bird is low-cut 
certainly no great eyesore in a first-class bird, which will never 
show it unless its chain be opened out; but the high-cut 
marking is what is desired. The flight feathers should be 
white to the turn, and the tail, with its coverts, also white. 
All else should be coloured, though, even in the darkest 
thighed and vented birds, there is generally some white where 
the thigh feathers finish off at the hocks. When this can 
only be detected by handling it is no great fault. It was for 
some time a very difficult matter to get full-flighted, high-cut, 
dark-thighed birds, because so many were low-cut and white- 
thighed; but during the last few years immense progress 
has been made in the desired marking. I have seen Jacobins 
imported from the Continent beautifully marked, though 
not to be compared with our own in the more important 
points of the breed; at the same time, I believe foreign 
blood has been used here, during the past twenty years, in 
bringing the Jacobin to its present high quality. 

Formerly the Carrier, Pouter, and Short-faced Tumbler were 
the only varieties regarded in this country as high-class pigeons. 
The Jacobin, Turbit, &c., were Toys. Ideas have changed, and 
the Jacobin is now regarded as a very high-class pigeon. Not 
only is it full of properties difficult to breed, but it is one 
of the most beautiful pigeons known, and a general favourite. 
I dislike placing the different varieties of pigeons in any 
order of merit, and will only say that, in my opinion, it 
ranks among the first four, leaving other fanciers to please 
themselves. 

Foreign Jacobins. 

The Jacobin is known in France as the Pigeon Nonnain, or 
Pigeon Nonnain Capucin. A variety mentioned by Boitard 
and Corbie as the Nonnain Maurin is described as follows : 



189 THE JACOBIN. 

" It is black, with the head, tail, and flight white. It is of 
a size above the ordinary Nuns " (Nonnains, i.e., Jacobins), 
'* approaching to that of Pouters. It has, like the latter, the 
habit of inflating its throat a little. It has an elegant form, 
and the ruff of feathers raised gracefully, but it is not very 
productive." Dixon, in his "Dovecote and Aviary," quoting 
from Temminck, mistakes this variety for a Nun, the name 
having misled him. In France, Nuns are styled Pigeons 
Coquilles shell-headed pigeons. 

In Germany, the Jacobin is chiefly known as the Peruck- 
entaube, or Wig Pigeon, of which there are several sub- 
varieties. I have seen self-coloured blacks, all colours of 
bald-headed with feathered legs, also most of the baldhead 
colours with both feathered legs and rose on the forehead, 
like a Priest Pigeon. There are also blues and blacks with 
white wing bars. 




Chapter XXII. 




X SHORT-FACED FRILLED PIGEONS. X> 
Historical. 

XTENSIYELT spread throughout Europe, 
Asia, and North Africa, the Short-faced Frill- 
breasted varieties include many of the most 
charming types of pigeon beauty. Some of 
the countries bordering on the Mediterranean 
Sea would seem to be the home of this race, as those we had 
in this country, or from France and - Germany, before the 
introduction of Tunis Owls and Turkish Frilled Pigeons, were 
very much inferior in many respects. There is only a meagre 
account of them in our early literature. Willughby says : 
" Turbits, of the meaning and original of which name I must 
confess myself to be ignorant. They have a very short thick 
Bill, like that of a Bullfinch; the crown of their head is 
flat and depressed; the feathers on the Breast reflected both 
ways. They are about the bigness of the Jacobines, or a 
little bigger. I take these to be the Candy or Indian doves 
of Aldrovand, torn. 2, pp. 477-478, the Low Dutch Cortbeke." 
A naturalist describing the Turbit at the present time might 
give a similar description, the head being " flat and depressed " 




>. 



THE AFRICAN OWL. 



191 FRILL-BREASTED PIGEONS. 

in the great majority. From the following account of the 
Turbit and Owl, by Moore (the description of the latter being 
the first notice by name there is of it), it will be seen how 
much he was indebted to Willughby, who wrote about sixty 
years before him: 

" The Turbit. The Reason, why this Pigeon is so nam'd by 
the English, I cannot by any Means account for; the low 
Dutch call it Cort-beke or Short-bill upon the Account of the 
Shortness of its Beak. It is a small Pigeon very little bigger 
than a Jacobine, its Beak is very short like a Partridge, and 
the shorter the better; it has a round button Head, and the 
Feathers on the Breast open and reflect both Ways, standing 
out almost like a Fringe or the Frill of a modern Shirt ; this is 
call'd the Purle, and the more of it the Bird has, the more 
it is admir'd. As for the Feather, their Tail and Back of the 
Wings ought to be of one entire Colour, as blue, black, red, 
yellow, dun and sometimes chequer'd; the flight Feathers and 
all the rest of the Body shou'd be white. They are a very 
pretty light Pigeon, and if us'd to fly when young, some 
of them make very good flyers. I have seen a Flight of 
them kept by one Girton that wou'd mount almost high as 
Tumblers. There are of this Sort all white, black, and blue, 
which by a Mistake are often call'd and taken for Owls." 

" The Owl. This Pigeon is in make and Shape like the 
former, except that the upper Chap of its Beak is hookt over 
like an Owl's from whence it has its Name. Its Plumage is 
always entirely white, blue, or black." 

Moore also mentions, when writing of the disease called the 
vertigo : " I once had a Turbit, of the Owl Kind, taken with 
it in a violent Manner." 

There is no mention of the gullet or crest in this description ; 
the head, however, is said to be round, and it was not the 
shoulder marking alone that constituted a Turbit, as it might 
be self-coloured. The difference between the Turbit and Owl 
seemed to be only in the beak. 



192 FANCY PIGEONS. 



On reading the descriptions of the Turbit and Owl in the 
Treatise of 1765, which are very much more extensive than 
Moore's, it would appear that either some recent importations 
of finer Owls had been made, or that breeders had effected great 
improvements on the old stock. The illustrations accompanying 
the descriptions differ very little in their outlines : both are 
plain-headed ; exactly alike in beak, that of the Owl not being 
hooked; the chief difference lying in the Turbit's head being 
very round, while the Owl is rather flat-crowned. The author 
says : " The owl is, according to Mr. Moore, a small Pigeon, 
very little larger than a jacobine, which might be their 
size in his time; but at present they are brought to such 
perfection, that they are hardly, if anything, larger than a 
very small tumbler. . . . Its plumage is always of one entire 
colour, as white, a fine sky-blue, black, and yellow, &c., except 
some that are chequered. The blue ones should have black 
bars cross the wings; and the lighter they are in colour, par- 
ticularly in the hackle, the more they are valued." He 
mentions the gullet, "reaching down from the beak to the 
frill," both in the Owl and Turbit ; and that the latter, when 
red and yellow, had white, not coloured, tails. For about a 
hundred years after the preceding was written, or till about 
1860, there seems to have been no improvement made in 
pigeons of the Owl tribe in England; I rather think they 
must have lost quality from neglect. Mr. Jayne says the 
African Owl was used as part of the composition of the Short- 
faced Tumbler, but the record of how and when is lost. Mr. 
Fulton says, in his book, that a Dundee fancier had African 
Owls in 1838, and that they were brought to this country by 
his brother. From what I was told by the said fancier years 
ago, I could never believe the pigeons in question were African 
Owls. In 1838 he would be about twenty years of age, and 
his elder brother, who was not a seafaring man, having occa- 
sion to make a voyage to the Baltic, brought home with him 
some coloured-tailed White Owls, which were, doubtless, the 




I! 1 5| 



THE AFRICAN OWL. 



193 FRILL-BREASTED PIGEONS. 



Danish or North German pigeons known here as Meeves 
(Movchen), which bear about the same relation to African Owls 
that Skinnums do to Carriers. 

The African Owl Pigeon. 

It was about the year 1858 that the first pair of African 
Owl Pigeons known to the present generation of British pigeon 
fanciers was imported into this country. They were exhibited 
at the Crystal Palace Show, by their importer, Mr. E. Y. Har- 
court, and the description of them in The Field newspaper of 
22nd January, 1858, is as follows : " Owls (all colours) well repre- 
sented ; but the best pair of Owls in the Show was certainly 
a pair of whites, in the class for other varieties, under the 
name of ' Booz ' Pigeons from Tunis." Since then thousands 
of these beautiful pigeons have been imported from the North 
of Africa, chiefly, I believe, from Tunis. The late Mr. John 
Baily, jun., who, with his father, did a large business in 
exporting and importing fancy pigeons, informed me that these 
beautiful birds were bred, he understood, about the mosques 
in Tunis, and allowed to pair together as they liked. If this 
is so, they must certainly be the only variety there, or the 
breed could not be kept pure. As far as I know, no experienced 
fancier has yet visited Tunis, so we have but little informa- 
tion regarding these birds, and can only judge of them as 
they appear. How they originated, or came to- be located in 
Tunis, is a mystery. The great proportion of those brought to 
this country are quite worthless in comparison with the select 
few in each shipment ; so that Mr. Baily told me that latterly 
it did not pay to import them, as, when the one or two good 
ones had been picked out, the rest were unsaleable. From the 
careless treatment they generally get on the voyage, as well 
as from the fact that a great proportion of them arrive in 
their nest feathers, canker, and other diseases of the head 
and throat, are very prevalent among those that come to this 
country, so that I have known only some ten or fifteen per 

8 



194 FANCY PIGEONS. 

cent, of a lot survive the first month of their residence here. 
They are very delicate pigeons, but, when acclimatised, are 
fairly hardy, and good breeders. I have bred them in this 
country, as well as in India, where they do very well. 

In detailing the properties of the African, or Tunisian Owl, 
I may say, that the nearer all the frill-breasted, gulleted pigeons 
approach the ideal standard of conformation, the better they 
are. Some fanciers agree with me, others do not. Under each 
variety I shall describe the various differences of feather, size, 
&c.^which constitute them separate breeds. 

SIZE. The African Owl is the smallest domestic pigeon 
known. A good pair will weigh about lib., and hens are 
sometimes found under 7oz. in weight. The smaller they are 
the more they are valued, if good in the various properties 
which fanciers admire. 

SHAPE. Short in neck, broad-chested, short in nights and 
tail, the legs long enough to make the thighs visible in pro- 
file, the back rather hollow, and the rump rather full. 

CARRIAGE, very erect, the head carried well up, and the chest 
full and prominent. 

HEAD, as round as possible, both from the nape to the beak 
wattle, and from eye to eye. The prevailing fault in the head 
is more or less flatness on the crown, and there is often a 
prominence at the back, which is undesirable. The forehead 
very broad and prominent; the cheeks full. 

BEAK, short and thick, the upper mandible as much as 
possible in the same curve as the head, so that, from the nape 
to the point of the beak, a half-circle should be described. The 
under mandible should approach the upper in consistency 
as much as possible, and fit closely to it ; or, in the language 
of pigeon fanciers, the beak should be "boxed." The only 
difference between the Owl and Turbit, according to Moore, 
was in the beak, the upper mandible of the former being 
*' hookt over like an owl's, from whence it has its name." The 
upper mandible in all pigeons is inclined to overlap the under 



195 FRILL-BREASTED PIGEONS. 

more or less, and in the race under review it sometimes does 
so very considerably, from the formation of the head and 
beak; but I have found that, when it does, it is generally 
owing to a weak under mandible; while I have also found, 
that birds so formed are much troubled with vermin, being 
unable to keep themselves free from them, like Short-faced 
Tumblers whose beaks have been distorted in the process of 
head-shaping. The upper mandible of a pigeon has no inde- 
pendent motion, and is not jointed like that of a parrot, which 
can move its upper beak at will, so that, though much hooked, 
it can lay hold of anything small. The best under mandibled 
African Owls I have seen were not much hooked in the upper 
beak. The picture of an Owl in the Treatise of 1765 does not 
represent a bird with a hooked beak ; nor has Mr. Ludlow, in 
Mr. Fulton's book, represented any of this family of pigeons 
so. The mandibles may never be completely boxed, but, in 
my opinion, the nearer they are so the better. The mouth 
should be wide, and deep in the head. 

EYE should be large, prominent or bolting, and placed in 
the centre of the head. The irides are hazel or " bull " in 
whites, and orange or yellow in coloured birds. 

BEAK AND EYE WATTLES vary considerably in birds of the 
same family, A moderate amount is natural, and therefore 
allowable. The beak wattle thickens with age, and, so long as 
it does not stand out much beyond the curve of the skull, 
cannot be objected to. Neither the beak nor eye wattles should 
be rough and lumpy, otherwise they give coarseness to Owls 
and their varieties. 

GTJLLET is a thin, transparent skin filling up the hollow of 
the throat, commencing on the under mandible, as far forward 
as the feathers grow, and reaching, in a good bird, to the top 
of the frill. This property can be seen, whenever a bird is 
hatched, if the beak be gently raised. The gullet is about the 
last part of a bird to be covered with feathers ; and I may say 
here, that pigeons of the Owl tribe feather differently from 

s 2 



196 FANCY PIGEONS. 

all others, the sides of the breast feathering before the frill 
makes its appearance, and the centre of the breast remaining 
bare for about three weeks from the date of birth. The longer 
and deeper the gullet is the better, and, if it is not present in 
a bird when hatched, it never comes later. With age it gene- 
rally thickens at its junction with the lower mandible, forming 
there a little lump, which is, in fact, a jew- wattle. This gives 
a fulness to a bird's appearance; but it cannot be got on a 
young one. Gullet, to a more or less extent, is seen some- 
times in various kinds of pigeons ; but the Owl tribe (in which 
the Chinese Dewlap Pigeon may be included) and the Mahomet 
are the only races in which it is regarded as necessary. In 
them it is a beautiful property, giving that breadth across 
the neck in profile which adds so much to their appearance, 
and without which they fail to look well. 

FRILL is the property in which the African Owl is most 
deficient. Great numbers of these birds have been imported 
entirely wanting in this necessary adornment, while the most 
have far too little of it. Such frills as those on the wonderful 
Whiskered Owls are never seen on African Owls. The frill 
ought to spread out on each side of the breast, the more of 
which it covers the better, and is formed by the feathers 
composing it growing out in all directions. It ought not to 
lie in any particular position, but stand out from the breast 
roughly, as I have attempted to show in my drawing. The 
more confusedly the feathers forming it grow, the better it 
looks. Where it joins the gullet it ought to divide, and 
spread to right and left, and so form the figure of a cross. 
Hence this race is sometimes called "Cross" Pigeon in 
Germany (Kreuz Taube). None of the Owl tribe, with the 
exception of the Whiskered Owl to be afterwards described 
are yet complete in this beautiful property, and when they 
will be it is impossible even to guess, for their standard 
of perfection is one so complex, and difficult of attainment, 
that to have all of it fairly good is as hard a task as the 



197 FRILL-BREASTED PIGEONS. 

whole fancy presents, excepting the standard of no variety 
whatever. 

LEGS AND FEET, small and neat, bright red in colour, and 
free of feathers, from the hocks down. 

COLOUR. Self-coloured, white, blue, and black. It will be 
noticed that Moore has mentioned these colours as those of 
the Owl, and that other colours were not mentioned till thirty 
years later. The majority of African Owls, as imported, are 
whites, and black and blue pieds, whole blues and blacks 
being, however, not uncommon. The number of splashed birds 
that come would favour the idea, from their appearance, that 
no regard is paid to the matching of them for colour. The only 
apparent regular marking is white, with black or blue tail; 
but nothing comes oftener from a pure white and whole blue 
or black than such marking. From the fact of my having 
bred pure white, whole blue, and black and blue splashes, from 
a black- tailed white cock and blue- tailed white hen, I think 
that, if Mr. Baily was not well informed when he told me how 
these pigeons are bred in Tunis, very little regard to colour 
must be given in matching them. No reds or yellows have 
been brought here, so far as I know, nor even mealies, the 
origin of these colours; but I would expect to find an occa- 
sional mealy were I to visit the native place of these pigeons, 
as such a natural variation is very likely to have been pro- 
duced. I once had a blue hen, an imported bird, from Messrs. 
Baily, with most of the frill white. I consider this marking 
a very suitable one for the coloured Owl, and I am inclined to 
think that the bird I had was not a mere chance production, 
for I find notice of the same marking in Neumeister's book 
among the Frilled Pigeons, all of which, whether self-coloured 
or Turbit-marked, go by the name of Movchen (seagulls) in 
Germany, so that the blue- shouldered variety seems to have 
given the name to the entire family. The blue Tunis Owl 
is often of a good deep sound colour, with jet black bars, and 
is also frequently of a smoky tint, the evident result of having 



198 FANCY PIGEONS. 

been crossed with the black. The black is generally of a dull 
colour, showing bars of a darker hue, and is never of such 
intensity, nor accompanied with such lustre, as is seen in other 
varieties. I should imagine there are blue chequers among 
these pigeons, but I have not seen any. The colours of the 
African Owl, as far as known here, are, therefore, the original 
blue, and albinos and melanoids, as found in most, if not all, 
domestic animals, and black and blue splashes. But although 
the artificial colours, the result of extended breeding on the 
part of fanciers, are unknown in this breed, form is some- 
times found in such perfection, that, with the exception of 
more frill, this bird may be said to be as complete a pigeon 
as we know of. 

Small size being a desideratum in the Tunis Owl, and the 
hen in all kinds of pigeons being less than the cock, the former 
generally comes nearer perfection than the latter for this 
reason; but what gives a better idea than anything else, of the 
high state of breeding found in this variety is, that the hens 
are equal to the cocks in all that goes to make a perfect bird, 
a most rare thing to find in other varieties of frilled and 
gulleted pigeons. I have an idea that red and yellow 
African Owls may yet appear, for the interior of Tunis is not 
as yet much known to Europeans ; and I cannot but believe 
that if, as Mr. Baily told me, exporters have to employ a man 
about the mosques to catch such fine birds as we have already 
received, others, showing still more of the breeder's skill, must 
be in existence in the hands of fanciers. 

The English Owl Pigeon. 

The English Owl, as it existed at the time the African variety 
was introduced, could not be found so good in Owl properties as 
at present, so that the difference between the two varieties was 
then more marked than it is now. The improvement has been 
effected by crossing with the Tunis breed. There are not two 
standards for Owls as regards shape of head and beak, gullet, 




THE ENGLISH OWL. 



199 FRILL-BREASTED PIGEONS. 

frill, &c. The difference between the two varieties consists only 
in size, and greater variety of colour. 

SIZE. The English Owl is wanted as large as possible, so 
that it may present a contrast with the African, as the Pouter 
does with the Pigmy Pouter. To gain size, it is said that 
crossing with the Short-faced Antwerp, which is of Owl descent, 
has been resorted to, and that the Barb has been used to give 
breadth of skull. 

COLOUR. The English Owl is self-coloured, and exists in 
white, black, red, yellow, dun, blue, silver, and in various off 
colours, as mealies and chequers. Splashed Owls are not re- 
garded, except it may be locally, or as stock birds. The blues 
and silvers are chiefly fancied and bred, and the best English 
Owls are of these colours. The blues should be of a deep, sound, 
rich colour, even in tone, with broad black wing and tail bars, 
and dark hackle, lustrous with green and purple hues. The 
silvers should be of a light creamy dun body colour, with very 
dark dun wing and tail bars, merging into black, and with 
lustrous dun hackle. White rumps in both are faulty, but 
cannot be regarded in blue and silver pigeons as blemishes of 
the same degree of magnitude as when occurring in blacks, reds, 
or yellows. The chief defects are indistinctness and bad colour 
of wing bars, ticked or slightly chequered wing coverts, some- 
times showing indications of a third bar, and too light body 
colour and hackle, through crossing with the powdered blues 
and silvers ; these latter, as varieties of the blues and silvers, 
require special mention, as they have a history of their own. 

As the author of the "Treatise on Pigeons" (1765) says, 
regarding blue Owls, "The lighter they are in colour, par- 
ticularly in the hackle, the more they are valued," a dis- 
tinction not recorded by Moore thirty years previously, and 
as the true Mahomet Pigeon, unknown to Moore, was well- 
described by the author of the above quotation, I have thought 
that it had been made use of in his time to produce the colour 
known as powdered blue, as it certainly has of late years. 



200 FANCY PIGEONS. 



The powdered blue and silver English Owls of our day were, 
however, bred in London about the year 1855, according to 
a letter from Mr. Harrison Weir, appearing in the Live Stock 
Journal of 1878, who states therein that they were produced 
by himself and the late Matthew Wicking. "When requested 
by me, in the same publication, to state how they were bred, if 
it was no secret, Mr. Weir made no sign. I have considered 
that the appearance in London of a pair of true Mahornets, 
about the year 1850, as mentioned by Brent, had some con- 
nection with the powdered Owls which appeared soon after- 
wards. That they sported from common blues is very unlikely ; 
but from the long, mousey faces, and freedom from gullet, of 
those I have seen, they might have been bred from the German 
Ice Pigeon, which has much of the same colouring as the 
Mahomet. The late Mr. James Wallace, of Glasgow, with 
the Mahomet Pigeon already mentioned by me, and a blue 
English Owl, bred beautifully powdered birds, wanting the 
frill, which he recovered by the next cross of these half-breds 
with blue Owls, though at the expense of some colour. These 
quarter-bred Mahomets were equal in powder, and better Owls, 
than any of Mr. Weir's breed I ever saw. Some mystery 
seemed to be made out of the production of the powdered 
Owl in London; but there is really no mystery in the matter, 
for, even if it was not produced as I say, similar coloured 
and better Owls can be so produced. That the same kind 
of Owl existed in the last century seems likely; and, in the 
year 1824, Boitard and Corbie published the following in Paris : 
" Pigeon Cravate Anglais; Columba Turbita Anglica ; En Anglais, 

Turbit Pigeon : plumage entirely amethyst blue, with 

black bars on the wings. This pretty variety is very pure, 
for it cannot be crossed with another variety without entirely 
losing its colour." Like the German writers, Boitard and 
Corbie do not distinguish between Owls and Turbits all are 
Pigeons a Cravate. The above, though called the Turbit, 
cannot read as referring to a Turbit-marked pigeon ; such 



201 FRILL-BREASTED PIGEONS. 

marking, with blue and other coloured manteaux, they also 
describe. I understand it to mean a self-coloured, very light 
blue pigeon, that could not bear crossing without losing its 
peculiar colour, which is the characteristic of the English 
powdered Owl. It may be, that the French had, in 1824, 
such pigeons as are described in our Treatise of 1765, which 
they called Cravate Anglais, and that from them were de- 
scended the London powdered Owls of late years. 

So long as the powdered Owl was considered of an original 
colour it was worth while preserving ; but as it is, at its best, 
only half-powdered, in comparison with the Mahomet, I see 
no reason why any special value should be put on it, more 
especially as it is inferior in Owl properties to the best blues 
and silvers. The colour, in perfection, should be the same 
as that of the Mahomet in the blue, and the silver should 
bear the relation to it that the common silver does to the 
common blue, the same as in the Ice Pigeons. As for red 
and yellow English Owls, they are inferior to the blues and 
silvers, probably on account of no African Owls of these 
colours ever having reached us with which to improve them. 
I have seen and had red and yellow Owls of good colour, 
however, and they probably represented the breed as it existed 
in England when the Treatise of 1765 was written. Between 
twenty and thirty years ago I had one pair of yellow mottled 
Owls, marked nearly as exactly as the show mottled Tumbler 
ought to be. I received them from Glasgow, but they were 
imported from the Continent, I believe. Whole-coloured Owls, 
excepting the wing bars, which are white, are mentioned by 
the G-erman writers ; also white ones with coloured tails, and 
coloured ones with white tails. 

The standard of the Owl requires a smooth head, as a crest, 
and especially a peak crest, from its formation, takes much 
from the roundness of the head. Still, peak-crested Owls are 
not uncommon, and I have known very good ones bred from 
the best blue English Owls. Self-coloured, peak-crested, black, 



202 FANCY PIGEONS. 

red, and yellow Owls are sometimes called whole-coloured, 
or solid Turbits; but the name Turbit is usually, and ought 
only, to be applied to white Frilled Pigeons with coloured 
shoulders. 

The English Owl being wanted large, the hen generally fails 
in this respect from looking so well as the cock, for the 
same reason as in the African breed she often excels him; 
but in conformation also, she is generally, as in all other 
frilled races, except the African, much inferior, so that good 
hens are rare. 

The English Owl is a variety which is now widely spread 
and greatly fancied, so that choice specimens are very valu- 
able. There is little doubt that it owes all its quality to the 
African breed, which began to be imported into this country 
about thirty years ago, as already mentioned. There were no 
such English Owls as exist now twenty years ago, and much 
still remains to be done with them; for, until both cocks and 
hens that will bear comparison with the little foreigners in 
all but size are produced, they cannot be said to have reached 
their best state. 

Hitherto the supply of African Owls from Tunis has not 
failed ; but, should it do so, it is a question if they would con- 
tinue to exist in this country for any length of time, on account 
of the delicacy of the breed. If they could not be kept up 
here, unless by constant importations, it is an additional reason 
why the large English Owl should be cultivated. 

During the past few years, since the first edition of this 
book was published, great progress has been made in breeding 
powdered English Owls, chiefly by Mr. Stephen Salter, who 
informed me that he had used a half-bred Damascene, or 
Mahomet, to improve the colour. There are now in existence 
some powdered blue Owls nearly up to the standard of the 
common blues and silvers, and greatly superior to the breed 
that existed thirty years ago, regarding which, Mr. H. Weir 
has lately said that I was mistaken in supposing that he 



203 FRILL-BREASTED PIGEONS. 

bred his from the Damascene cross; but lie still refused to 
say how they were bred. Those who take any interest in the 
question, should procure a copy of the new German illustrated 
pigeon work, " Mustertaubenbuch," and study the coloured illus- 
tration of Italian Owls therein, which are very well drawn. 

The Italian Owl Pigeon. 

Herr Priitz, in his "Mustertaubenbuch," now publishing, de- 
scribes this variety, and gives both woodcut and coloured 
illustrations of it. The former represents plain-headed, frill- 
breasted, white birds, with coloured shoulders, flights, and 
tails, the latter carried high, and suggesting some connection 
with the Modenese Triganica Pigeons. The coloured plate 
represents two beautiful pigeons, one of which is blue, with 
blackish shoulders, the feathers of which are laced with white ; 
the other is of the colour of a Mahomet. Both are plain- 
headed, with good gullets and frills. From Italy, then, the 
English powdered Owls of thirty years ago may have come; 
certainly, Herr Priitz's illustration has a remarkable likeness 
to those that used to be seen here. 

The Whiskered Owl Pigeon. 

This beautiful variety is of a medium size between the 
African and English Owls. Those I have seen were either white 
or blue in colour, with the usual black wing and tail bars. 
In head, beak, gullet, and general Owl properties, they could 
only be called passable, and could not be compared with the 
African variety. In frill, however, they were extraordinary, 
their breasts being covered with it from butt to butt of wings. 
The frill also reached up to the throat, and, dividing to 
right and left, was continued almost round the neck. I un- 
derstand that in some of them it actually goes quite round 
the neck. These pigeons are called Chinese Gulls in Ger- 
many (Chinesiche Movchen), and the only account of them I 
have found is by Neumeister and Priitz, as follows : 



204 FANCY PIGEONS. 

" Tlie Chinese Gull is somewhat larger than, but not so finely 
built as, the Egyptian Gull (Tunis Owl). The beautifully 
arched head is smooth, and not so angular, but rounder ; the 
strong bill, somewhat crooked in front, is a little longer, in 
the form of a Parrot's beak, with which bird this pigeon 
has much resemblance in many respects as, namely, in 
bearing, neck, and eyes. The eye is large, the iris orange- 
coloured, and very lively; the breast is full, the neck short 
and powerful ; the pinions reach to 12 millimetres from the end 
of the tail; feet and toes are short and smooth. The jabot 
(frill) on the breast and neck is the most peculiar thing about 
this pigeon. When it stretches its neck the crop is invisible, 
as it is hidden behind the so-called cravatte. This cravatte is 
formed by several rows of feathers, which stand upwards, on 
the under side of the neck, lying closely to each other from 
one side to the other. Proceeding from this, the jabot goes 
downwards to the middle of the breast, forming a rosette. 
The feathers from this point radiate to all sides, reaching 
almost over the breast, and offering a beautiful sight. This 
pigeon became known in Germany only a few years ago, and 
therefore the price for a pair is still rather high. It is found 
in blue, with black bars, black, yellow, silver-grey, and some- 
times white. 

"J. Destriveaux, a fancier in Paris, who accidentally came 
into possession of a pair, originated the name Chinese Gulls. 
There exists a certain obscurity about the descent of these 
pigeons; however, they probably owe their origin and propa- 
gation to chance. Some ships laden with sugar, returning 
from the East Indies, brought, shortly after 1850, a large 
number of Chinese Gulls to Tilsit and Memel, and that in so 
excellent a plumage as nowadays is no more to be seen. 
From thence, these pigeons came into the South of Germany, 
and disappeared from the market for a long time, until, later, 
they re-appeared in Paris, from which place the distinguished 
fencing-master, A. Prosche, in Dresden, got possession of some, 




THE YELLOW T U E B I T. 



205 FRILL-BREASTED PIGEONS. 



and has bred them successfully for years, as well as the 
Egyptian (Tunis) Owl." 

From the above, it seems that the Whiskered Owl cannot 
now be found in such perfection as when first imported. The 
interesting account of the breed makes one wish to know more 
about it, and especially from whence it came. I have seen 
many varieties and types of fancy pigeons in India, but none 
of the frilled race, except such as were imported from Europe. 
There is nothing to connect the re-appearance of the Whiskered 
Owl in Paris with the Tilsit and Memel birds. The Paris 
birds may have been a fresh importation, and the name given 
them Chinese Pigeons may not be a mere fanciful one. 
However good the first arrivals were and, if better than such 
as I have seen, they must have been very choice birds there 
doubtless exists, in the hands of fanciers somewhere, a race of 
most extraordinary pigeons, compared to which all other races 
we know of are much inferior in jabot, or frill. 

The Turblt Pigeon. 

The origin of the name Turbit seems to have puzzled our 
old writers on pigeons. It is evidently derived from the Latin, 
as was first pointed out in the eleventh, and last edition, of 
"Moubray's Book on Poultry," edited by Meall and Horner, 
and published in 1854. That the Turbit alone, among all the 
varieties of fancy pigeons known in England 200 years ago, 
should have had a Latin name, has caused me to think that 
a frill-breasted pigeon of some kind may have been introduced 
into this country 'by the Romans as the Columba Turbata. 
Willughby appears to have been the first writer to use the 
word, and though Turbat would have been the more correct 
form, any vowel would have rendered the sound of the name. 
The name Turbit, therefore, signifies a frilled pigeon of any 
colour, though we now use it only for those that are white, 
with coloured shoulders. 

There are differences of opinion regarding the formation of 



206 FANCY PIGEONS. 

the head of the Turbit. I have shown what the old writers 
say about it, and that Moore particularly says it should be 
round; while the earliest picture of a Turbit I know of that 
in the Treatise of 1765 shows a pigeon rather rounder in head 
than the Owl in the same book. It is a fault too often found 
in frilled pigeons the choice African Owl included to be flat 
on the crown; but, although there is no difference specified 
in any old book between the Owl and Turbit head, some 
modern writers have held that the latter should be frog-headed. 
When or how this idea originated I cannot trace, unless it 
was derived from what was published in Paris, by Boitard and 
Corbie, in 1824. They say, in their introductory notice of the 
Frilled Pigeons : " Their beak is short, and head toad-shaped 
that is, in the prettiest varieties; the eyes are extremely pro- 
jecting in the upper part of the skull, where they form two 
well-marked protuberances, as also the bone behind the head, 
which forms a third, which gives their head a sort of resem- 
blance to that of a toad." 

I have seen the frog or toad head even more marked in 
some birds than this description, the head having a decided 
hollow between the two rising eyebrows, and this was in the 
case of some birds bred from a Turbit and African Owl. I 
dislike this style of head, and hold, with many fanciers, such 
as Fulton and Caridia, that, the nearer the head of a Turbit 
approaches that of the ideal Owl, the better it is. The Owl 
type is that most difficult to obtain, for it can seldom be got 
very good ; it is the result of careful breeding, and never 
comes by chance. 

The ideal standard of a Turbit in my opinion, and in that 
of many more who are devoted to this beautiful pigeon is, 
therefore, exactly the same as that of the African Owl, except 
as to colour and crest. 

SIZE. The Turbit, as it exists, is, even in small specimens, 
very much larger than the African Owl. I prefer it small, but 
would not have it so at the sacrifice of any of its properties. 



207 FRILL-BREASTED PIGEONS. 

Generally speaking, it is as large as the clean-legged flying 
Tumbler. To reduce it materially in size can only be accom- 
plished by crossing with the African Owl, its undoubted rela- 
tive. I have been doing this for several seasons, with much 
greater success than I had hoped to anticipate, and I believe 
others are now adopting the same method. Such experiments, 
however, take long to complete ; and as all the Frilled Pigeons 
are with me more delicate, and apt to succumb under that 
dread disease, inflammation of the bowels, than any other race 
of pigeons, I have several times been thrown back after 
making a decided advance. In crossing with the African Owl, 
my object has been, both to reduce size, and improve the Turbit 
in head and beak; in fact, to have a peak-headed, coloured- 
shouldered, African Owl, which would be, in my opinion, the 
perfect Turbit. 

Many Turbits are neither peak nor shell-crested, but some- 
thing between the two. Some of these are merely the faulty 
produce from pure bred birds of either variety; but crossing 
the two kinds is apt to result in badly-crested birds. They 
ought, therefore, to be kept distinct, for the mane is diffi- 
cult to maintain in perfection. 

COLOUR. The Turbit should be entirely white, with 
coloured shoulders. The wings, including the scapular 
feathers, with the exception of the primary flight feathers, 
ought to be coloured. Nothing is easier to get fairly good, 
and yet nothing is more difficult to breed to a feather, than 
this beautiful marking. The flight feathers, generally ten a 
side, though occasionally only nine, may often be got right; 
but to have freedom from foul thighs, vent feathers, or under- 
body, on the one hand, and no white feathers on the wings, 
except the flights, on the other, is the great difficulty. I 
consider that a bird quite clean below, with white wing butts, 
looks worse than one free of white on the wings and a 
little foul below, because bishoped wings are very glaring. 
With a full set of white flights we almost invariably find 



208 FANCY PIGEONS. 

the short feathers covering the spurious wing white, thus 
giving a white edging to the margin of the wing when 
closed. To get the spurious wing coloured, which prevents 
white butts when the wing is closed, is a very difficult matter, 
if the bird is quite clean below. Formerly black and blue 
Turbits had coloured tails, and they often breed young ones 
with the tail partly so; but the coloured tail is no longer 
considered desirable. Beds and yellows do likewise; but, in 
that case, the tail feathers are usually only of a weak half 
tint. It is only lately, owing to keen competition at the 
numerous shows, that great attention has been paid to 
proper marking. Not only in this country, but in others 
where Turbit-marked frilled pigeons are fancied, foul thighs 
and vents have been very prevalent, simply because these 
natural faults have not been considered of grave account. 
It is no easy matter to eradicate such mismarking when 
breeding from the strains that have it; but, once this is 
got rid of, it is comparatively easy to maintain clean thighs 
and vents in many of the produce. 

The Triganica Pigeon, in addition to coloured wings, has 
the head, tail, and nights coloured ; and although it is common 
enough to find this variety foul below, like the majority of 
Turbits, I found it easy enough to breed many quite clean- 
thighed and vented birds of this breed, by commencing with 
such as were free from these faults. 

I have stated that I have crossed the African Owl and 
Turbit, and have mentioned my reasons for doing so. I 
commenced by matching a very fine green-glossed black 
Turbiteen cock to a pure white African Owl hen, and from 
their young ones I selected a very round-headed, white cock, 
with about half of one shoulder black, which was as much 
colour as any of the produce possessed, some being pure 
white. I mated this bird, which was smooth-headed, like 
both his parents, to a good peak-headed black Turbit hen 
of Mr. Roper's breed. She was not quite clean below, being 







THE BLACK TURBIT. 



209 FRILL-BREASTED PIGEONS. 

foul-vented. The best of the young ones from this pair was 
a smooth-headed, almost completely Turbit-marked cock, of 
small size, and good properties all over. I matched him to 
his mother, and they bred several very small, peak-headed 
birds of first rate quality, so well marked that, when lifted 
up by the wings, some of them did not show one foul feather 
below. The black Turbit hen mentioned above was de- 
scended from the hen of the first pair of black Turbiteens 
imported about 1872, which were probably superior to any 
since brought to this country. I went on breeding this 
strain of birds, and again crossed them with a hen I got 
from Mr. Roper, till, in 1883, 1 succeeded in winning the cup, 
at the Crystal Palace Show, for the best young Turbit of 
all colours, with a very glossy black cock. Since then, these 
birds and their offspring, in different hands, have won many 
prizes at all the principal shows. 

The Turbit is found in all the twelve barred, chequered 
and solid colours, mentioned on page 49, but of these only 
five the black, red, yellow, blue, and silver are chiefly bred 
and shown. 

The black colour, when in perfection, is strongly glossed 
with a green metallic lustre. Even when decidedly bad in 
colour, a black Turbit shows any foul feathers on thighs or 
vent so glaringly, that they tell strongly against it in com- 
petition with others, such as blues and silvers; and I have 
often seen specimens of the latter colours, which were no- 
better than blacks opposed to them, preferred because they 
appeared cleaner-thighed and vented, whereas they were in. 
reality very much fouler. 

Red and yellow Turbits were, at the best, only fair in colour 
before the introduction of red and yellow Turbiteens from 
Smyrna. A great improvement has been effected by crossing 
with these beautifully-coloured pigeons, and though their 
feathered legs, head markings, and plain heads, take much 
careful breeding to eradicate, it has been done. So much has. 

T 



210 FANCY PIGEONS. 

crossing with, the Turbiteen been resorted to during the past 
few years, that I imagine few fanciers could say for certain 
that their red and yellow Turbits, if fit to hold their own 
in strong competition, were of pure English blood. Beds and 
yellows, when anything like right in colour, show any foul- 
ness on their under body very distinctly ; when poor in colour, 
foul thighs hardly show on them; hence, I have known them 
called clean-thighed and vented when so hopelessly foul on 
these parts that, had their colour been even fair, they would 
have been unfit to put into a pen. Black, red, and yellow 
Turbits, especially black, when of rich colour, have their 
eye wattles of a reddish tint. 

The blue Turbit has also been crossed with foreign blood, 
but not to any great extent. The best birds of this colour 
generally show a sexual difference in colouring, the hens 
being of a duller and more smoky tint than the cocks. The 
colour in cocks is sometimes very clear and delicate ; so much 
so, that white will hardly show on it, and this light blue 
is even preferred by some. It is a matter of taste, but I 
prefer a darker and more vivid blue, like the colour of the wild 
Rock Pigeon. The delicate blue is too near an approach to 
silver, and I think the more pronounced the colours, the 
better they look from an artistic point of view. Such a beau- 
tiful rich blue as I have had in Triganica Pigeons would only 
require to be seen to have its superiority allowed. The wing 
bars of the blue should be of a deep black, broad and distinct. 

The silver Turbit should be of a creamy dun, with bars of 
the darkest glossy dun, merging into black. To have really 
black bars on the silver ground is, perhaps, not an im- 
possibility, but I have never seen them. When I consider 
that bright red and yellow bars can be seen on rich blue 
Triganica Pigeons, black bars on a silver ground may not be 
incompatible with Nature. So very light in colour are foul 
thigh and vent feathers on silvers and the light blues, that 
it is scarcely possible to distinguish them, and so they often 



211 FRILL-BREASTED PIGEONS. 

pass undetected. I consider that the silver colour ought to 
have bright golden dun wing bars, with neck and tail to 
match. In a Turbit, this colour, confined to the shoulders, 
is ineffective, being so light. Darker wing coverts, and bars 
merging into black, are, therefore, more effective for a Turbit. 

Red and yellow barred-winged Turbits, as well as duns, 
strawberries, and the various chequers, are usually called 
off-colours, and are not cultivated. The barred colours are, 
however, very pretty, and if bred for, could be improved by 
selection. To each of the solid colours, black, red, yellow, 
and dun, there is a corresponding barred and chequered colour, 
as referred to in the Chapter on "Colours." It is, doubtless, 
by the judicious blending of all of them, that so many varia- 
tions are found in the colours of foreign pigeons. But how- 
ever intricate and effective are chequering, spangling, and 
breaking up of colour, as in the Smyrna Satinettes and Tri- 
ganica Pigeons, they do not fill the eye like black, red, and 
yellow, when these are in perfection. 

There are also pure white Turbits, inasmuch as such are 
occasionally produced, by way of albinism, from coloured- 
shouldered birds. They might as well be called Crested Owls, 
unless they are of the decided frog-headed formation, which 
no Owl ought to be. It is a manifest mistake, however, to 
allow them to compete with coloured- shouldered birds, 
whether frog or Owl-headed. The best so - called white 
Turbits I have ever seen were very thick-headed, down-faced 
ones, of the Owl type, with broad shell crests. 

THE PEAKED TTJEBIT. This variety should have a long 
mane running up the back of its neck, quite unbroken, and 
ending in a finely-pointed peak crest. There is much to 
contend with in getting the right peak and mane. The peak 
ought to reach higher than the crown of the head, but it is 
rarely more than level with it, and often set so low down in 
the neck, that the bird would look better if altogether smooth- 
headed. As the peak crest is formed by the feathers on the 



212 FANCY PIGEONS. 

nape, and those on each side of it, all drawing to a fine 
point, the bird cannot look so round-headed as the Smooth- 
headed Owl. A very good peak is sometimes seen with no 
mane on the back of the neck, and this form has generally a 
deep notch below the peak. Many of the Turkish Frilled 
Pigeons are of this style, which is considered very faulty in 
the English Turbit. The peak must not incline to either side 
of the neck, but rise straight from the middle of the nape. 

THE SHELL-CRESTED TURBIT. This variety, according to 
Neumeister, is bred largely in the North of Germany. It is 
not uncommon in this country, but is not so generally 
fancied and bred as the Peaked. The shell ought to extend 
quite round the back of the head, and be of the cupped 
form, as in the Swallow Pigeon. The more extensive, even 
in outline, and firm in texture it is, the better. There ought 
to be no mane on the Shell-crested Turbit. 

Turkish Frilled Pigeons. 

Mr. H. P. Caridia, of Birmingham, was the first to import the 
various kinds of Eastern short-faced Frilled Pigeons into this 
country. This was, perhaps, about twenty years ago. For a 
long time, however, there was not much known about them, 
as he only kept them for his own pleasure, and parted with 
very few of them. They became better known after he wrote 
the account of them in Fulton's Book of Pigeons; but, for 
many years after that, they were not much kept by breeders 
here, notwithstanding their great merits as fancy pigeons. 
During the past few years, however, a change has taken place, 
and they seem at last to have taken hold of the British 
fancier, as very large classes of them have lately been ex- 
hibited at the principal shows. 

The varieties are the Satinette, Blondinette, Domino, Yizor, 
and Turbiteen. The first and third appear to be old breeds ; 
the others, more recently established. I am not aware who 
gave the first three their names; but Mr. Ludlow, of Bir- 



213 FRILL-BREASTED PIGEONS. 

mingham, has said he named the last two. The differences 
between the five kinds consist in colour and marking, in plain 
or crested heads, and in smooth or feathered legs and feet. 
They vary a little in size, but, for the most part, are larger 
than British Turbits. They are generally excellent in car- 
riage, sometimes very round in head, full in gullet, and short 
and thick in beak, which is generally well-boxed, and not 
overlapping at the point. From a side view, their heads are 
sometimes well-arched; but they are often deficient in great 
breadth of skull and forehead, and, leaving size out of the 
question, are seldom or never up to the standard of the best 
Tunisian Owls in head properties. When crested, the correct 
standard for all the varieties is a needle-pointed peak, standing 
as high as possible; not springing from a mane, as in the 
Turbit, however, but divided from the feathers at the back of 
the neck by a notch. The peak is sometimes seen very good 
on these pigeons, though lopsided and half shell crests are 
common enough. Mr. H. P. Caridia considers that "no 
maned bird can possess a close-fitting, well-pointed crest," 
in which opinion I think he is mistaken. When feathered 
on the legs, the correct style is what is sometimes called 
grouse -legged, or stocking -legged that is, with legs and 
feet completely covered with rather short feathers, so as to 
show no bare skin. The feathers on the legs should be long 
enough to stand out somewhat at the sides of the feet, but 
the toes ought to be covered with very short ones. 

The great majority of the coloured-shouldered, white-bodied 
varieties are very foul on thighs and under body. It appears, 
from what Mr. Caridia has written, that no attention is paid 
to this in the East, and that they are allowed to be foul- 
thighed. I have never, however, seen him point out definitely 
how the colour must be disposed on the under body, nor can 
I believe, were competition to arise in Turkey, as it exists 
here, that foul under body would be any longer recognised 
there. With a standard of only seven white flight feathers, 



214 FANCY PIGEONS, 

and foul thighs allowed, as he says is the case in Turkey, foul 
wing butts are no difficulty whatever. The Triganica Magpie 
has coloured nights, in addition to all the marking of the 
Yizor and Domino. Foul under body is not allowed in Tri- 
ganicas, according to the Italian writers, and I have both 
seen and bred them without a foul feather underneath. I 
think, therefore, that it only requires the attention of Turkish 
breeders, to enable them to eradicate foul under body in their 
pigeons, and they certainly require it. 

The irides in coloured-headed Turkish Frilled Pigeons should 
be orange; in white-headed ones they should be dark hazel, 
as in our Turbits. Turbiteens, when heavily head marked, have 
sometimes orange eyes, which look very well. Many, however, 
have broken irides, which are decidedly faulty. 

As regards the frill on the breast, the Turkish varieties are 
about on a par with our Turbits and Owls. They are certainly 
not, on an average, better than them. In this beautiful and 
distinctive property much, therefore, remains to be done for 
them, if we are to take the frill of the Whiskered Owl as our 
standard. 

The Satinette Pigeon. 

This beautiful variety is grouse-legged, and usually smooth- 
headed, though a few have lately been imported with peaked 
crests. It is coloured- shouldered and tailed, and the rest of 
its plumage ought to be white. As for its wing marking, it 
ought to be similar to that of the Turbit, and foul under body, 
coloured primary flights, white secondaries, and white wing 
butts, are all as faulty in it as in the Turbit. In addition to the 
colour of the Satinette proper, there are several others found 
in the breed, some of which have received special names, 
while it would have been less confusing to have retained the 
generic name for all, prefixing a word to distinguish them, 
as, for instance, Blue Satinette, instead of Bluette. 

The Satinette is an old breed, according to Mr. Caridia, 



215 FRILL-BREASTED PIGEONS. 



who says lie has traced it back for 120 years, through three 
generations of fanciers. When he wrote the account of it 
in Mr. Fulton's book, about 1874, he said that an aged Pres- 
byter in Smyrna, then upwards of eighty years of age, had 
bred them all his life, and that his father and grandfather 
had done so before him. 

The ground colour of the shoulders of this pigeon, after 
it has cast its nest feathers, should be of clear pink-brown, 
or nearly of a flesh colour, each feather being laced round 
with lustrous purple-black; or the same with an inner 
lacing of reddish brown, making the plumage tricoloured. 
This is what I consider the most beautiful marking; but 
it is not the only one. Some of them are chequered, at 
the extremity of each shoulder feather, with a triangular, 
or arrow-pointed mark, which often runs too large, and 
which, when blue in colour, as it very often is, consider- 
ably spoils the appearance of a bird. Small triangular 
chequers of purple -black are very pleasing on the flesh- 
coloured ground, and even small blue markings are pretty; 
but when the general appearance is more blue than flesh- 
coloured, the effect is spoiled. The tail and its coverts should 
be as in a blue chequered pigeon, and on the black bar, at 
the extremity of each primary tail feather, there ought to 
be a large round white spot, which gives a fine effect when 
the tail is outspread. The shaft of the tail feather should 
be dark throughout, and this has also a nice effect, running 
through the white spot. 

The BRUNETTE bears the same relation to the Satinette as 
a silver does to a blue pigeon. Its ground colour should be 
of a silvery dun tint, each feather being laced or chequered 
with dark dun. Its tail is much the same colour as that of 
a silver pigeon, and the bar at its extremity should show the 
same large round white spot as in the Satinette. Its more 
correct name would be Dun-laced, or Spangled Satinette, ac- 
cording to the style of its marking. 



216 FANCY PIGEONS. 

The BLUETTE, or BLUE SATINETTE, is of an even, clear 
blue on the shoulders, with white wing bars, which ought to 
be laced with intense black, and also have an inner lacing 
of a red or dark flesh colour. The tail is the same as in the 
Satinette, or a shade lighter. 

The SILVERETTE, or SILVER SATINETTE, should be of an even 
clear silvery dun on the shoulders, with white wing bars, laced 
round with dark dun ; and if there is an inner lacing of buff or 
yellow, so much the better. This pigeon bears the same 
relation to the Bluette as the Brunette does to the Satinette. 
The tail is of the same colour and marking as in the latter, 
or a shade lighter. 

These four varieties may be interbred occasionally; but, if 
it be intended to follow after the laced marking in the Satinette, 
the Bluette and Silverette cannot assist it. So many shades 
of colour appear in the breeding of Satinettes, that care must 
be exercised in the selection of stock. A bird with excessive 
lacing or spangling must be paired with one too lightly marked. 
This plan is, however, less likely to produce a large proportion 
of well-coloured young ones, than by pairing two birds which 
are themselves nearly of the desired colour. I think, if the 
breeding of Satinettes were to extend in this country, that 
either the clear flesh tint, evenly laced with black, or, in addi- 
tion, an inner lacing of red or brown, making three colours 
in each feather, would come to be regarded as the only standard 
colour. Besides the foregoing varieties, there are also Black- 
laced Satinettes, whose shoulders are white, each feather being 
laced with black. Towards the wing butts they appear more 
black than white. The principal tail feathers and their coverts 
should also be white, laced round with black. 

The Blondinette Pigeon. 

The Blondinette has been produced in recent years, according 
to Mr. Caridia, who has recorded its history. The Blondinettes 
bear the same relation to the Satinettes, in their several varie- 



217 FRILL-BREASTED PIGEONS, 

ties, as the Schietti, or whole- coloured Triganicas, do to the 
Gazzi, or pied ones. I am not aware if every variety of colour 
in the Blondinette is represented in the Satinette, not having 
seen so many; but the same natural laws of variation of 
colour must affect both in course of time. 

The SATIN BLONDINETTE is marked on the shoulders and 
tail exactly the same as the Satinette, and, where the latter 
is white, the former is of a dark blue; but its primary nights 
should have large oval spots on their extremities, making them, 
when closed, to appear laced. The colour which has gained 
most acceptance in this country is the clear pinky flesh ground, 
evenly laced with black, the flight feathers of which, when 
opened out, are also generally laced all round their edges, but 
with, usually, a strong brownish cast on their inner webs. 
There is, however, an immense variety of colour among Satin 
Blondinettes, many being heavily marked on the wing coverts 
with arrow-pointed blue chequers ; but the inferiority of these, 
in appearance, is at once seen when they are placed alongside 
the laced kind. The nest plumage of the different kinds of 
Blondinettes is dull and heavy, the intricate markings and 
clear ground colour only appearing after the first autumnal 
moult. The bronzy flesh colour of the wing coverts often 
reaches up the back of the neck, which ought to be dark 
blue. The Blondinettes are grouse-legged, and generally peak- 
crested. 

BROWN AND SULPHUR BLONDINETTES. Yery pretty varie- 
ties are the red and yellow laced or spangled ones. The 
former is reddish-brown, and the latter sulphur-yellow, 
where the Satin variety is dark blue, and their shoulders 
are of the same colours, merging into white, each feather 
being laced, spangled, or chequered at the edge with reddish- 
brown or clear yellow. These varieties fall away in colour 
in tail and flights. I have not seen similarly shouldered 
Satinettes, but should suppose they could be bred. 

BLACK LACED BLONDINETTES. There are black and white 

u 



218 FANCY PIGEONS. 

laced Blondinettes, in which the head, neck, and under body 
are black, the wings, flights, and tail being white, strongly 
laced with black, dark towards the wing butts, and gradually 
lighter towards the tail, according to the size of the 
feathers. 

The BLUE BLONDINETTE is of the colour of a blue pigeon, 
with tricoloured wing bars and white-spotted tail, the same 
as in the blue Satinette. Its primary flights ought also to 
have white oval spots on their extremities. 

The SILVER BLONDINETTE differs from the blue, exactly the 
same as these colours differ from each other in the Satinettes. 
There are also whole dark dun Blondinettes, with white wing 
bars, and spotted tail and flight feathers. 

The Domino Pigeon. 

The Domino is peak-headed, smooth-legged, coloured on 
shoulders and tail, and is marked on the head like a Nun. 
The colour of the head includes the peak crest, and comes low 
down in front, forming a bib. I have only seen one specimen 
of this variety, and I believe it is the only one of the pure 
original race which has appeared in this country. Its marking 
resembled that of my drawing of the Triganica Pigeon, except 
the flight feathers, which were white. It was imported by Mr. 
Caridia, and was shown very successfully by Mr. Yardley, of 
Birmingham. It was blue in colour, with the usual black 
wing and tail bars. In a letter published in 1879, Mr. Caridia 
stated that the Dominoes, "though very scarce now, were in 
colours, blacks, blues, silvers with bars, duns without bars, 
and chequers of all these colours. There were also a few 
without the crest, and I possessed there [in Smyrna] some of 
these which were perfection." The bird I have referred to 
was of grand Owl properties, and its colour and marking 
were so good, that I venture to think, were such birds to be 
imported, they would take the fancy of pigeon breeders in this 
country before any of the other Turkish frilled pigeons. They 



219 FRILL-BREASTED PIGEONS. 

appear, however, to be almost extinct, and it seems to me 
that it does not say much for those in whose care they were 
that such is the case. A prettier, and, at the same time, 
higher-class pigeon, than the solitary blue Domino, shown so 
often during the last few years, never presented itself to my 
eyesight. I cannot say how it was as regards clean thighs 
and under body; but its general appearance was very fine. 
Minor defects would only be regarded if the breed were plentiful. 

The Vizor Pigeon. 

This variety was produced by crossing the Domino with the 
Satinette tribe, the object being to have coloured-headed 
Satinettes. This has been partially accomplished, and I have 
seen some fairly marked satin and blue Yizors. The best of 
them were, however, somewhat peppered with white about the 
head, so that much still requires to be done in perfecting 
them. The Yizor should be completely grouse-legged, like the 
Satinette. It may be smooth-headed or peak-crested the latter 
or choice, as it is an additional property. The colour of its 
head will, of course, be in accordance with that of its shoulders, 
viz., light blue in the Bluette-marked, and dark purple blue 
in the satin. Black-headed Yizors, with black laced shoulders 
and tail, would look very well, and will, no doubt, be produced 
if the Eastern fanciers are successful with the blues and satins. 

The Turbiteen Pigeon. 

According to Mr. Caridia, it is now between thirty and forty 
years since this much-admired variety was produced. He says 
it is a composition of the Domino, white Owl, and Oriental 
Turbit ; but I cannot exactly understand the method of breed- 
ing which was adopted. I understand from his account, 
that the Oriental Turbit was marked as the British kind; 
and to employ a white Owl " to counteract and balance the 
colour of the black tail" in the Domino, appears a very 
roundabout process, when the Turbit of Smyrna was itself 
.white-tailed. However, it seems a misfortune that Smyrna 



220 FANCY PIGEONS. 

Turbits, marked according to our standard, with peak crest 
and clean legs, and with the blazing colour and grand Owl 
properties of some of the Turbiteens, should have been 
allowed to disappear in the desire for something new. Such 
pigeons would now be very valuable. 

The Turbiteen is generally smooth-headed, but a few peak- 
crested ones have been brought to this country. It is grouse- 
legged, and white in colour, marked as follows : The shoulders 
should be coloured exactly the same as in the British Turbit. 
The head markings are by no means well fixed in the breed, 
but are occasionally to be seen very good, according to the 
standard agreed on by fanciers, viz., a round, coloured spot 
on the forehead, commencing at the beak wattle, and of about 
the size of a shilling, and a similar spot on each cheek. There 
ought to be a distinct white line between the forehead and 
cheek spots, and the throat should be white, dividing the 
cheek marks. The whole face and throat is sometimes coloured 
in a heavily-marked bird, which is faulty. 

The eyes should be orange for choice ; they are often broken 
in colour, which is worse than being dark-eyed. 

The Turbiteen is exceedingly foul-thighed in general, the 
only clean- thighed ones I ever saw being a few blacks that I 
bred myself; but they had white wing butts, which looked 
very bad. I have seen them with the feathers on the outside 
of the thighs coloured, and still white- vented, and white between 
the thighs. This approached to a specific marking, and may 
be what is wished for in Smyrna ; but I have stated my ideas 
on this point already. I have seen a few black Turbiteens 
with black tails in addition to the usual marking. 

The colour found in some of these birds is superb, and, 
though I have seen it equalled in other pigeons, I have never 
seen it surpassed. The black, red, and yellow leave nothing 
to be desired. There are also duns of various tints, some 
of them being of a lovely lavender shade; but this colour is 
apt to fade, and becomes dappled at the moulting season, till 



221 FRILL-BREASTED PIGEONS. 

all the feathers are renewed. There are blues, silvers, chequers, 
strawberries, and bar-winged reds and yellows as well, ac- 
cording to Mr. Caridia. Most of these I have seen and bred, 
but they are of little beauty alongside the glossy blacks, reds, 
and yellows. The latter are full of the fatty quills about the 
root of the tail and vent referred to in the description of the 
Nurnberg Swallows. These feathers only shed, at most, the 
tips of their fibres, and many of them never break at all. 

The standard of the Turbiteen, therefore, comprises all that 
is requisite in a Turbit, with the addition of feathered legs 
and face markings. The feathered legs give little difficulty, 
but they occasionally come with too little or too much leg 
and foot covering. The face markings cause much trouble, 
as they are comparatively new. Out of several scores of 
these pigeons which I have bred, when I kept them some years 
ago, only four were about right in face markings. They may 
be bred with small cheek marks, about equal on each side; 
but nothing less than the size of a shilling to that of a florin 
looks well. The black, red, and yellow may be interbred ; but 
the first, with either of the last two, often produces a sandy, 
or strawberry, which, however, frequently throws back to good 
colour when matched with either a black, red, or yellow. It 
must not be supposed, however, that it requires no care to 
keep up colour in this breed. Many of them are bad in that 
respect when compared with the best; but even the second 
and third degrees of colour in Turbiteens would be highly 
valued in many varieties of pigeons, which shows how good 
they are in this feature. I never possessed an imported bird 
of this breed with a crest, but I bred a peak-headed one from 
a pair of smooth-heads. I consider the peak crest a fine 
property, and difficult to breed right, therefore valuable. 

The upper mandible is generally coloured in Turbiteens, or 
at least tipped, according to the feather, white or flesh-coloured 
beaks being exceptional. There ought to be no hard blue, 
however, in the beaks of blacks, reds, and yellows; the black 



222 



FANCY PIGEONS. 



should have a black beak, the red a ruddy brown one, and 
the yellow, just enough colour in the beak to make it show. 

The Turkish Turbit Pigeon. 

Some Turkish Turbits of very superior quality have occa- 
sionally been brought to this country of late. I have seen 
some blues and blacks with broader and better filled up fore- 
heads than any of the other Eastern frilled varieties. These 
have all been smooth-headed birds, some with feathered, and 
others with clean, legs. In all cases their tails were coloured, 
but none were face-marked in any way. 

Turkish Nomenclature. 

The following list of the Turkish names of the various Frilled 
Pigeons was published lately by Mr. C. E. Duckworth, of 
Liverpool, who procured it from the East : 



Satinettes 


. . . Honcheria. 


Satinette 


... Honcheria Anichto Zimboulie. 


Brunette 


,, Surphanie. 


Bluette 


Giokiho. 


Silverette 


Odu. 


Vizor 


Carabasico. 


Blondinettes 


... Zimboulia. 


Blue Blondinette 


... Mavie Zimboulie. 


Silver 


Asimie 


Brown-laced 


... Bembi 


Dark arrow-pointed ,, 


Marico 


Sulphur 


... Surphanie 


Black 


Chircuzanie. 


Yellow Turbiteen 


... Sarimiseria. 


Bed 


... Ambruthes. 


Black 


. . . Caralles. 


Blue 


Yuk Mavales. 


Peak-headed birds are 


called Tepelithica ; plain-headed, 


Carbachica. 






THE BLUE POUTER. 



Chapter XXIIL 




POUTING OR CROPPER PIGEONS. 
The English Pouter Pigeon. 

| HIS noble pigeon has always been considered 
one of the finest varieties, sharing, with the 
Carrier, the premier position in the fancy 
since the time when we have any records on 
the subject. It is referred to by "Willughby 
as follows : " Croppers, so called because they can, and usually 
do, by attracting the air, blow up their crops to that strange 
bigness that they exceed the bulk of the whole body beside. 
A certain Hollander informed Aldrovandus that these Kroppers 
Duve, as they call them, are twice as big as the common 
Domestic Pigeons, which, as they fly, and while they make 
that murmuring noise, swell their throats to a great bigness, 
and the bigger the better and more generous they are 
esteemed. Those that I saw at Mr. Cope's, a citizen of 
London, living in Jewin Street, seemed to me nothing bigger, 
but rather less than Runts, and somewhat more slender and 
long-bodied. These differ no less one from another in colour 
than the precedent" (i.e., Bunts). 

Meagre though this description be, we can learn from it 



224 FANCY PIGEONS. 

that, 200 years ago, the London Pouters were large pigeons, 
long and slender in body, and with great crops. Sixty years 
later, however, we have Moore's succinct account of the origin 
of the English Pouter; but whether it was merely a tradi- 
tionary account, or a narrative of facts within his own 
knowledge, cannot now, I fancy, be determined. First of 
all, he describes the Dutch Cropper as follows: "This Pigeon 
seems to be originally Dutch, being naturally thick, and its 
Name is derived from a large Bag, or crop of Wind, which 
they carry under their Beak, and can at Pleasure either 
raise or depress; they are thick bodied and short, their Legs 
are likewise thick, short, and feather'd down to their Feet; 
their Crop is large, but always hangs low; the Feathers on 
their Thighs hang loose, whereby they are said to be flag- 
thigh'd; their Legs stand wide, and they seldom play 
upright ; they are gravel Ey'd, and generally very bad 
Feeders; therefore, as soon as they have fed off their soft 
Meat, it is proper to put their young ones under a pair of 
small Runts, Dragoons, or Powting-horsemen, which may be 
kept as Nurses for that Purpose. There are of all Sorts of 
Feathers in this Pigeon, and the Dutch in breeding it take 
a very great care ; for as soon as they have fed off their 
soft Meat, they put the young ones under others to nurse, 
and then separate the old ones, placing them in different 
Coops, and feeding them high with Hemp or Rape Seed for 
a Month, then turning them together; and by being very 
hearty and salacious, they breed Pigeons with very good 
Properties : from whence we may observe, that wou'd Mankind 
be like abstemious, their Progeny might be more compleat 
both in Body and Mind. These are the Pigeons that are 
most apt to gorge, if not kept constantly supplied with Meat 
and Water." 

Moore commences his description of the English Pouter thus : 
" This Pigeon, which was first bred in England, and is therefore 
call'd the English Powter, is originally a mixt breed between 



225 POUTING PIGEONS. 

a Horseman and a Cropper, and by matching their young ones 
over and over to the Cropper, Experience teaches us, it will 
add a wonderful Beauty to this Bird, and raise in it the five 
following Properties." Though Moore does not say what kind 
of Cropper was used for breeding the English Pouter, the 
inference is that he referred to the aforesaid Dutch variety, 
which is, in fact, the only Cropper he describes. His description 
of what constituted a good English Pouter in 1735, is, indeed, 
excellent, so far as it goes ; and though he does not go minutely 
into the appearance of the bird, his account of it, had nothing 
been added by the author of the Treatise of 1765, would give 
those who read his work to-day the idea that our Pouter is 
identical with the one he describes. During the thirty years 
following the publication of Moore's work, however, a con- 
siderable advance appears to have been made in the breed- 
ing of fancy pigeons, as I learn from the following, taken from 
the preface of the Treatise of 1765, page xiv. : " It is to be ob- 
served that the species in general, and the Almond Tumbler 
in particular, are, from great care and expence in breeding them, 
arrived to so great a perfection, and so different from what 
they were twenty or thirty years past, that if a person who 
had been a fancier at that period, and had quitted the fancy, 
and not been conversant therein during the intermediate time, 
was to give his opinion now, he would be apt to condemn 
them, for no other reason than because they are not like what 
used to be thought good when he was in the fancy before; 
for instance, the Powter was formerly bred with thin legs, 
and void of feathers on them, which by the present fanciers 
are in no esteem, and called by them naked and wire-legg'd, 
who now endeavour to breed them with strong substantial 
limbs, and well feathered." 

One of the set of eight old oil paintings of fancy pigeons 
which I am fortunate in having acquired, and which I have 
before referred to (see page 178), represents a magnificent 
black-pied Pouter cock of the kind stated by the above- 

x 



226 FANCY PIGEONS. 

mentioned writer to have been fancied in Moore's time. As 
this picture shows a bird quite bare in limb, with the excep- 
tion of a few very short feathers down the outside of 
the leg, and with none whatever on the toes, I think it, as 
well as the others, must have been painted about the 
time Moore wrote his book, for they are all uniform, and 
evidently the work of the same artist. The pictures repre- 
senting the other pigeons being life-size, I suppose that 
of the black-pied cock to be the same; and although I 
have occasionally seen a bird in life standing as high as he 
does, it has been but seldom. He is 14in. from the crown of 
his head to the soles of his feet, and must have measured 
about 20in. in feather. He is short of bib, and his rose pinion 
might have been dressed, had the artist meant to depict a 
well-marked pigeon. I think, for this reason, the picture is 
a portrait. I can scarcely believe that such a pigeon could 
-have been produced, in the way Moore says, in a short period 
of time, for the immense crop and intricate marking would 
take long to fix after a cross with the Horseman ; and then, 
"Willughby's description of the Pouter, such as it is, written 
about sixty years before Moore's, is extant. At the same time, 
when a drawing of a model Pouter is made, quite devoid of crop, 
there can be seen in it much of the shape of the thorough- 
bred Carrier, as anyone may prove for himself; so that it is 
extremely likely that the union of such a bird as Moore's 
Dutch Cropper and the Carrier would result, after a long, 
careful breeding, in such a bird as the English Pouter. We 
find that, with age, certain Pouters develop a good deal of 
beak and eye wattle, though birds of the same family vary 
greatly in this respect. If this be not derived from a remote 
cross of the Carrier, either direct or through some of the long 
Runts which likewise possess it, it must have -developed itself 
in the Pouter race in the same way as in that of the Carrier. 
There has arisen lately, in Germany, a theory that the English 
Pouter might have been derived from the Pomeranian Cropper, 



227 POUTING PIGEONS. 

the appearance of which I shall describe, and the arguments 
connected with which I shall discuss, when I come to write 
about it. In the meantime, I shall describe what constitutes 
a perfect English Pouter, which, even on the Continent, where 
many varieties of the family exist, stands confessedly at the 
head of them all, and by many in this country is considered 
the finest, noblest, and most beautiful of all pigeons. 

As will be shown, the great run on the Almond Tumbler, 
about the middle of last century, was the cause of the Pouter 
being to a great extent neglected in London; and the fancy 
for it appears to have languished from that time, till at 
last the breed nearly disappeared thence. About the year 1830 
Scotch fanciers began to breed this pigeon, and ultimately 
got it almost entirely into their own hands. At that time, 
some of the linen manufacturers of Dundee brought home with 
them from London which place they were in the habit of 
visiting annually by way of trade many fine Pouters, which 
have been described to me, by those who remember them, as 
stylish birds, good in colour and marking. At the same time, or 
soon afterwards, fanciers in the West of Scotland also began 
breeding Pouters, and from 1860 to 1870 the fancy for them may 
be said to have reached its zenith in Scotland. Soon after the 
Glasgow pigeon shows were established, or about 1860, English 
fanciers went into Pouter-breeding, but for some time were 
obliged to draw their supplies of stock birds from Scotland, 
the breed being next to extinct south of the Border. As 
records will show, this was so much the case, that the Pouter 
was for years often quite unrepresented at the annual exhibi- 
tions of Metropolitan pigeon societies, the members of which 
confined themselves to the Carrier, Short-faced Tumbler, Dra- 
goon, &c. At the present time, Scotland and England may 
be said to divide between them the breeding of Pouters ; but 
in London, the very home of this variety, and where it was 
undoubtedly produced, so far as I know, there are still few 
who keep them, with the exception of the large dealers. Irish 

x 2 



228 FANCY PIGEONS. 



fanciers have, to some extent, bred these noble pigeons for 
several years past, and they have succeeded in producing 
many fine ones, as is well known. Some of the best I have 
bred myself I can trace back to birds I bought from the late 
Mr. Montgomery, of Belfast, whose stock was founded chiefly 
on Scotch blood. 

It has been usual to write of the English Pouter as having 
five properties viz., crop, length of limb, length of feather, 
slenderness of girth, and feather. Authorities are divided on 
the respective value of these properties, and also as to which 
is the most valuable. It is no use, however, to argue over 
this, as a Pouter must be fairly well up in all points to 
have any chance of winning at a good show, the bird which 
fails conspicuously in any one of them having little chance 
in keen competition. In describing the Pouter, I shall restrict 
its properties to four viz., size, shape, carriage, and feather. 

SIZE. The Pouter must be a very large pigeon, very tall 
and upstanding, the larger the better. It will be found in 
breeding, that the great difficulty is to get it of gigantic pro- 
portions, combined with quality in shape, feather, and carriage. 
Under-sized Pouters, otherwise very good, are common enough ; 
but, as soon as a certain size is reached, there is not only a 
very great difficulty in rearing a bird, but it almost invariably 
fails in shape and carriage. When size and shape are got, 
the difficulty of producing good colour and the intricate 
marking at once decimates the number fit for exhibition. 
Those whose experience in breeding pigeons has been confined 
to self-coloured varieties, such as Carriers and Barbs, know 
nothing of the difficulty there is in producing colour and 
marking, combined with size and shape, in the Pouter. I 
believe the Pouter was formerly the most valuable variety. 
Moore says : " I have known eight guineas refused for a single 
Pigeon of this breed " ; and the author of the Treatise of 1765 
quotes a sale of Pouters by auction, at which two pairs 
realised 13 6s. and 16 16s. respectively. He says that 



229 POUTING PIGEONS. 

two pairs from the same sale were afterwards sold for thirty- 
six guineas by private contract. I believe 60 is the highest 
price which has been paid in late years for a Pouter. 

SHAPE. My drawing of a Pouter represents the shape or 
outline of a good bird in position. The head and beak do 
not constitute fancy points, because, generally, there is nothing 
abnormal about them. As I have said, beak and eye wattle 
are sometimes developed to an abnormal extent, but generally 
when the bird is past being fit for exhibition. Allowing for 
size, the head and beak of the Pouter may be said to be 
of the common type. 

The chief and most important part in the shape of a Pouter 
is the crop, towards the setting off of which to the greatest 
advantage all its other parts are designed. By the time a 
young bird has moulted its nest feathers, the breeder will have 
an idea if it is likely to be well-developed in this respect. The 
cocks are generally better in crop than the hens, though, in young 
birds, the latter generally show it sooner. The crop ought to be 
very large, and as round as possible from every point of 
view. It ought to be carried with freedom, and fully expanded 
when the bird is in show. 

Slenderness of girth, or smallness in waist, shows off a good 
crop to the greatest advantage, and is one of the principal 
points contributing to fine shape in a Pouter. "While most 
Pouters thicken in body after two years of age, I have known 
some retain their slender girth for six years, and never be 
shown without winning. Fanciers should strive to obtain birds 
of the latter type, the only one which a breeder who has 
passed through his novitiate has any pleasure in keeping. 

Next to a good crop, the limbs are the most important 
points about the shape of the Pouter. They ought to be long, 
properly placed in the body, well- shaped, and rightly feathered. 
Limb is measured from the joint of the thigh, first above the 
hock, to the point of the nail of the middle toe. A limb 
measuring in this way 7in. is extra long. Some years ago, I 



230 FANCY PIGEONS. 

visited the lofts of more than thirty Scotch and English Pouter 
breeders, and all the really 7in.-limbed Pouters I saw on my 
journey could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Since 
then, however, a great improvement has been made in this 
respect, and birds measuring 7in., and even 7f in. in limb, have 
been bred. It is usual, either intentionally, or from ignorance 
of how to measure, to overstate the length of limb in Pouters 
about a quarter of an inch; but this extra quarter sometimes 
makes a great difference in the value of a bird. A fancier 
once wrote me that he required his cock Pouters to be 7in. in 
limb, and his hens 6f in. ; but when I visited him, he could 
not show me a bird out of thirty measuring so much. Some 
birds wear down their toe nails very much; in others, living 
under the same conditions, the nails grow out extra long. 
Neither form is fairly to be taken into account in measuring 
the limb ; the length of an average toe nail may only be included ; 
but neither form affects the height of a pigeon. The 
difference in length of limb between the cock and hen Pouter 
is about iin., so that 6fin. in a hen is as good as 7in. in 
a cock. I measure the limb of a Pouter on a marked board 
projecting from the wall, placing the nail of the index finger 
of my left hand in the joint of the left thigh of the bird, 
and bringing it exactly to the corner of the board; then, 
stretching out the limb with my right hand, I can find the 
exact length to ^th of an inch. Others who measure with- 
out assistance, hold the pigeon by the back in the left hand, 
place the point of the index finger of the right hand on the 
joint of the thigh, and then, bringing the limb down the 
palm of the hand, ascertain the length from the natural 
marks on their palm. This is a true way to measure if one 
remembers what signifies such and such lengths on his hand, 
but not otherwise, as I have often found. Of more importance, 
however, than actual measurement of limbs, is their position 
in the body, and their shape. They ought to be placed far 
back, so that there remains a good length of body between 



231 POUTING PIGEONS. 

them and the crop. It is only birds so formed that can be 
very tall. The limbs ought also to be placed closely together, 
and, when viewed from the front, continue to approach each 
other down as far as the hocks; then, gradually separating, 
the feet ought to be as far apart as the thighs are at their 
junction with the body. The hocks must closely approach, but 
not touch, each other, otherwise the pigeon cannot walk grace- 
fully. In profile view, the limbs must form a very obtuse 
angle at the hocks ; on this depends very much the height 
of a bird. I have shown in my drawing, as nearly as I can, 
the correct shape of the limbs from this point of view. 

While pigeons generally are in-toed, the Pouter must turn 
his feet decidedly out. It is quite unnecessary to describe all 
the faults in shape of limb usually seen in Pouters, every 
other form from that described being faulty. Limbs too 
straight and stiff, or too much bent and crouching, are frequent 
faults, as also are those set too far forward in the body, or 
widely placed, the latter often appearing quite bowed at the 
thigh from a front view. A Pouter should show all his limbs 
as far as the thigh joint ; but many have this joint concealed 
in the feathers of the body, their thighs lying close to their 
body, like a runt's, instead of standing well out. Finally, there 
is the way the limbs ought to be feathered. The correct style 
is known as stocking-limbed, or with the legs entirely covered 
with short, soft, downy feathers. These feathers may over- 
hang at the hocks as much as shown in the illustration. 
The feathers on the toes must, however, be very long, spread- 
ing out from each foot for 3in. or 4in. For a short time 
after the annual moult these toe feathers remain perfect 
in some birds, if care has been exercised; but they never 
remain perfect throughout the season, and usually get broken 
before they are full grown. They give such birds as have 
them a very fine appearance, but very few are naturally furnished 
with them in perfection, if the limbs themselves are just 
completely stockinged, and not over-feathered. Pouters proper 



232 FANCY PIGEONS. 



as apart from small Croppers, are not now found entirely 
barelegged, the least amount of leg covering seen showing 
about half the leg bare, or with short feathers on the out- 
sides of the limbs and on the toes. This is how the portrait 
of a Pouter is represented in the Treatise of 1765, which 
shows the gradual improvement in this respect from Moore's 
time. Pouters are now found from half leg-feathered to 
rough-limbed, some of the latter having coarse hock feathers 
reaching to the ground, and toe feathers over 6in. long. Such 
leg-feathering quite impedes graceful movement; but as it 
often comes in birds otherwise excellent, these are bred with 
others under-feathered in limb. In matching stocking-legged 
birds together, the produce is rather inclined to come bare- 
legged, and it is annoying to find what are otherwise the 
best young birds so. Rough limbs have, and, it is likely, 
always will have, a place in every loft. As a matter of in- 
dividual taste I dislike them very much, and greatly prefer 
thin-limbed birds, as they are much handsomer, more grace- 
ful, and have greater freedom in movement. It will be seen 
what a heavy tax on the Pouter breeder this matter of leg- 
feathering is of itself. All else may be about right, but it is 
three to one against the limbs being properly feathered. 

Length of feather, or, the length from the point of the 
beak to the end of the tail, is next to be considered in the 
shape of the Pouter. This is ascertained by holding the bird 
in the left hand ; then, by placing the index finger of the right 
hand under his beak, and the thumb at the back of his head, 
he can be stretched out to his natural length, and measured 
against a marked board as before. In this way some birds 
measure 20in., which is a good length. I once saw one 21in. 
full, but he had one feather in his tail an inch longer than 
the others, and which was, consequently, of no value, but 
rather a fault. I have often measured two Pouters and found 
them the same length, though the flights and tail of one 
were a full inch longer than those of the other. The birds 



233 POUTING PIGEONS. 



were differently formed, one making up in neck what he lost 
in feather. I think this may be some slight proof of the 
Carrier cross, the greater length of neck enabling the bird to 
stand higher, and giving room for greater development of 
crop. Short-necked birds, whose length depends on nights 
and tail, have little style, and can never have fine carriage. 
Mere length from beak to tail should never have been made 
a property in the breed. Pouters may be too long as well 
as too short. What they ought to be depends entirely on the 
set and apparent length of their limbs. There are, at present, 
three too long for every one too short. A Pouter which has 
7in. limbs, of the proper shape, and rightly placed, and which 
has a good long neck, can afford to measure 19in. from point 
of beak to tip of tail, and no more. A bird measuring 
20in., however long in neck, requires limbs 7^in. long, and 
of the very best description, to enable him to stand properly. 
The next excellence in shape of a Pouter, supposing him to 
be standing in position in a show-pen, or on the ground, is 
to be hollow-backed, the opposite of which being hog-backed 
is a most serious defect. His wings must be carried close to 
his body, and well up, so as to show his breast and belly in 
profile. Drooping wings, which conceal this outline, are very 
faulty, and generally hereditary. His flights must always be 
carried over his tail, and reach nearly to the end of it; they 
ought to be broad, and not narrow. The tail should be carried 
very near the ground, but not touching it; it ought never to 
be carried high, which is a great, though common, fault. 
Many of the best Pouters I have seen were split-tailed, having 
their tails in two equal divisions, this being more noticeable when 
the birds were in the hand than when at liberty. I have heard 
old fanciers say that the split- tail is a mark of high breeding, 
and also that long hairs on the breast of a Pouter were proof 
of good blood. What is known as a fish-tail, or one split in 
two, and diverging at the points, is, however, very undesirable. 
Pouters often have extra tail feathers, as many as fifteen 



234 FANCY PIGEONS. 

primaries being common. Several strains nave also an extra 
primary flight, and I have had many with eleven flights a 
side. 

CARRIAGE. Having stated what constitutes good shape in 
a Pouter when seen standing still in a show-pen, or on 
the floor of his loft, I now proceed to describe the way he 
ought to carry himself when in motion. Regarding carriage, 
Moore expresses himself as follows: "Besides the five Pro- 
perties before mention'd, there is another, which tho' not 
generally allow'd, will be found to be one of the best, I 
mean the Carriage." A Pouter which is not formed on good 
lines, and is not well-proportioned, can never look well, how- 
ever he may carry himself ; but, however well he may be shaped, 
it does not follow that his carriage will be right. Shape and 
carriage are, therefore, separate properties, as Moore states. 
The crop being well filled, the bird may, as he plays up to 
his hen, begin to "bufle," as Moore describes it, or to choke 
with wind by overfilling his crop. He then sets up the feathers 
at the back of his neck, and struggles from side to side, en- 
deavouring to free himself from the encumbrance. Some birds 
are much addicted to this fault, and will, unless caught up and 
relieved, by their beaks being opened, and the air pressed out 
of their crops, remain in such a state for half-an-hour at a time. 
Some birds, though naturally possessed of capacious crops, 
never fill them, but allow them to hang down like an empty 
bag. These are said to be slack-winded, and, as Moore says, 
" appear not much better than an ill-shap'd Runt." A Pouter 
as he plays must keep himself perfectly upright, so that his 
head is perpendicular with his feet ; he must on no account 
jump oft* the ground as he plays, but walk in a very dignified 
way, with his tail slightly spread out. A grave fault in 
carriage is jumping off the ground as he plays, which is gene- 
rally accompanied by rumping, or setting up the feathers of his 
back and rump, the tail at the same time being tucked under 
him, and dragged along the ground. All these faults are 



235 POUTING PIGEONS. 



often seen in birds which look well enough when standing 
still. Pouters ought, therefore, to be always judged in a large 
show-pen, to allow their carriage to be seen, and this is now 
generally done at important shows. 

FEATHER. The standard colours of the Pouter are yellow, 
red, black, and blue pied, valuable, both of old and at the pre- 
sent time, in the order named, when the birds are equal in all 
else. Pure white comes next, and then the other colours, pied 
according to the standard. The way in which a Pouter must be 
pied, or marked with white, is as follows : On his ground colour 
he must have a crescent or half -moon mark of white on the 
front of his crop, as shown in the illustration. This half -moon 
mark looks best when about 2in. wide at its deepest part. It 
must finish on 2 with fine points a little below the ears, and 
be set low enough on the crop to leave a large bib of colour 
between it and the beak. When this bib is wanting the bird 
is swallow-throated, and then, of course, there is no properly 
defined crescent at all. The ends of the crescent often reach 
to the eyes, finishing off too widely, and this is apt to result 
in broken or bull eyes. All pied Pouters should have clear 
yellow or orange irides, and beaks coloured according to their 
feather, though it may be mentioned that a flesh-coloured beak 
is not only allowed, but admired by some, in reds and yellows. 
Serious defects in marking are a blaze of white or snip on the 
forehead ; and a ring neck, which is caused by the crop mark- 
ing going right round the neck. On the shoulders, and well 
away from the butts of the wings, there should be a mottling 
of single white feathers, forming what is known as the rose- 
pinion, which ought to be round, and cover a space lain, in 
diameter. It is but seldom this beautiful mark is seen well- 
defined; the white feathers forming it are generally more or 
less in patches; and it is often represented by a single patch 
of white, which, when it reaches the edge of the wing, makes 
the bird bishop- winged, bishoped, or lawn-sleeved, which is 
more faulty than being entirely solid winged. The primary 



236 FANCY PIGEONS. 

flight feathers must be white to the turn of the wing, or a bird 
will be foul-flighted; and if the outer flight feather alone is foul 
a common enough fault he will be sword-flighted. Next, if a 
Pouter be lifted up by the wings, he ought to be entirely white 
on the lower back, sides, belly, thighs, and legs. The tail, with 
its coverts, upper and under, must be coloured, being cut sharply 
off, the same as in the Nun; and the line of demarcation between 
the belly and breast must be sharply cut, or, as it is called, 
evenly-belted, as shown in the drawing. 

In treating of the various colours found in Pouters, the 
yellow comes first, as being the most valuable when all else is 
equal. Cocks of this colour, really good in properties, are, and 
always have been, scarce, but good yellow hens are common 
enough. In reds, on the other hand, good cocks are plentiful, 
and really fine hens rather scarce. These colours have a great 
natural affinity, and are to a great extent interbred in all 
varieties of fancy pigeons. The colour of yellow Pouters is 
often pleasing enough, but is not, in reality, any nearer perfec- 
tion than the majority of reds. The latter were formerly some- 
times to be found of a glossy blood-red, but they became very 
scarce. Of late years, attention having been directed to them, 
much has been done in resuscitating the colour : but although 
I have seen, in my experience, many very good coloured 
reds, I never saw any that could compare, in general Pouter 
properties, with such as were only of a second or third degree of 
colour. There is a beauty and richness in the best degree of 
the red colour, as seen in many foreign pigeons, which makes 
it universally admired. The best coloured red Pouter I ever 
saw was a cock, bred in London, I believe, which was in the 
possession of Mr. Fulton, about 1870, and from which are 
descended some of the best coloured reds now in existence. 
This bird had not a white beak, which many consider essential 
in a red Pouter ; his beak was of a dark ruddy hue. His tail 
was heavily stained with red, and his rump, or upper tail coverts, 
was as red as his wing coverts. I have always considered that 



237 POUTING PIGEONS. 



it is owing to the poverty of colour in reds and yellows generally 
that they are unable to carry colour in the tail; but however 
white the tail may appear to be, an examination will always show 
that the feathers are not really white, like those in the tail of an 
all white Pouter, the shafts of the primaries being usually dark, 
and the under coverts grey, in the lightest tailed birds. When 
fine coloured red Jacobins, Turbiteens, or other red pigeons with 
white extremities, breed young ones with a foul tail feather or 
two, as they frequently do, these feathers are invariably weak 
in colour compared with their body feathers. The old breeders, 
finding it impossible to breed red and yellow Pouters with tails 
as dark as their wing coverts, probably tried to breed them with 
tails as white as possible, for it cannot be denied that a half- 
coloured or stained tail does not look well. But then, if the 
white tail were imperative, it would be necessary to keep reds 
and yellows entirely distinct from blacks, for how could the 
black-tailed black, when crossed with the red, be expected to 
breed reds with pure white tails, and blacks with black tails ? 
As a matter of fact, the best coloured reds and yellows are 
usually the most heavily stained in tail; therefore, finding that 
it is natural for them to be so, it should not prejudice them. I 
do not suppose any intelligent breeder would prefer a brick-red, 
with an apparently white tail, to a blood red with a dark rump 
and stained tail. There is no trouble with the tails of black 
Pouters ; however bad their colour, they can always carry it to 
the end of the tail. In crossing black with blue Pouters, 
smoky blacks, showing wing bars of a darker hue, are a common 
result. This can be bred out in a series of crosses ; but it ruins 
colour in reds and yellows to breed any such blue-bred blacks 
with them. The first cross between black and red, in all 
varieties of pigeons, however good in colour, often results in 
strawberry or sandy. These are of various shades, from such as 
are very light, looking as if sanded over, to such as are of a 
reddish strawberry, many of which are ticked with black. It is 
well known that some of the best black pieds have been bred 



238 FANCY PIGEONS. 

from a sandy and a black. Blue-pied Pouters have always been 
favourites, and their colour being the most natural one, is easiest 
to breed good. Through crossing with artificial colours, blues 
have certain inherent faults, which must be carefully guarded 
against. Their wing bars ought to be jet black, but frequently 
come brown, when they are called kite-barred. Their wing 
coverts ought to be of a sound dark blue, neither smoky nor 
dusky, nor so light and silvery that the white rose pinions are 
with difficulty distinguished on them. White Pouters ought 
to have flesh-coloured beaks, and almost invariably have bull 
or hazel eyes. It may almost be taken for certain that a white 
Pouter, with its beak even slightly stained, has some coloured 
feathers about its head. A white Pouter with a dark, or partly 
dark beak, cannot rightly be shown in a class for whites, if the 
strict letter of the law be enforced ; but such a bird is in much 
the same position as a white-vented black Carrier in a class for 
blacks. The difference between them is, that the Carrier's fault 
is hidden, while the Pouter's is very glaring. There was once a 
strain of orange-eyed white Pouters, but whether they were 
free of foul feathers I know not. Pure whites with orange eyes 
would look very well, and I see no reason why they should not, 
if ever shown, be allowed to compete with whites, for they would 
really have an additional property over bull-eyed birds, and one 
difficult to keep up, as in white Jacobins and white Tumblers. 
There would always, however, be a suspicion that they were foul- 
feathered somewhere ; but so there is with other pearl or yellow- 
eyed white pigeons. 

The colours of Pouters other than yellow, red, black, and 
blue-pied and pure white, are generally called off-colours, and 
are not so valuable, neither are they generally bred for. This 
would not, however, long continue to be the case if the Pouter 
fancy were to extend greatly over the country, because in- 
creasing competition would cause breeders to cultivate some 
of the so-called off-colours, many of which are very beautiful. 
Dun, which is a standard colour in Carriers, was, till lately, 



239 POUTING PIGEONS. 

very scarce in Pouters. I do not admire it myself, but it 
could be vastly improved if bred for. Duns are usually hens, 
but I nave seen a dun cock. I have seen blue, red, yellow, 
and dun chequers. Of these, the blue is the only one which 
can be said to be common, and that not so much so as formerly. 
Such chequers as come in crossing the solid with the barred 
colours do not represent what could be made of them were they 
to be systematically bred for; but in the present state of the 
Pouter fancy I do not think there is room for them. The 
blue chequer is of two kinds the light, and the dark, some- 
times called black chequer. The light blue chequer is useful 
for improving colour of wing coverts and bars in blues, but 
it must be used with care, and with due regard as to how 
it was itself produced. This colour has always existed in the 
breed. The black chequer is sometimes so dark that it is 
apparently black on the wing coverts ; but its tail is dark 
blue, with the usual black bar, and any foul feathers on its 
under body are greyish blue. This colour is often thrown by 
a pair of reds which have had a recent cross of black. It 
is a very good cross for black, and some of the most lustrous 
black pieds have been so produced. 

The mealy Pouter has always been a favourite in Scotland, 
because many of the best birds ever seen have been so coloured. 
It is of various shades, the correct colour being the same as 
in the best show Antwerps. The neck and wing bars ought 
to be lustrous red, and the wing coverts of a clear light tint, 
but still decided enough to show up the rose pinion. The 
tail should be so light as to appear nearly white. Mealy has 
been continually bred with blue, and, consequently, most mealies 
are of a bluish tint, with a hard blue-black beak, instead of a 
soft-coloured, ruddy one. The mealy could be greatly improved 
by cultivation, which it is well worth, as are the other bar- 
winged colours, the silver and yellow-mealy. Silvers are occa- 
sionally bred from blues, and are almost invariably, in my 
experience, hens. It is many years since I heard of a silver 



240 FANCY PIGEONS. 



cock. The wing bars and neck of a silver ought to be of a 
clear bright golden dun, and not as black as possible, which 
would be a departure from the correct colour, and too near 
an approach to blue. The wing coverts should be of a creamy 
dun, and only dark enough to show up the rose pinion. The 
tail is of a medium shade of dun, barred with the same colour 
as that of the wing bars. The yellow-mealy ought to have 
bright yellow neck and wing bars; but the wing coverts in 
this colour are never so decided in colour as to show the rose 
pinion without the closest examination. The tail is so light 
as to appear white. Yellow-mealies are usually hens. The four 
solid colours black, dun, red, and yellow have, therefore, their 
corresponding barred colours, all of which are very beautiful 
when good; but in the present state of the fancy, I question 
if there is a sufficiency of breeders to give them the attention 
they require. In crossing the barred with the solid colours, 
chequers are produced, which are of service in breeding back 
to the barred, but detrimental to the solid, colours, which 
they tend to spoil, as is well known to those who understand 
breeding for colour. 

To give a Pouter every chance in competition at a show, it 
must be carefully tamed and rendered familiar by systematic 
training. The difficulties which beset the Pouter fancier on 
this account are very graphically described by Eaton, in a 
note where he compares the ever-merry Norwich Cropper with 
the frequently-sulky and phlegmatic Pouter. Temper and dis- 
position are very variable in Pouters, many of the best birds, 
when penned up, obstinately refusing to show off what good 
shape they possess. To send the average Pouter direct to a 
show from his loft or aviary, where he has been so far at 
liberty, without preliminary training, is to lose half the chance 
he may have of winning. The greater portion of the lives of 
some birds, even in the breeding season, is spent closely penned 
up ; but most fanciers have neither accommodation nor inclina- 
tion to keep their birds in this way, and only commence to train 



241 POUTING PIGEONS. 

them after the breeding time. Every bird intended to be 
shown must, therefore, be penned up separately, the cocks 
being placed out of sight of the hens ; and by often talking to 
them, using such expressions as "hip, hip, hoo-a, hoo-a," and 
at the same time snapping the fingers, a good-tempered pigeon 
soon becomes very tame, and shows up whenever called upon. 
A proud hen, that will stand quietly on the hand, may also be 
carried round before the cocks, which soon puts them on their 
mettle; and it is well to allow all penned-up birds out occa- 
sionally, so that they may stretch their wings. It is a bad 
practice to put one's hands in the pens and allow the birds to 
peck at them ; this gets them into the habit of always jumping 
off their blocks, and coming to the front of their pens, on the 
approach of anyone. Pouters are naturally familiar birds, 
few of them refusing to become very tame if any trouble is 
taken with them; but perseverance and judicious treatment 
must be exercised, and kindness accorded to such as keep 
long shy and stubborn, for they will not be driven into show- 
ing. The late Mr. Montgomery, of Belfast, said: "Pigeons, 
like other animals, have got tempers ; a sulky, bad-tempered 
bird will never be a winner in a show-pen, and I question 
the propriety of breeding from such birds, as they transmit 
this peculiarity as well as others." As to breeding from such, 
everyone will, of course, be guided by circumstances. I fear 
good Pouters will never be plentiful enough to allow any hard- 
and-fast line to be drawn against breeding from one possessing 
a particular fault, if good otherwise. 

The Norwich Cropper. 

The Norwich Cropper is a pigeon which is found in its 
purity in the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex. It has 
hitherto been undescribed by name in any book treating of 
English pigeons, though quite distinct from the large Pouter ; 
but some allusions are made to it by Eaton, who was evidently 
sensible of its great beauty and fine style. The Uploper and 

Y 



242 FANCY PIGEONS. 

Pouting Horseman are two varieties of Croppers described by 
Moore, at pages 37 and 38 of his " Columbarium." Of the 
former he says: "The Uploper is a Pigeon bred originally 
in Holland, its Make and Shape grees in every respect with 
the English Powter, only it is smaller in every Property. 
Its Crop is very round, in which it generally buries its Bill ; 
its Legs are very small and slender, and its toes are short 
and close together, on which it treads so nicely, that when 
moving, you may put anything under the Ball of its Foot ; 
it is close thigh'd, plays very upright, and when it approaches 
the Hen, generally leaps to her, with its tail spread, which 
is the reason the Name is given to it, from the Dutch Word 
Uplopen, which signifies to leap up. These Pigeons are 
generally all blue, white, or black, tho' I will not assert that 
there are no Pieds of this Species. There are but very few 
of them in England, and I have been inform'd that in 
Holland they have ask'd five and twenty Guineas for a 
single Pair of them." 

Moore then describes the " Powting Horseman " as follows : 
" This Pigeon is a bastard Strain between the Cropper and 
the Horseman, and according to the Number of Times that 
their young ones are bred over from the Cropper, they are 
call'd first, second, or third bred; and the oftner they are 
bred over, the larger their Crop proves. The Reason of 
breeding these Pigeons is to improve the Strain of the 
Powters, by making them close thigh'd, tho' it is apt to 
make them rump, from the Horseman's Blood: They are a 
very merry Pigeon upon a House, and by often dashing off 
are good to pitch stray Pigeons, that are at a Loss to find 
their own Home; they breed often and are good Nurses, 
generally feeding their young ones well. I have known 
these Pigeons to be six Inches and six and a half in Legs; 
they are a hearty Pigeon and, give 'em but Meat a,nd "Water, 
need very little other Attendance. Some of them will home 
ten or twentv Miles." 



243 POUTING PIGEONS. 

There is certainly much in the description of the Uploper 
which agrees with that of the Norwich Cropper, and, if 
Moore had said that it was marked like the Pouter, I should 
consider the breeds identical. The Uploper was, however, a 
self-coloured Cropper, and Moore could not say positively 
that there were pieds among the breed. While the shape, 
carriage, and general characteristics of the Norwich Cropper 
are well described by Moore in his account of the Uploper, 
its merry disposition and peculiar flight is, to a slight extent, 
mentioned in his description of the Pouting Horseman; but 
I cannot consider the latter to be the same variety, for it 
was evidently much nearer the Pouter in size, nothing like 
6in. to 6iin. in limb being found in pure Croppers. Nor have 
Croppers the slightest indication of ever having been crossed 
with the Horseman, their heads and beaks being of a pure 
Blue Bock Pigeon formation. That the Norwich Cropper, as 
it exists, is a much older and more constant breed of pigeon 
than the English Pouter I am well satisfied of, but I have 
no means of knowing how long it has existed, or how it was 
originally produced. Its marking, like the Pouter's, is found 
in several Continental breeds of Croppers, and the probability 
is, that both our Pouter and Cropper were gradually bred up 
from Continental varieties, perhaps brought here by immi- 
grants in the Middle Ages. Gonzales, in his account of Britain 
(1730), says of Norwich: "The worsted manufacture, for which 
this city has long been famous, was first brought hither by 
the Flemings, in the reign of Edward III., and afterwards 
improved to great perfection by the Dutch, who fled from the 
Duke d'Alva's bloody persecutions." 

The properties of the Norwich Cropper are size, shape, 
carriage, feather, and flight. Flight is, indeed, the chief 
point with many, who, though they may admire all the other 
points, consider them as of little consequence if a bird cannot 
perform well in the air. The German writers, Neumeister 
and Priitz, mention certain peculiarities in the flight of some 

Y 2 



244 FANCY PIGEONS. 

of the Continental Pigmy Pouters; but that similar pecu- 
liarities are shared by a pure English variety, the fanciers 
of which have an old, though unwritten, code of rules to 
guide them, is not generally known. I learned much of what 
I know of these rules from Mr. Boreham, of Colchester, who 
graduated under an old Cropper fancier, the late Mr. Perry, 
of Great Yarmouth, who, I believe, died, at an advanced age, 
somewhere about 1871. He was a Cropper fancier all his life, 
always kept up a stock of good birds, and was always willing 
to buy a good one. I had one old cock which belonged to 
him, from which the best 1 ever possessed descended. 

SIZE. I admire smallness of size in a Cropper, though 
not at any sacrifice of what goes to make up general good 
shape. Mr. Boreham, and others with whom I have ex- 
changed ideas on the subject, agree with me in this, while 
many pay no regard to size if a bird flies well. The best 
Croppers I have seen were of a medium size; but there 
little difference in size between the largest and smallest birds 
of the pure breed. 

SHAPE. While it would take the best parts of several 
first-class English Pouters to make up such a pigeon as my 
drawing represents, I have seen many Croppers quite equal 
in outline to my illustration. The crop in these pigeons is, 
for the most part, far better developed than in Pouters, 
their respective sizes considered; indeed, many of these 
beautiful little pigeons have crops that would be considered 
good in a large Pouter. The crop, or bladder, as it is called 
in Norwich, is often as round as a ball, even filling out 
behind the neck, so that a perfectly spherical shape is some- 
times attained; and in it, as Moore says of the Uploper, 
the bird " generally buries its Bill." The legs should be 
entirely free of feathers; but about half the number of 
Croppers I have seen or possessed have had some short 
feathers down the outsides of the legs and on the middle 
toes, which I consider so far faulty, the barelegged birds 



245 POUTING PIGEONS. 

being very much smarter in appearance. However, as some 
of the best birds are slightly feather-legged, they are not to 
be discarded on this account. Flight being considered all- 
in-all by many Cropper fanciers, feathered legs are of little 
consequence ; at the same time, bare legs are allowed to be 
correct. I have not seen any pure Croppers completely 
stocking-legged, and the more they are so the worse they 
look. No doubt the Pouter is vastly improved by com- 
pletely feathered stocking limbs ; but, as I have shown, it 
was barelegged in Moore's time. The little Cropper having, 
however, quite a different carriage from the Pouter, feathered 
legs give it a clumsy appearance, and this is a settled question 
among many of those who keep them. The legs ought to 
be placed in the body as in the Pouter, compared with 
which the Cropper is straighter in limb, not inclining so 
much at the hocks. Slenderness of girth, or of waist as it 
is termed, is, of course, an admirable property in the Cropper, 
and is best seen in young birds, for they naturally thicken 
as they increase in age. 

Regarding length of limb and feather in Croppers, I give 
the following measurements of birds I have possessed, some 
of which were bred in Norfolk and the adjoining counties, and 
some by myself. Ten cocks averaged 5 T 5 ^in. in limb, and 15in. 
in feather; they varied from S^in. to S^in. in limb, and from 
14^in to 15iin. in feather. Nine hens averaged S-^in. in limb, 
and 14|in. in feather; they varied from Sin. to 5fin. in limb, 
and from 14in. to 15in. in feather. There is, therefore, nothing 
like the variation in length of limb and feather among them 
that there is among Pouters. Their average length of limb, in 
proportion to their average length of feather, is also equal to 
what is only rarely attained in Pouters, which proves them to 
be more easily bred good in shape than Pouters. This is, 
indeed, the case, and many perfect models in shape may be 
found among them, which, of course, makes them very much 
less valuable. Good Croppers should feel no heavier in the 



246 FANCY PIGEONS. 



hand than average-sized common flying Tumblers. They 
vary a little in size, like every other variety. 

CARRIAGE. Croppers have the most upright carriage of 
any variety of pouting pigeons I know of. They occasionally 
overcharge their crop with wind when young, but generally 
soon grow out of this habit. Slack-winded birds are almost 
unknown among them. So long as they keep in health they 
remain in show, and in this respect present the greatest con- 
trast to large Pouters. For the most part they walk perfectly 
upright, their wings being carried tightly to their sides, and 
their flights never crossed at the points. They are, however, 
inclined to carry their wings rather low, thereby not showing 
so much of their belly and thighs in profile as is desirable. 
The flights ought not to reach to the end of the tail by nearly 
an inch, long-flighted birds being bad fliers. It is noticeable 
that the best flying varieties of pigeons, such as Blue Bocks, 
Tumblers, Dragoons, Antwerps, Triganicas, and Croppers, are 
all rather short in flights, long wings being impedimental to 
pigeons in their flight, whatever they may be to some other 
kinds of birds. The tail of the Cropper is carried as shown 
in the drawing, and seldom any higher. In stretching itself 
to its utmost height, it often walks on its front toes only, the 
back ones being off the ground, or just touching it, resemb- 
ling in this respect the Uploper, regarding which Moore says, 
" that when moving you may put anything under the Ball of 
its Foot." Its style of movement so far resembles the Pouter's ; 
but it is allowable for the Cropper to spring off the ground 
when playing to another pigeon, and this it often does in leaps 
of 3ft. or 4ft. across the floor, opening its wings on its way, 
and quickly closing them as it alights. This leaping, which 
is so ungainly in the Pouter, is executed with such expertness 
by the Cropper that it is pleasant to see them perform it. 

FEATHER. The Cropper is found in eight principal pied 
colours, all of which are admired, because they are all beautiful. 
Four of these are solid colours, and the others are their 



247 POUTING PIGEONS. 

corresponding barred colours. Some of them being known, 
in the Cropper fancy, by different names from what is usual, 
I here give the Norwich and general nomenclatures : 

ENGLISH POUTER. NORWICH CROPPER. 

Black ... ... Black. 

Bed ... ... Cinnamon. 

Yellow ... ... Yellow. 

Dun ... ... Mouse. 

Blue ... ... Blue. 

Mealy ... ... Dun. 

Yellow-Mealy ... ... Cream. 

Silver ... ... Cloth. 

Black, owing to the practice of breeding the best flying 
birds together, regardless of their colour, is seldom seen very 
glossy in Croppers. Some of the best shaped and marked 
birds I have seen were of this colour. Black pieds are often 
quite free of objectionable leg feathering, and generally very 
good fliers. Cinnamons (reds) and yellows are scarce, and 
difficult to get. I have seen and had well-marked and fairly- 
coloured birds of both these colours. They are generally 
somewhat feather-legged, which makes them valuable to 
breeders of stocking-legged pied Pigmy Pouters. Mouse- 
coloured Croppers (i.e., dun, as in Carriers) are not common. 
I was told that the late Mr. Perry, of Yarmouth, had a good 
bird of this colour, and as I bred one myself from a bird 
which formerly belonged to him, it may have been a de- 
scendant of the one he had. 

The great proportion of Croppers are of the bar-winged 
colours, blue and dun (i.e., mealy) being the commonest. The 
blue ought, of course, to have black bars, but kite-barred blues 
are very common. The dun, like all mealy pigeons, has a 
light tail. Its neck and wing bars ought to be bright red, 
and its wing coverts of a clear light mealy, when it is called 
a miller dun. A red dun has the wing coverts of a reddish 
tinge. Between the miller dun and cinnamon there are many 



248 FANCY PIGEONS. 



degrees of colour, according to the amount of red in the 
plumage. Cloth (i.e., silver) is one of the prettiest colours, 
and is of many shades. The neck and wing bars of a 
Cropper of this colour vary from a light dove-coloured to a 
hard blackish dun, a beautiful golden chestnut dun being 
the most pleasing tint. The wing coverts ought to be of a 
soft creamy dun, only dark enough to show up the rose 
pinion. This colour pigeon has, of course, a dun tail, barred 
to match the neck and wings. Cloths are mostly hens, a 
really good cloth cock being rather a scarce pigeon. Creams 
(i.e., yellow-mealies) are also usually hens, and very rare. 
They have, of course, light tails, and their colour is so 
delicate that a rose pinion is scarcely distinguishable on their 
wings. Their necks and wing bars ought to be rich yellow. 
The barred colours are very much interbred, the result being 
left to chance ; in fact, it is usual to breed two good birds 
together, no matter what colour they are ; hence, unless 
when breeding from a pair of the same colour and not 
always then it is impossible to predict what the young ones 
will be like. To improve blacks, yellows, and cinnamons, 
they ought, of course, to be kept distinct from the barred 
colours. As all the solid and primary barred colours are 
found in Croppers, the intermediate or chequered also exist 
in a great variety of shades, but are not generally liked 
or bred for. Pure white birds are occasionally seen, and 
whites with coloured tails are an old and favourite variety. 
There are three colours of them viz., black, blue, and cloth- 
tailed. To be properly marked they ought to be entirely 
white, with the exception of the tail and its upper and under 
coverts. Some coloured feathers on the head are often found in 
them, as well as a white feather or two in the tail, or among the 
under tail coverts, which does not look well when the birds are 
flying. Their tail primaries ought to be sound in colour, but 
are frequently very much grizzled with white. The Cropper 
is very often mis-marked in having an excess of white, though 



249 POUTING PIGEONS. 

I have had a few of them very well marked to the Pouter 
standard. A deficiency, or total want of bib, causing the 
ugly swallow throat, is very common ; so is the blaze face, or 
snip on the forehead. A flesh-coloured beak usually accom- 
panies a large snip; the bird is then said to be pink-nosed. 
The whole front of the crop is often white, and ring-necks 
are sometimes found. The rose pinion is occasionally seen 
beautifully defined, but a wing free of any white is more 
seldom seen than a bishop wing. A good flying bird, however 
ill marked, is bred from, because perfect flight is not easily 
got and so bad marking is perpetuated. 

FLIGHT. The Cropper is the merriest and liveliest, and 
can be made the tamest and most familiar, of all pigeons. 
In the loft, or out of it, he is always on the move, and, so 
long as he remains in health he keeps in show. The rules 
for good flying are as follow : A good bird should spring 
up from his trap like an acrobat from a spring-board, and 
go off in a circle, loudly clapping his wings, so that he can 
be heard from afar. His tail must be carried spread out like 
a fan, but depressed in the middle, so that it has the shape 
of a scoop. A well-spread scoop tail is valuable, because 
rare to get. Extra tail feathers are often found in Croppers, 
some having fourteen or more ; a well-carried tail is all the 
better to have these extra feathers. Like other breeds in 
which more than twelve tail primaries are often seen, Croppers 
generally want the oil gland on the rump. A good Cropper 
should have a rocking action in his flight, his head and tail 
going up and down like the movement of a rocking horse. 
Then, as soon as he gets enough way on his flight, he must 
stop using his wings, and, raising them, so that they nearly 
touch at the points, sail motionless through the air, and the 
longer he can so sail, the more valuable he is. A good bird 
will sail along for 50yds., gradually lowering as he goes ; 
then, again using his wings, with loud claps, he will rise as 
much as he has fallen, and go on alternately in this way 



250 FANCY PIGEONS. 



till lie pitches. A Cropper ought not to fly far nor long at 
a time. He may go twice or thrice round his house in a 
wide circle, then pitch, play up to his hen, and fly off again. 
The period during which they fly best is the week or ten 
days before the hen lays, when their courting is going on; but, 
even when sitting or feeding young ones, each will fly well alone, 
though not in such good style as during the time mentioned. A 
good way to gain the flight of Croppers is to let out a lot of 
odd cocks and one proud hen, when good sport may be had. 

There is certainly nothing in the whole pigeon fancy from 
which greater pleasure can be derived than a flight of well- 
trained Norwich Croppers. Beautiful in shape and feather, 
grand fliers, ever dashing about with spirit, both in the loft 
and out of it, in them the owner possesses a source of in- 
exhaustible amusement. I have always kept the noble and 
majestic Pouter, which everyone will allow is one of the 
choicest pigeons in the fancy; but he generally wants the 
spirit and life of the active, merry Cropper. The Pouter can 
certainly fly, after a fashion, and if flown from his squeaker- 
hood is fairly able to take care of himself when allowed 
liberty; but the choicest large birds cannot be said to be at 
home in the air, which the Cropper is, to a much greater 
extent than most pigeons. 

The remarks on Pouters by Dixon, in his " Dovecote and 
Aviary," apply solely to the Norwich Cropper, as can be seen 
from his allusions to its flight, colour, &c. His illustration 
of it represents a barelegged blue Cropper, and is, perhaps, 
the best and most life-like picture of a pigeon in his book. 
I observe from the preface, that he was living at Norwich 
when the work was issued. He says, at page 122 : " The 
flight, also, of the Cropper is stately and dignified in its way. 
The inflated crop is not generally collapsed by the exertion, 
but is seen to move slowly forward through the air, like a 
large permanent soap-bubble with a body and wings attached 
to it. The bird is fond of clapping his wings loudly at first 



251 POUTING PIGEONS. 

starting to take his few lazy rounds in the air, for he is too 
much of a fine gentleman to condescend to violent exertion. 
Other pigeons will indulge in the same action in a less degree, 
but Croppers are the claquers par excellence; and hence we 
believe the Smiters of Willughby to be only a synonym of 
the present kind." This description is very true to Nature ; 
but, as I have shown, the Smiter of "Willughby is the bird 
known in Germany as the Bingbeater. 

Eaton could appreciate the excellence of the Cropper, which 
he writes of as the Pouting Horseman as follows : " I have 
seen some of these light-bodied Pouting Horsemen that ap- 
peared to me to fly as light as Tumblers, and, when flying with 
the Tumblers, their round, globular crops, well filled and up, 
have a very pleasing effect, owing to the contrast of the 
Tumblers. With regard to dashing off, they are not only a 
merry but a spirited pigeon; not only spirited, but graceful 
in the extreme; I would rather see an elegant shape, small 
or narrow-girt Pouting Horseman, 6^in. in the leg (think of 
this, Gentlemen of the Pouting Fancy !) than an English 
Pouter, even if it would measure 7in. A large English Pouter, 
with thick girt, and hog-backed. Style is a grand thing, and 
the Pouting Horseman is the English Pouter in miniature, 
retaining all its properties." As I have explained, Croppers 
are nothing like 6|in. in limb ; but Eaton, if he ever measured 
any, was probably unwilling to write what, at the time, would 
have been regarded as something very heterodox. How well 
he goes on to describe what may be seen at any show of 
Pouters : " How often it happens, at a grand show of these 
remarkable, fine, large, English Pouters, after having been 
previously prepared for showing, that is separating each cock 
and hen, and not allowing them to see a pigeon, show well 
in their own pens ; but when put into the show pen, a male 
bird, expecting it will show, it stretches forth its head and 
neck, apparently taking a sight of all the Fanciers in the 
room, almost as much as to say to some of them you owe 



252 FANCY PIGEONS. 

me something; some may show to a certain extent. It is 
very disheartening to Gentlemen Fanciers of the English 
Pouter when this takes place, after forwarding their birds 
miles, &c., to give their brother Fanciers a treat, as it was 
supposed ; it does not always turn out to be so, owing to their 
not showing, as it is called. Nevertheless, it often proves 
a treat to see what length of body and shape, length in leg, 
and beautiful in feather. It is otherwise with the light (not 
heavy) merry spirited Pouting Horseman cock, when put into 
the show pen, always up and ready for his work, not long in 
stripping himself, putting himself in attitude, and suiting the 
action to the word, display that fine action of showing which 
is well understood by the Gentlemen of the Fancy; giving 
infinite satisfaction with regard to being a merry pigeon, &c. 
... I have this week bought two pretty little Pouting Horse- 
man cocks; I am informed they come from Norwich. I am 
given to understand they fly tremendously, with very large 
crops. . . . The Gentlemen Fanciers of the English Pouter 
may assume that I admire the small Pouting Horseman more 
than the large English Pouter. The contrary is the fact; 
I never have, and never shall, advise the young and in- 
experienced Fancier to attempt to breed a second-rate bird, 
while he has the opportunity to breed a first-rate bird, there- 
fore I shall not advise him to breed the Pouting Horseman 
while he has the opportunity to attempt to breed the English 
Pouter, any more than I shall advise him to breed a Skinnum, 
Dragon, or Horseman, while he has the opportunity to attempt 
to breed a Carrier, for degeneracy will do that, in spite of 
the efforts of the most experienced Fanciers ; but I am desirous 
you should breed the English Pouter with more style and 
grace, with a hollow back, smaller in the girt, stout legs, but 
not like mill-posts, soft downy or snow-like feather legs; but 
not rushed and sprouted with feathers that almost prevent 
the bird from walking." 

All the foregoing is in a long note to Moore's description 



253 POUTING PIGEONS. 



of the "Powting Horseman," which I have already quoted. 
Eaton took it for granted that the Norwich Cropper was 
identical with the Horseman, and evidently could not see, 
though he had had birds direct from Norwich, that they 
were a pure and distinct breed, having nothing to do with it. 
His remarks on their fine style, in comparison with that of 
the Pouter, are, however, well weighed, and very conclusive. 

It is about six years since the foregoing account of the 
Norwich Cropper was published in the first edition of this 
work ; and, in the interval, the taste for this engaging pigeon 
has spread widely, and it is now kept in districts where it 
was previously unknown. Some shows have lately given 
classes for them, which have been well filled; and I expect 
that, with the steady increase of the pigeon fancy in general, 
and keen competition in most of the better known varieties, 
the Norwich Cropper will gradually take a prominent place 
in the principal exhibitions, which it is well entitled to. 

That well-known fancier and writer, the Rev. Alex. Headley, 
of Chippenham (" Wiltshire Rector "), some time ago described, 
in enthusiastic terms, a flight of these lovely birds which he had 
got together since reading my account of them. Others, also, 
who like pigeons of beautiful appearance, merry ways, and great 
power of flight, have found all this in the Norwich Cropper, 
regarding which I once wrote : 

He springs from his trap, he sails through the air, 

Loud clapping his wings as he goes, 
Now he's down on the roof, playing up to his hen, 

See how neatly he trips on his toes ! 
They're off now together, and as they wheel round 

You may hear the wind sigh through their wings, 
Like the zephyrs so sweet through ^olus his harp 

As they murmur their song through the strings. 

The Pigmy Pouter Pigeon. 

The English pied Pigmy Pouter is a modern breed, which 
ought to agree in every respect, except size, with the large 



254 FANCY PIGEONS. 

Pouter. Captain Norman Hill has been working at this variety 
for about twenty years, and to his skill and perseverance we 
are indebted for many of the best specimens that have been 
exhibited. A noted specimen, bred by him, was a black pied 
hen, first exhibited in 1879. Afterwards he produced a very 
curious one, which was black pied on one side, and blue pied 
on the other. This bird, which was very small, was well marked 
according to the Pouter standard. At the Crystal Palace Show 
of 1885 he showed some very well-marked, glossy-coloured 
black pieds. 

The following correspondence with Captain Hill, in the year 
1880, will show how he produced his now well-known breed of 
Pigmies. He wrote to me as follows : " Some time ago I saw a 
letter of yours, in the Fancier's Chronicle, on the Norwich 
Cropper, which in itself was good, and correctly written; but 
therein you ventured a remark which I must take exception to, 
and which, at the time, I fully intended putting you right on, as 
far as my strain of pied Pigmies are concerned. Your opinion 
then was, as far as I can recollect, that my good Pigmy that 
had been produced lately was a cross between the Norwich 
Cropper and the foreigner. Until I went to Colchester I had 
never seen a Cropper worth looking at ; then I saw one or two, 
in Mr. Boreham's collection, with fair markings and more 
character than I had before seen. The thought then struck 
me, had I possessed one of them at the time I began, I might 
have saved years in the manufacture of my Pigmies ; but this 
may be doubtful. However, I never had one in my possession 
until this season, when I bought three from Mr. Boreham, after 
he had supplied you with the best specimens he got at Norwich 
or Yarmouth. I am now giving them up, having no opportunity 
of witnessing their flying powers, and I cannot agree with 
you in admiring their other properties in preference to the 
Pigmy. 

" In reply to your inquiry, how I bred my much-admired 
black pied Pigmy, I may state, briefly, by in-breeding and 



255 POUTING PIGEONS. 



selection of the most diminutive and Pouter-like birds for the 
last fourteen years. Its genealogical family tree, as far as I can 
trace it, starts from a whole-coloured blue Austrian Pouter 
cock I bought, in 1866, from the late Mr. Evans, of the Borough, 
at that time a good Pouter fancier. This bird was quite bare 
on shanks, and nearly so on toes, but very small, and of fine 
form. I mated him to a blue Pouter hen, a weed, small, gay 
in marking, and well-feathered on limbs and toes, determined 
to try to breed dwarf Pouters on the same principle as Game 
Bantams were produced. I in-bred for five years, and then 
obtained a whole-coloured, mealy- chequered cock, with good 
limbs and toe feathering, finding it more difficult to obtain the 
latter points than correct markings. I mated him to my best 
pied hen, and from them got whole-coloured and foul-marked 
dun, mealy, satinette, and other nondescript colours. In- 
breeding then for some years with the blue pieds, they produced 
some black and blue splashes some dark, others nearly white. 
Prom two black splashed cocks, mated to a silver and a blue 
pied hen, in one season was produced two blacks a cock and 
hen which are the parents of the little black pied wonder. 
Its dimensions are: Length of limb, 5f in. ; length of feather, 
13iin. There are bred from it, this season, two black pieds, two 
blue pieds, two black and one blue splashes, all small and 
stylish, but none equal to the parent in markings or combi- 
nation of Pouter properties; still, I do not despair of produc- 
ing other equally perfect specimens of the miniature Pouter 
of the period." 

With reference to the above, not having seen the bird 
described, I could not make any comparison between it and a 
good Cropper ; all I could say was, that I preferred such 
Croppers as I had to any foreign Pigmy Pouters I have seen. 
Knowing that a Pouter with 7in. limbs, properly shaped, and 
rightly placed in the body, can afford to measure 19|in. in 
feather, if such length is made up in a certain way, as described, 
I at once saw that Captain Hill's Pigmy was quite out of this 



256 FANCY PIGEONS. 

proportion. But even taking 7in. limbs to 18fin. in feather, 
this Pigmy, being 5fin. in limbs, ought to measure 15in. in 
feather, if formed on the same lines. I pointed this out to 
Captain Hill, and had the following reply : " In order to satisfy 
you and myself, I have re-measured my little gem, and find 
length of feather 13in. in full, or at the outside ^in. more; 
limb, 5fin. These are the same measurements as were taken 
by Fulton and a crowd of admirers at the Palace, when the 
bird was first shown there (not for competition) in November, 
1879. It appeared there again, two months afterwards, at the 
Peristeronic Show. Although the above measurements appear 
out of proportion to those you quote, and are so, according to 
the old rule for the Pouter, still, no one who has seen this little 
bird has made the remark that it was not symmetrical; on 
the contrary, either on or off the block it is considered graceful 
in form, and walks well, without rumping or jumping. In my 
opinion, a slender Pouter, with 7in. limbs, well-formed and 
placed, is much more pleasing to the eye, if under 19in., than 
one over that length ; but such birds are rare. The limbs of 
this Pigmy are not spindly, but well-set and stockinged, with 
the proper curves, not too straight, neither bent, and with 
perfectly spread toe-feathering. Markings very perfect, good- 
sized bib, crop and both pinions correct, no approach to bishop- 
ing, and a true line at belt ; but, like the majority of its large- 
brethren of same colour, it has a few foul feathers at thigh 
joints. Flights ample, and well- carried ; colour a deep black; 
dark orange eye ; pout a good size, and well-shaped ; but, as 
you intend making mention of it, you ought to know, what was 
a great surprise to me and to others viz., the discovery, when 
it was about nine months old, that it had deceived us in its 
sex, as it turned out to be a hen after being matched up to 
another hen. It is again keeping close company with a large 
Pouter hen. I have known other instances of a similar kind, 
but never one whose action, voice, and coo, were so like to a 
cock. 



257 POUTING PIGEONS. 

" I have given you all these particulars as I find I cannot 
bring my mind to risk the journey to-and-fro of my wee pet, 
much as I would like you to see it at the present time. The 
mealy-chequer is the only new blood introduced into my strain, 
with the exception of a yellow Austrian hen, whose young have 
never lived. The mealy is most unlike the Norwich Cropper, 
being heavily covered on limb and toes, and the blue cock, 
wire-legged, is now the oldest bird I bred, and longer in limb 
than any Cropper." 

Eaton, at page 72 of his 1858 book, says : "At the sale of Ban- 
tams, pigeons, &c., belonging to the late celebrated and spirited 
fancier, Sir John Sebright, I was astonished to see the English 
Pouters in miniature possessing the five properties of the 
English Pouter." Some have supposed these were stocking- 
legged birds; but no proof of this can be adduced. The above is 
contained in a note on the Pouting Horseman, much of which I 
have already quoted ; and my own impression is, that they were 
selected Norwich Croppers, such as I have had myself. 

There is still room for improvement in the pied Pigmy 
Pouter, its prevailing faults being wide set limbs, round or 
hog back, and too little crop; but as several persons are now 
directing their attention to it, we may expect to see great 
improvement as time goes on. The colours of the breed 
at present are mostly black, blue, and silver pieds : red and 
yellow pieds are scarce. A few have been bred coloured like 
the laced Blondinettes, but wanting the white spots on the tail 
feathers. These seem to have been produced from crossing 
blues, blacks, and strawberries. 

French Pouters. 

According to Boitard and Corbie, there are several varieties 
of Pouters bred in France. The writings of these authors 
evince a personal acquaintance with most of the varieties ; but 
their descriptions are so meagre, and their technical words so 
impossible to translate just as the terms used only by pigeon. 



258 FANCY PIGEONS. 

fanciers here would be into any foreign language that, were 
it not for the illustrations in their book, it would be quite 
impossible to form any correct idea of the appearance of the 
birds described by them as follows : 

The largest French Pouters are known as Pigeons 
Grosses-gorges, or Pigeons Boulans, and are represented as 
large, thick-bodied, short and barelegged, clumsy, Runtish- 
looking birds. They appear to be both self-coloured and 
pied. The latter have white nights, and are white in front 
of the crop, so far approximating in the disposition of their 
marking to the English Pouter and Norwich Cropper, which, 
doubtless, have some remote connection with them. The crop 
is well- developed. 

Boitard and Corbie allow that the English Pouter attains 
a greater size than the French. I made an attempt, some 
time ago, to obtain from France some blood-red Pouters 
of this variety, but my correspondent searched for them in 
vain. The Grosse-gorge Bleu, with white crop and nights, 
is, it is said, much spread over Picardy, where it is greatly 
esteemed. Every separate colour seems to constitute a distinct 
variety with these writers, hence, nearly twenty kinds are 
classified ; but, except that some are entirely barelegged, while 
others are somewhat feather-legged, I can find no mention of 
any difference in form between the various breeds. On page 28 
of Brent's pigeon book is an exact copy of Boitard and Corbie's 
Pigeon Grosse-gorge Maurin a Bavette, but entitled by him the 
" Old German Pouter." 

LILLE POUTERS (Pigeons Lillois) are thus described : " This 
race of superb pigeons belongs to the Pouter division, since, 
like the preceding, they have the power of inflating the throat, 
but in a lesser degree. The crop in the Boulans is always of a 
spherical form, instead of which these have it in the form of 
a long pear, of which the thinnest part is below, and the 
largest part under the beak. -These pigeons take their name 
from the town of Lille, where they are much bred and esteemed. 



259 POUTING PIGEONS. 



Their head is small, beak long and slender, and they are not 
subject to the crop diseases of the large Pouters." 

The Pigeon Lillois Elegant is portrayed as a short-legged, 
thick-bodied, very upright- standing bird, with a small oval 
crop, which is white in front, as are the nights. Boitard and 
Corbie say : " It is very well made, of an elegant and graceful 
form, body placed almost vertically on the legs, in such man- 
lier that the head is on the same line as the feet ; small head, 
no cere round the eyes, stockinged legs, only the middle toes 
covered with feathers a trait which is only met with in this 
variety wings long and crossed. This bird is of light flight, 
is of great productiveness, and is greatly to be recommended 
to amateurs who wish to unite the useful with the agreeable." 

This pigeon seems to bear some resemblance to the Norwich 
Cropper, and, from what I can make out, its colours are like 
those of the bar-winged Croppers ; but to a British Pouter 
fancier, nothing more inelegant than the shape of it, as pictured, 
can be imagined, so that I can scarcely believe it to correctly 
represent the breed. 

The next variety mentioned by the same writers has evidently 
a, resemblance to our Cropper in flight. 

Pigeon Lillois Claquart.- " This pigeon, which Buff on has 
confounded with the Tournant" (Smiter, or Kingbeater), "makes 
a noise with its wings when commencing to fly, like a claquette ; 
hence its name. It inflates its throat, has long wings, crossed 
over the tail, a cere round the eyes, and stocking legs. Its 
plumage is white or chamois, or blue shouldered with white- 
that is, having the upper part of the wing white. It produces 
well, which makes it much sought after." 

For my own part, I have never seen long-flighted pigeons fly 
so well as the short-flighted. 

THE CAVALIER POUTER (Pigeon Cavalier) is recommended 
for its beauty and productiveness. "This race appears to be 
extracted from Bunts (Romains) and Pouters, of which they 
lave the general form, as also the power of inflating the 



260 FANCY PIGEONS. 

throat, more or less according to the variety. Some have 
thick nostrils, membranous and fleshy, or even a little mush- 
roomed, but rarely ; they have a red cere round the eyes." 
The Pigeon Cavalier Faraud is pictured as a tall, upstanding, 
shell-crested, long-cropped, and barelegged Pouter. It is said 
to be a cross between the common Cavalier and the Sagadais 
Mondain a Vceil. 

German Pouters. 

Neumeister and Priitz describe several varieties of German 
Croppers (Kropftauberi), and say, regarding the whole race : 
" This universally known and favourite kind of pigeon is 
distinguished from all others by its ability of puffing up its 
throat to the highest degree, so that it often becomes as large 
as the remaining body. This is done by drawing in air into 
the throat, by means of the bill, somewhat opened, the throat 
valve closing ; which closing is brought about in a manner 
which has not yet been thoroughly investigated, but it is likely 
by a co-operation of the neck muscles. As to the beauty of 
Croppers, it is essential that the neck be long, so that the 
head does not stick between the shoulders, which gives them 
an unshapely appearance. Their flight is mostly good, though 
somewhat heavy; they flap much with their wings, and fre- 
quently make playful gyrations, with their wings held high. 
Their propagation is but middling, but they are much liked 
on account of their cheerful ways and the above- described 
remarkable blowing up of their crops, which gives them 
peculiarly graceful attitudes and movements. They should 
never be kept with other pigeons, especially large kinds, as 
they are helpless when blowing, and unable to withdraw from, 
or defend themselves against, the attacks of others. The crop 
loses its feathers by blows from the beak, is even sometimes 
pierced; when feeding with other nimble kinds they often 
come short; their pairing is also interfered with, which is 
telling on the offspring. They are variously marked, of 



261 POUTING PIGEONS. 

quite different forms, and therefore divided into the following 
varieties :" 

THE OLD GERMAN POUTER (Der Deutsche Kurz und GlaUfils- 
zige Kropfer] " is one of the largest Croppers, of considerable 
height. Its length 55 centimetres " (21fin., 36in. = 91 centi- 
metres), " and breadth of outspread wings. 105 centimetres. It 
passes for the original race of all the remaining Cropper kinds. 
The round head is mostly smooth, sometimes with a pointed 
hood, brow high, bill proportionately short, neck very long, 
and, along with the crop, strongly hung with hair; breast 
and back broad, the latter somewhat hollow. The crop 
always puffed up, hanging somewhat forward, has a diameter 
of 12^-15 centimetres, and a circumference up to 42| centi- 
metres. The short, strong legs, are unfeathered ; the wings, 
carelessly hanging down, overreach the tail end by 5 centi- 
metres. This is the characteristic mark of the German 
Cropper, and is not found in any of the following varieties. 
The usual colour is either white, or blue with white head or 
tips, yellow with a white tail and head, or black. It is very 
much to be lamented that this pigeon, in its pure state, seems 
almost to have disappeared, as it is never represented at the 
exhibitions. The propagation is extremely poor. The main 
cause of its disappearance is likely owing to change of 
fashion, in consequence of which breeders have turned more 
to the slender, high-legged kinds." 

This breed is represented, on Plate XI. of Neumeister's 
" Das Ganze der Taubenzucht," in four colours white, yellow, 
red and blue ; the two last have turn crowns. The coloured 
birds have white heads, nights, and tails, but are dark thighed. 
They are short, and bare in limb. 

THE BRESLAU POUTER (Der Breslauer Kropfer) "comes 
nearest to the preceding, is of stately size, generally speaking 
is one of the largest Croppers, yet not long in body, nor do 
the pinions reach beyond the tail, so the dimensions are much 
less. It occurs one- coloured and marked, in the latter case 



262 FANCY PIGEONS. 

with a white upper head, the yellow marked frequently with 
white flights and tail." 

THE POMERANIAN POTJTER (Die Pommersche Kropftaube) 
11 has a great resemblance to the English Pouter, with which 
it is unmistakably connected. It is found in perfect beauty 
at Stralsund and Greifswald." And then follows a detailed 
description of it, taken from an article by Dr. Bodinus, pub- 
lished in the year 1858. 

Herr Priitz, in the third edition of "Die Arten der Haus- 
taube," published in 1878, states that the Pomeranian Cropper 
" is said to have been imported from England many years ago ; 
but it is, without doubt, much handsomer than all similar 
Croppers which have lately been brought from England that 
I have seen. The late Herr Wermann, of Altenburg, an 
authority on pigeons, was quite delighted when he first saw a 
pair which I had sent to Herr von Beust." From his descrip- 
tion of this variety, it would appear to resemble the English 
Pouter in all respects, except that any white pinion on the 
wing, which, when rightly defined, is so valuable in our breed, 
is a fault in it. It would also appear that the Pomeranian 
must have much rougher limbs than our Pouter. 

The principal breeder of Pomeranian Croppers, Herr Wilhelm 
Hevernick, in a lecture entitled " The Pomeranian Cropper, and 
its Relation to the English one," delivered in the Ornithologi- 
cal Club of Stralsund, and published in Columbia of February 
15th, 1879, a copy of which was very kindly sent to me by its 
editor, Herr Priitz, says as follows : " If I try in the following 
paper to establish the relationship of the Pomeranian and 
English Croppers, as well as their descent, to point to the 
value of a rational breed of Pomeranian Croppers, and to 
warn against crossing with the English, I must preface the 
plan of my work with this my view, without claiming infalli- 
bility, that this subject, so far as I know, has not been handled 
by anyone before me, excepting Dr. Bodinus. He first described 
the Pomeranian Cropper about twenty-five years ago, and drew 



263 POUTING PIGEONS. 



the attention of pigeon-lovers to this beautiful bird, at that time 
not known anywhere beyond Fore-Pomerania. I must remark, 
that only my great love for this race of pigeons induced me 
to undertake investigations into its descent, development, and 
relations, and to communicate the result here, in the hope of 
giving others breeders a motive, through my views, to consider 
this circumstance, to make known their views, and to treat 
this subject further in our club, in order that we may be in 
a position to breed our beautiful Cropper in such quantity and 
quality that it may equal the English and French breed in 
beauty. I am persuaded that this is very easily practicable, 
provided we have the understanding and will necessary for it. 
To perfect the first, and to aim at the latter, is the plan o 
my lecture." 

He then goes on to describe the peculiarity of all Cropper 
Pigeons, and argues that the distension of their crops must have 
proceeded from long, careful, selective breeding in domesticity,, 
because such pigeons could not naturally exist, as they could, 
never hold their own in a state of Nature. Assuming that 
Croppers, as well as all other races, are derived from the 
Blue Rock Pigeon, he does not think that all the kinds of" 
Croppers are necessarily derived from one original race, but 
that they might have originated from parallel running lines;; 
or, in other words, that the distension of crop in pigeons may 
have been noticed in different countries and times, and in- 
dependent races established from them. He does not, however,, 
mean to try to prove which races may be considered originals,, 
but only to express his opinion on the relationship and origin, 
of the Pomeranian and English breeds, as the clearing up of 
this relationship is necessary for the rational breeding of the- 
former. He evidently did not know that it is on .record how 
our English Pouter was produced, which would have materially 
assisted him in his investigations. He proceeds: 

" As I suppose that, to all who are interested in our Cropper, 
the marks of both races are known, I will omit an exact 



264 FANCY PIGEONS. 

description of them, yet it appears necessary for my plan to 
illustrate more nearly the striking peculiarities, as well as the 
resemblances, of both. The English Cropper is very large, 
and very much of the same size as the Pomeranian. The 
inflated crop is round, and must be intersected by an incision 
on the breast, so that this incision forms a regular shape; 
the rump is proportionately thin, the tail long and slender, 
the legs are very long, possibly equally feathered with downy 
feathers, only the toes must have standing out feathers so 
that they quite hide the toes, but at the same time form no 
shoes, which is a decided defect in the English Cropper." 

What is meant by "shoes" I do not exactly know, but I 
learn further on that the Pomeranian breed is much rougher- 
limbed than ours, which, though considered a beauty in them, 
is a grievous defect in ours. 

"The Pomeranian Cropper is almost, or quite, of the same 
size as the English; but its rump is thicker, its crop not in- 
flated so like a ball, on account of which the shape is lost; 
the tail is shorter, and is carried a little more spread out. The 
legs with good birds are almost as long as with the English. 
Yet from a distance they do not appear so long, because they 
are provided with pretty large feathers, which form stockings 
below the hocks and shoes at the feet. The colours and marks 
are the same as with the English; pure whites also occur, 
though they have become rare; and there are whites with 
black and blue tails. The last mark often occurs, and I have 
hitherto believed that whites with black tails existed in no 
other race, especially in the English, for Fulton does not 
mention them, although he treats his subject very minutely 
and fully. It is striking that among the Pomeranian Croppers 
there are no whites with red or yellow tails." 

I have seen many blue and black-tailed white English Pouters, 
and they can easily be bred by pairing a black or blue pied 
with a white. The first cross often results in such marking, 
as I have observed elsewhere, and it can easily be fixed, as 



265 POUTING PIGEONS. 



in the Norwich Croppers. Red and yellow-tailed whites are 
however, impossible, or next to it, because, as Herr Hevernick 
truly observes, the coloured tail is not found in red and yellow 
pied Pouters; at least, not dark enough to match the body 
colour. 

" On beard and heart " (i.e., bib and half-moon), " as it is 
called, we place the same conditions with Pomeranian as with 
English Croppers ; but white feathers on the wings, which with 
the English are more and more highly prized according to 
their form, are in all circumstances a defect with the Pome- 
ranian, and a sign of careless breeding, or of a bad origin. 
In consequence of this, these feathers are cut off with a pair 
of scissors by many breeders. On this occasion I cannot 
refrain from blaming this proceeding most decidedly, for there 
can be no interest, in my opinion, in examining the pigeons 
of a breeder of whom we know that he indulges in such 
rectifications; however, on the other hand, it may perhaps be 
represented that someone may say he sells no pigeons, and 
removes their feathers in order that his pigeons may please 
him better, no matter to him whether other breeders allow 
this proceeding or not. But, if anyone sends pigeons to an 
exhibition, all the same whether for sale or not, I can find 
no point from which such manipulations can be defended, for 
they have only impure motives, such as bragging or base dis- 
honesty. The bearing of the Pomeranian must be high and 
upright, though not so high as with the English. But if, as 
Priitz says in his noteworthy book, ' Die Arten der Haustaube,' 
the back must be arched a little convexly, he is mistaken; at 
least, I have heard this hog's back, as the English call it, always 
very expressively blamed. 

" Now, if we compare the two races with each other, we find 
that size and marking are nearly the same ; but with the 
English the crop is somewhat more inflated, the shape some- 
what thinner, the tail more slender, and longer, the legs some- 
what longer, but less strongly feathered, and the bearing more 

2 A 



266 FANCY PIGEONS. 

upright than with the Pomeranian. With both races white 
feathers occur on the wings; yet this is considered a defect 
in the Pomeranian, while with the English this mark is highly 
valued. But this mark is only the result of a careful choice 
in breeding, continued for years, and is very difficult to fix; 
it occurs in England in the wished-for perfection very 
seldom, and is only known to me by description and pictures 
from English prize birds; while I have never met with this 
mark, in specimens shown in Continental exhibitions, in 
anything like such perfection. If we place an English and a 
Pomeranian pattern bird together, the first must positively 
please us most, not on account of its beauty, but on account 
of its peculiarity, which consists therein that the bird, with 
its great length, and upright bearing, shows a very voluminous 
upper body, and a high, thin, under body, both of which are 
only joined by the slender figure. Dr. Bodinus says : ' The 
English Cropper gives the impression of a large, beautiful 
statue placed on a small pedestal,' and I find this very striking. 
The Pomeranian Cropper, on the other hand, appears very 
compact, firm, and powerful, yet shows in the parts of its 
body, and in its whole appearance, such great harmony as I 
have never seen in any other race of Croppers, with the ex- 
ception of the striped Hollanders" (whole-coloured Croppers 
with white, long bars). " If we examine more closely the whole 
impression of both races, we find that in both the character 
of the nation is exactly expressed. The Englishman likes the 
unusual and peculiar, and the Pomeranian (especially the 
~New Fore-Pomeranian) likes the less striking, but compact 
and strong; and from these motives in the breeding both 
races have evidently arisen. After having seen that the total 
impression with each race is quite different, we find that the 
differences in the single parts of the body are not important. 
This circumstance lets us know that both races are nearly 
related; therefore, there remains only the question whether 
one race descends from the other, and which has been the 



267 POUTING PIGEONS. 

original, or whether both have arisen from some common 
stock. In my opinion, we find the answer to this question 
very easily if we look practically into the way and manner 
of degeneration in both races. That both easily degenerate 
with careless breeding lets us know that both races are not 
yet very old ; but in this respect we must not think of the 
generations of man, for, no doubt, both races have existed 
200-300 years. If we now examine the degeneracies of English 
Pouters, the shorter legs and less upright carriage show their 
ancestors must have had these faults. With the degeneration 
of Pomeranian Croppers we find lower and less-feathered legs, 
white spots on the wings, and white snips on the forehead, 
which leads us to suppose that they proceed from a race which 
had bare legs and white heads. Only the old German Croppers 
are so marked, and I therefore take them to be the original 
of our Croppers." 

From the foregoing it is evident that there is enough re- 
semblance between the English and Pomeranian Croppers to 
establish a connection between them. Sailors speak of every 
northern European who is not a Frenchman as a Dutchman. 
Moore's Dutch Cropper was evidently a bird with much re- 
semblance to the Pomeranian, so it is not unlikely that this 
pigeon, " flag thigh'd," as Moore says, was the ancestor of our 
Pouter. The Horseman cross would take the feathers from 
its legs at first, evidence of which I have adduced from the 
Treatise of 1765, and from the description of my old painting 
of the time of Moore ; but leg feathering to suit the taste of 
fanciers was quickly recovered. As to solid shoulders being 
infinitely preferable to bishoped wings there is no doubt; but 
the Pomeranian breed itself is evidently not altogether free 
of white " daubs " on the wing, as they are called. As to 
deducing both varieties from the old bald-headed, long-bodied 
German Cropper, already referred to, I can see nothing in the 
argument at all. The correct crop marking of the English Pouter, 
and similarly marked breeds, must necessarily vary very con- 



268 FANCY PIGEONS. 

siderably in breeding, there being no certainty in the production 
of a white mark which has no structural conformation in the bird 
to guide it, such as a white head, wings, or tail. The rose pinion, 
for the same reason, is a difficult mark to breed. Hence, 
Pouters come, and must always come, more or less close or 
open marked. The crop is sometimes seen solid, or free of 
white, and sometimes the bib is wanting ; the bird is then 
swallow - throated, and a white blaze on the forehead often 
appears. The same may appear on a bird correctly marked 
on the crop. No one would adduce a white blaze on the fore- 
head of a short-faced mottled Tumbler from Baldhead blood. 
The little Norwich Cropper, from careless breeding, is very 
subject to the blaze face. I have seen Bunts, imported from 
abroad, some of which I had, marked exactly as the Pouter 
ought to be marked, except that they had no white feathers 
on the shoulders. They weighed over 31b. per pair. It is 
something for one who admires his own breed so much as 
Herr Hevernick does, to allow that a pattern English Pouter 
"must positively please " a fancier more than a pattern Pome- 
ranian. It is unlikely that many English Pouters of the first 
quality have been seen in Germany, because they easily sell 
here for several times the price foreigners will give for them. 
Were English fanciers to breed for solid shoulders they could 
very easily accomplish their desire ; but they consider the rose 
pinion such a set-off to a bird that they will not abandon it ; 
and, although it is rare to see it well-defined, it is now and 
then seen. 

Herr Hevernick says that it was Dr. Bodinus who named the 
Pomeranian Cropper, that it was sometimes known before as 
the Hollander, and that he has seen some that were brought 
from Holland very like it. These might have been taken from. 
England, or they might have been of a Dutch breed. He saw 
some in the market of Rotterdam which were not English, but 
which resembled the Pomeranian, though not so good. He 
says the breed has lost quality in late years ; that it was better 



269 POUTING PIGEONS. 

twenty-five years ago, but that, about that time, offers of 
tempting prices induced breeders to part with their best birds, 
which were scattered to all places, and soon lost sight of. He 
concludes his lecture by giving much valuable information on 
the breeding of the Pomeranian Cropper, observing, that of late 
a great increase in breeding had taken place, and warning 
breeders against crossing with English blood, which he had 
found did not improve this variety. From all I can learn 
from his lecture, I do not think this variety, though evidently 
allied to ours, can be of any service to Pouter fanciers here, 
because it seems smaller, and rather inferior in all its points 
of shape in comparison with our best birds; however, if I 
were to see a collection of good Pomeranians, which I may do 
when I can spare the necessary time, I could at once form an 
opinion on the subject more to the point than can be gathered 
from any amount of descriptive writing. 

THE SAXON POUTER (Die Sdchsische Kropftaube) "is not 
so large as the German, far quicker and lighter in flight, and 
of a slimmer shape. The wings lie close to the body, and 
reach to the end of the tail, on which the wing-points cross. 
The beak is longer and thinner than with the German Cropper ; 
legs and thighs are high, and feathered. It is of a weakly 
constitution, and propagates poorly. The plumage, generally, 
is one-coloured blue, black, red, or yellow ; frequently, however, 
Day-coloured, with white wing-bars." 

THE DUTCH POUTER (Die Holldndische Kropftaube). I 
understand that the following description applies to a Cropper 
bred in Germany, and known by this name : " The Dutch 
Cropper is distinguished from the Prague Cropper by a some- 
what larger body, and by a crop more of the shape of a 
cylinder than a ball. Its legs are high, covered with trousers 
and feathers. It is always one-coloured, often with white wing 
bars. The bay-coloured" (Isabel-coloured) "among them are 
most cultivated, and no other colour is found in the same 
perfection. In Holland, where this breed is original, it like- 



270 FANCY PIGEONS. 

wise occurs only one-coloured, yet there it has thin legs, less 
feathered, and short toes, standing close together. The gait 
of the cock is tripping, and he leaps towards the hen. It is 
of a very erect bearing, slimly made, and high-legged, because 
it carries its thighs outside the plumage of the belly. It 
inflates its crop very well, and it assumes an oval, cylindrical 
form. The wings do not reach the end of the tail, are narrowly 
drawn together, and their points cross over the tail. The Dutch 
Cropper, in its erect posture, when strongly feathered on the 
legs, resembles a falcon at rest. It is a very cheerful pigeon, 
fond of flying, of flapping its wings, and especially of swoop- 
ing along, floating with high held wings. It is a pretty good 
breeder." 

THE AUSTRIAN KLATCHER (Der Oesierreichische Klatscher] 
"is between the Dutch and German Croppers in size, and a 
powerful pigeon. Compared with the Dutch, it is broader built, 
heavier, has shorter, unfeathered legs and feet, does not stand 
so erect, has longer wings, and inflates its crop in the same 
way as the German. One might take it for a cross-breed 
between the German and Dutch Croppers; but such is not 
the case. Its plumage is distinguished by being glossy and 
glittering; it is entirely self-coloured, and never shows white 
pinions, or any white on the head, which would be the case 
if it were a descendant of the German Cropper. It is a very 
good breeder, very lively, and when flying the shortest distance 
it flaps its wings, so that it is heard from afar, like the 
Ringbeater. It occurs in Switzerland blue, yellow, and white." 

THE PRAGUE MAGPIE POUTER (Die Prager Elster-Kropf- 
taube). " This Cropper, which has become very rare, is of a 
structure between the German and Dutch breeds, standing 
higher than the latter, and having well-feathered legs and 
feet. It is a good pigeon for breeding, very lively, and has 
the manner of the Dutch Cropper." The illustration of this 
Cropper represents an upstanding, rough-legged, Magpie-marked 
back. The marking is exactly the same as that of the Magpie 



271 POUTING PIGEONS. 



Pigeon, except that the head is white. There seems, from 
what Neumeister says, to have been formerly a similarly 
marked German Cropper. The Prague Magpie Cropper, 
though shown with a white head on his coloured plate, has 
evidently not a pure white head, as he says that, from the 
beak to the middle of the head, it is of a " coloured paleness," 
probably meaning that the head is of a powdered colour. 

This concludes the account of the large Continental Croppers 
as gathered from the French and German writers named. 

Tegetmeier says, at page 71 of his Book on Pigeons, regard- 
ing foreign Croppers : " Many of these birds are very prettily 
marked ; a pair, a short time since, came into our possession 
of a very bright yellow, with pure white wings and flight 
feathers, and well-defined white rings round the necks." This 
marking nearly resembles that of the Prague Magpie Cropper, 
already described, to which race they probably belonged. 

The Bengal Pouter Pigeon. 

I have seen in Bengal several Croppers of a breed which 
I believe is peculiar to that country. They were of a size 
between the English Pouter and Norwich Cropper, feathered 
on the legs, but not roughly, and by no means very graceful- 
looking pigeons. They were called by a name which signifies 
swell neck. Such as I saw were either self-coloured blue, or 
blue grizzled in colour. They were evidently bred for crop 
alone, being short in limb and feather. Considering their size, 
some of them had very large crops. They seem to me to 
have no connection with English Pouters, several imported 
specimens of which I have seen in Bengal from time to 
time. There are probably several other varieties of 
Croppers throughout India and adjacent countries. 

Foreign Pigmy Pouters. 

Several varieties of Continental Pigmy Croppers have 
been known in this country for a good many years. The 



272 FANCY PIGEONS. 

first that were introduced, so far as I know, were self-coloured 
blacks, reds, blues, &c., which went by the name of Austrians. 
Self colours with white wing bars are also known, the most 
beautiful being the delicate cream or light dove-coloured ones 
called Isabels. The smallest of these Pigmies are now generally 
known by their German name of Briinners. So far as I can 
learn from the description of these varieties by Neumeister 
and Priitz, they ought to have clean legs. I have had them 
with feathers on the outsides of the legs and middle toes, 
precisely the same as in many of our Norwich Croppers, but I 
prefer bare legs. Tegetmeier figures a pair of pigeons called 
Isabels, very tall and rough-legged, but entirely devoid of 
crop, and with none of the shape of a Cropper. He also 
figures a pair of red Austrians, which well represent such as 
I have seen, except that their limbs are well covered with 
downy feathers, and their colour is too bright. Such Isabels 
as I have had were miniature Pouters with hardly any leg 
feathering, more delicate in colour than those Mr. Tegetmeier 
represents in his book, Uplopers in carriage, only medium-sized 
in crop, and carried their wings crossed at the tips. They 
were splendid fliers, floating lightly in the air, with wings 
upheld, for great distances, but did not clap so loudly as 
Norwich Croppers, nor carry their tails so fan-like. They had 
the ability, mentioned by Neumeister, of bending their hock 
joints forward when stretched to their utmost height; but 
they were not nearly so small as he speaks of, being very 
little less than average-sized Norwich Croppers. Mr. Teget- 
meier, who bred foreign Pigmy Pouters extensively, and pro- 
duced them with stocking limbs like English Pouters, gives the 
following weights and measurements of birds he possessed : 

White cock IS^in. by 5|in Weight 8oz. 

Blue hen 13in. ,, 5in ,, 7ioz. 

Silver hen 13in. 4 Jin S^oz. 

Neurneister and Priitz describe these miniature Croppers as 
follows : 



273 POUTING PIGEONS. 

THE BRUNN POUTER (Die Brunner Kropftaube}, according to 
Neumeister, "is found particularly beautiful in Prague and 
Vienna, where it is known by the false name of the 'Dutch 
Cropper.' It is the most elegant and finest of all the Croppers. 
Having been first imported to us from Briinn, it was named 
Brunner Cropper, and it is mostly known by that name. It 
has the smallest body of all the house pigeons, its whole 
length amounting to 27| centimetres (llin.). Legs very long, 
the thighs being outside the plumage of the belly, and being 
so stretched during the act of inflating the crop that they 
almost form a perpendicular line. The leg measures 14 centi- 
metres (S^in.); the full-grown pigeon weighs 200-266fgrm. 
(7 to 9foz.). When not inflated, it is very little bigger than 
a Blackbird, and so slim that you can draw it through your 
thumb and forefinger. "When affected, it presses its thighs 
outwards, to such a degree that they look like knees which 
can be moved forward, as it stands almost perpendicularly 
on the points of its toes. Its smooth, finely-shaped head, is 
oval ; brow high, neck long ; the globular crop is 7 centimetres 
(Sin.) in diameter, but without hair. The bill is thin, the 
waist delicate. The wings, fitting closely to the body, reach 
within an inch of the end of the tail. The tips are strongly 
drawn together, narrow and long, and much crossed over 
the rump. Feet and toes are weakly and smooth. On the 
whole, the pigeon has a loose plumage, but, notwithstanding, 
flies well and perseveringly. The Briinn Cropper is mostly 
coloured like the Saxon. The black with white wing bars, 
blue, red, and yellow, are the most common. The delicate 
bay with white wing bars are the rarest. In this colouring 
the whole plumage, without exception, must be equally, as it 
were, breathed upon with the most delicate and aerial bay, 
not so light but that the pure white wing bars can be 
distinctly seen on it. In connection with this is an un- 
spotted, delicate, flesh-coloured beak, toe nails, and eye wattle. 
The iris is light yellow, with an orange border. A dark 

2 B 



274 FANCY PIGEONS. 

beak is a chief defect. The Briinn Croppers are cheerful and 
lively, are fond of flying rapidly, and of flapping, but do not 
like to go near strange dovecotes. It is a worthy parallel to 
the fine English Almond Tumbler, and as neat, elegant, and 
cheerful in its way. Nothing prettier can be imagined than 
a loftful of these lively, neat, and amorous pigeons, among 
whom there is no end of courting and caressing. The loving 
cock drives the hen before him, all the while inflating his crop 
and cooing, while she walks forward in proud decorum. It 
flies lightly, quickly, and with flapping wings, and is very per- 
severing in its flight; in this the inflated crop helps, for it 
happens that the Briinn Cropper can float for from fifty to 
sixty steps in the air, holding its spread wings high over its 
back without moving them. No other pigeon is able to do so 
for so long a distance. Generally speaking, its flight differs 
from that of other pigeons. If a swarm of these Croppers fly, 
it is clearly seen how fond they are of it. It is for them a 
pleasure to fly in wide circles around their house for half an 
hour. The Briinn Cropper, when affected, runs on high legs, as 
if on stilts, standing even on its toes, and inflating its round 
crop so full that it reaches a diameter of 7 centimetres " (3in.). 
The length of the Briinn Cropper (llin.) seems out of all 
proportion to its limb, and I think, considering the weight of 
the bird, it is mis-stated. Compared with our Norwich Cropper, 
the Briinner is, doubtless, a smaller and more slender pigeon ; 
but those I have had were very little less than my best Crop- 
pers, which attained a diameter in crop up to 5in., 4|in. being 
commonly seen. The Briinn Cropper is certainly smaller in 
girth, and shows its thighs more than our Cropper, but its habit 
of crossing its wings is a bad fault, in my opinion. I had one 
Isabel-coloured Briinner hen which did not have this fault, 
and some who saw her considered her one of the best shaped 
little Pouters they had seen. She was 5in. in limb, and 
14|in. in feather, but had only a small crop compared with 
that of a good Norwich Cropper. 



275 POUTING PIGEONS. 

THE PRAGUE PIGMY POUTER (Die Prager Kropftaube), " also 
called the Stork Cropper, is not much larger than the Briinner ; 
the legs are of the same height, and, along with the toes, 
somewhat feathered. It is either one-coloured, with white 
wing-bars, or, like a stork, white with mottled, mostly reddish- 
brown breast, nights, and tail. It comes from Bohemia, and 
frequently very strong blowers are found among them." 

This pigeon, of which Neumeister gives a coloured portrait, 
is represented as a barelegged, very upstanding Cropper, with 
red crop, nights, and tail. The head and upper neck are light, 
the colour gradually deepening towards the lower neck. 

THE DUTCH BALLOON POUTER (Die Holltindische Ballorikropf- 
taube} "is, in the first place, distinguished from all other 
Croppers by its peculiarly short, round form, and bent back 
neck. Its length is 32 centimetres (13in.), the length of its 
leg 14 centimetres (5^in.), the weight of the body up to 
383igrm." (13ioz.). 

"The head is smooth, the nape very powerful, the neck 
bent back as with the Fantail, even when not blowing, and 
this is the first characteristic mark of the Balloon Cropper. 
The breast is correspondingly protruding and broad. The crop 
has, when inflated, a diameter of 12^-15 centimetres" (5in. 
to 6in.). "The flights do not reach the end of the tail, and 
are somewhat crossed. The leg is shortly feathered, and the 
colour and markings vary. It stands with stiff legs, and rather 
low, and walks with dignity, nodding very much. In flying, 
it holds its head and crop upright, which lends to the pigeon 
the appearance of a balloon; hence its name. All other 
pigeons stretch their necks out horizontally when flying, and 
this deviation from the rule is its second characteristic mark. 
It propagates badly. In Holland, much care is spent on its 
production ; in Germany less, as, on the whole, this pigeon does 
not make a very fine impression." 



Chapter XXIV. 



X WATTLED PIGEONS. X> 
The Barb Pigeon. 




lHAKESPEARE'S reference to the Barbary 
Pigeon makes it the earliest noticed variety 
that I know of in our literature. As Willughby 
gives a recognisable description of the Barb, 
under the same name (Barbary Pigeon), within 
a hundred years of Shakespeare's allusion to it, there can 
be no reasonable doubt that this breed has been cultivated for 
at least three centuries in our country. Willughby describes 
it as having a bill like that of a Bullfinch, with a circle of 
naked, tuberous, white flesh, round its eyes, as in the Carriers, 
and with white irides ; and adds : " My worthy friend, Mr. 
Phillip Skippon, in a letter to me concerning tame pigeons, 
writes that the eyes of this kind are red." 

I think it likely enough that Willughby's " worthy friend " 
was Major General Phillip Skippon, who was so much associated 
with Oliver Cromwell in the Civil War ; and if so, he is the 
earliest English pigeon fancier of whom we know anything. 
The part he took in the troubled times in which he lived may 
be learned from Carlyle's "Letters of Cromwell." He was 




THE B A B B. 



277 WATTLED PIGEONS. 

the author of the following religious books : " A Salve for 
every Sore " (1643), " Truth's Triumphs" (1648), and "A Pearle 
.of Price" (1649). When Field Marshal in the army, he was 
deputed by the Parliament, in conjunction with Cromwell 
;and another, to go to Saffron Walden to allay some discontent 
that had broken out among the soldiers. He is thus alluded 
to in an old ballad: 

Some citizens they say will ride, 
To buy knacks for their wives ; 

Let Skippon skip -on as their guide, 
He may protect their lives. 

Perhaps Willughby's correspondence is extant. Skippon's 
letter about tame pigeons would be interesting to read. 

It is owing to some importations of Barbs from the South 
of France, made by Messrs. John Baily and Son, about thirty 




FIG. 13. HEAD OF A BARB. 

years ago, that this pigeon exists in our country in its 
present excellence. Its French name is the Polish Pigeon 
(Pigeon Polonais); and though it is now known in Germany 
as the Barbary Pigeon, from its English name, it is also 
called the Indian Pigeon (Indianische-taube}. Neumeister says : 
" There is no explanation of the origin of the name ' Indian/ 
and the French designation, 'Polish.'" From what we know 



278 FANCY PIGEONS. 



of modern nomenclature, as applied to new varieties of pigeons 
and poultry, it would never do to depend on the names of 
old varieties as being indications of their origin. It is certain 
that the Barbs which came from the South of France were 
far superior to what were here previously ; and though the 
name of this bird in French literature is Pigeon Polonais, it 
may have another in the South. It is evidently an ancient 
variety, and more nearly allied to the highest type of the Owl 
tribe than any other. Both may be from the same stem, 
and both may have existed from pre-historic times. I have 
seen a few Barbs in Bengal, but was informed that they 
were the produce of some that had been imported from 
Europe. 

The Barb should be smooth-headed and clean-legged; at 
the same time, a crested variety has existed for long, and is 
mentioned in our old pigeon books. The legs are occasionally 
slightly feathered, which is so far faulty. A sub-variety is 
bred in Germany with frilled breast like an Owl. 

SIZE. There is a certain difference of opinion regarding 
size, some liking a small bird, and others a large one. I 
think that, when the head properties in two birds are equal 
in proportion to their respective sizes, the larger bird is to 
be preferred, as being bolder in all its points. 

SHAPE. The neck short and thin, the breast very broad, 
the legs short, and the flights rather long, and carried neither 
high nor low, but lying on each side of the tail, is, I think, 
the correct style for this pigeon, and it is that described by 
Continental writers. Any gullet or fulness of throat takes from 
the wished-for appearance of a massive head set on a thin 
stem, which most, though not all, look for in a Barb. A gullet, 
filling up the hollow of the throat, and making a bird broad 
across the neck in profile, is a grand property in the Owl tribe, 
with their sprightly carriage ; but the Barb has little carriage, 
properly so called, and looks much better with a hollow, clean 
run throat. 



279 WATTLED PIGEONS. 



SKULL. This should be very broad, and is, consequently, 
rather flat, and generally with a fulness at the back. It should 
be as much as possible of an equal breadth, and not wedge- 
shaped. The forehead should be very broad, prominent, and 
well-filled out, and form a curve from the crown to the beak 
wattle, a straight-lined forehead in profile being a bad fault 
very often seen. The forehead must be well-ribbed up, with 
an indented line on each side of it, as if carved out, which 
gives this pigeon a very nice modelled appearance in head, 
not so marked in any other variety, though seen, in a less 
degree, in the Owl tribe. 

BEAK, very short, thick, well-boxed, and wide in the gape ; 
the upper mandible in the same curve as the forehead, and the 
under mandible approaching the upper in massiveness as much 
as possible, which is hard to get, but which, when got, gives 
a bird a grand appearance. The beak should be flesh-coloured, 
or no more than tipped with colour. 

EYE, as pure white or pearl coloured as possible, though 
the nearest approach to this is usually a white iris, rather 
red at its outer edge. Many good Barbs have yellow irides, 
which ought not to disqualify, but be duly allowed for in 
competition. White Barbs have been seen with pearl eyes, but 
generally have bull or hazel eyes. 

BEAK WATTLE. At maturity the beak wattle ought to 
have filled up all inequality in the curve of the forehead 
and upper mandible, and it may stand out a little in addi- 
tion ; but it ought to be as free as possible from rough 
wartiness, and show a clean division in the middle, appearing 
like a small bean split open and laid across the beak. The 
jew wattle on the under mandible should not be excessive, 
but of course grows to a certain extent in such a pigeon as 
the Barb. It should appear as three small warts, one in 
the middle of the lower mandible, where the feathers finish 
off, and the others on each side, below the opening of the 
mouth. The beak wattle in a healthy bird is nearly white, 



280 FANCY PIGEONS. 



the jew wattle and corners of the mouth being of a reddish 
flesh colour. 

EYE WATTLE. This is one of the chief properties of the 
Barb. It continues growing till the bird is from three to four 
years of age, when it ought to be at its best. It should be 
of an equal breadth all round, and, consistent with roundness, 
the larger in diameter the better. It ought to be thickest at 
its outer edge, and of a concave form, or shaped like the out- 
side of a cart wheel, the eye being represented by the nave, 
which stands out in the centre. The more prominent or less 
sunken in the head the eye is, the better. The colour of the 
eye wattle ought to be bright red; with age it often becomes 
light, sometimes turning almost white. 

The hen is generally less developed in all head properties 
than the cock, though hens have been seen good enough to 
be mistaken for cocks when exhibited. Before a hen can 
reach such quality she is generally past breeding, Looked 
at in front, the Barb's head ought to be very square and 
blunt, the tops of the eye wattles reaching higher than the 
skull, and standing away from it. When they incline towards 
each other by rolling over the skull, the head appears con- 
tracted, which is the opposite of what is .wanted. 

COLOUR. The Barb is a self-coloured pigeon, and is found 
in black, red, yellow, dun, and white. Blue is rare, but is 
occasionally seen on the Continent. I think the red eye wattle 
would harmonise very well with the blue colour. The black 
is the most usual colour, and it can often be found good, 
being the easiest of the artificial colours to breed; at the 
same time, it is not found with such vivid green, metallic 
lustre, as in some other varieties. Black may look very well, 
and yet be far from the best possible tint. What the best 
Barb black is in reality may be seen by looking at the reds 
and yellows of the same relationship. The latter colours are 
not found very good in Barbs, the red usually falling off very 
much in colour towards the rump, flights, tail, and under body. 



281 WATTLED PIGEONS. 



The yellow may sometimes be seen fairly good, it being a 
colour which does not look so bad, when a little thin, as the 
red. Red, well lustred to the ends of the flights and tail, is 
undoubtedly the most difficult colour to breed and to maintain 
in fancy pigeons. Where it exists, black and yellow will be 
found good. Dun in Barbs is usually of a deep, dark colour, 
often merging into black. Pure white Barbs are scarce; they 
appear from time to time as albinos bred from coloured 
birds. To breed whites with coloured ones would certainly 
result in a pied produce to some extent, but such are not 
wished for. By this method, however, some specific marking 
would be obtainable in time, if wanted. Black, red, yellow, 
and dun Barbs, are so much crossed that, when any two of 
them are breeding together, there is great uncertainty as to 
the colour of the produce. Mr. P. H. Jones, in his description 
of this pigeon in Mr. Fulton's book, mentions having bred from 
a pair, in one season, black, red, yellow, dun, and white young 
ones. He has given the following measurements of the Barb 
in the same work : " Weight, 13oz. to lib. ; length, beak to tip of 
tail, 12sin. to 14in. ; inner edge of eye to tip of beak, fin.; width 
of skull, a full inch to l^in., measured between, not over, the 
eye wattles; diameter of eye wattle, Hin.; length of limb, 
measured as Pouters, 4in. to 4fin. These dimensions would 
apply to cocks, and would be a little modified for hens, more 
especially in width of skull." He considers these measure- 
ments a fair standard, though a few birds might be found to 
exceed them. 

Formerly the native breeds of the Pouter, Carrier, and Short- 
faced Tumbler, were regarded as the only high-class pigeons, 
the Jacobin, Fantail, Owl, Turbit, Barb, and Trumpeter coming 
lower in the scale, and being regarded as " Toys." Lately, Mr. 
Fulton, in his book, has removed the Barb from the "Toy" 
division, and added it to the "high class," or inner circle, 
making four varieties of the latter. For my part, I regard 
the Jacobin and all the Owl family as much choicer pigeons 



282 FANCY PIGEONS^ 

than the Barb; but I dislike placing the various breeds in 
any order of merit, as they are all very high-class pigeons. 

The English Carrier Pigeon. 

" This Bird is esteem'd, by the Gentlemen of the Fancy, as; 
the King of Pigeons, on the Account of its Beauty, and great 
Sagacity." So writes old Moore regarding the English Carrier ;: 
and I believe, were a vote of English fanciers to be taken to- 
day, the English Carrier would still be found to be considered 
the " king of pigeons ;" while the great majority of Scotchmen 
would vote for the Pouter. Moore says : " The original of these 
Pigeons came from Bazora, in Persia, being sometimes brought 
by shipping, and sometimes in the Carravans ; hence by some 
ignorant People they are call'd Bussories. . . . The Dutch call 
this Pigeon Bagadat, I suppose from a Corruption of the Name 
of the City Bagdat, which was formerly old Babylon, which 
Nimrod built, because they judge this Pigeon in its Way from 
Bazora to be brought thro' that City." I have not met with 
this account of the origin of the English Carrier in any book 
older than the " Columbarium "; it is not to be found in 
Willughby's " Ornithology," from which Moore has drawn so 
largely; and as the breed was well established in England, 
according to Willughby, sixty years before Moore wrote, it is 
probably a traditionary account. I have satisfied myself, 
however, that Moore's account is a true one, having had 
many opportunities of seeing the Carrier Pigeons of Bagdad. 
In Calcutta, some years since, resided Mr. David J. Ezra, 
a native of Bagdad, whose business connections extended 
over all the south of Asia. He had been a Carrier fancier 
in Bagdad in his youth, and, at the time referred to, the 
ships that were consigned to him from Bussora the Bazora 
of Moore often brought him Carriers to add to the stock of 
those birds which he had kept for many years in Calcutta. 
I shall describe the appearance of these later on. They were 
kept in an aviary, in the inner courtyard of his house, and 




THE CARRIER, 



283 WATTLED PIGEONS. 

shared, with some Arabian gazelles, the care and attention of 
their owner. 

The earliest description of the English Carrier known to 
me is Willughby's. He describes these birds as " of equal big- 
ness with common pigeons, or somewhat less, of a dark blue or 
blackish colour ; their eyes are compassed about with a broad 
circle of naked, tuberous, white, furf uraceous skin ; the upper 
chap of the bill is covered above half way from the head with 
a double crust of the like fungous skin." The beak is described 
as black in colour, and not short, but of a moderate length. 
" Of this kind," he says, " we saw in the King's aviary in St. 
James's Park, and at Mr. Cope's, an embroiderer in Jewin 
Street, London." Mr. Cope would seem, from the repeated 
mention of him by Willughby, to have been a very prominent 
fancier in London then ; and King Charles II., in addition to 
his fondness for the breed of spaniels which now bears his 
name, was evidently a Carrier fancier. " Charles was also 
extremely fond of sauntering in St. James's Park, where he 
would feed the birds, with which it was well stocked, with his 
own hands, and on these occasions very much preferred being 
attended by only one or two of his personal friends rather than 
by a retinue." This may be found in the short account of the 
King's personal history in Bonn's edition of Count Grammont's 
"Memoirs of the Court of Charles II." 

It seems strange that, among the many admirers of the 
Carrier, no one should have written a treatise on it, which 
might well have been done, considering how much there is in 
connection with it worth writing about. Some enthusiastic 
fancier may yet do as much for this pigeon as "Windus and 
Eaton have done for the Almond Tumbler. What might have 
become a monograph on the English Carrier was begun, in a 
serial way, in the pages of The Pigeon, by its editor, Mr. 
Thomas M. Denne, of London, but was never completed, on 
account of the cessation of that journal through the ill-health 
of that gentleman. 



284 FANCY PIGEONS. 

The Carrier takes three years and upwards to come to 
maturity. At some of the principal exhibitions classes are 
provided for birds bred during the preceding season ; but, 
generally, Carrier classes are only available for old birds. 
This pigeon looks particularly well during two periods of its 
existence viz., when under a year old, when its noble shape and 
carriage are at their best ; and then, again, when its head pro- 
perties are fully developed. A careful study of all that our old 
books on pigeons contain regarding it, proves that it has steadily 
advanced in excellence since Moore's time. Like other varieties 
which take long to mature, good specimens are very valuable, 
and I believe the sum of 100 has been paid, on at least three 
occasions, for a fine specimen of this breed. Its name is, without 
doubt, derived from the use made of it when first introduced 
into this country, the same having been retained when it became 
strictly a fancier's pigeon. Its sub-varieties, the Horseman and 
Dragoon names which also clearly show their origin were the 
birds mostly used in Moore's time as homing pigeons, but it was 
merely because Carriers were too valuable "to risque their being 
lost upon every trifling wager," as he plainly says, and not that 
they were incapable of homing a good distance; for, says he, 
" such is the admirable Cunning, or Sagacity of this Bird, that 
tho' you carry 'em Hood-winkt, twenty or thirty Miles, nay I 
have known 'em to be carried three- score or a hundred, and 
there turn'd loose, they will immediately hasten to the Place 
where they were bred." When Moore has written this regarding 
the pure Carriers of his day, we must come to the conclusion 
that they were not so developed in fancy points as they now are, 
or that such as could fly sixty to a hundred miles were either 
comparatively young ones, or old ones which had never made 
up much in beak and eye wattle. There can be no reasonable 
doubt that the Carrier is descended from the same stock that 
has been used for many ages in the East as messenger pigeons, 
and that, whatever it might be capable of doing now, its relative, 
the homing Antwerp Carrier, is the variety capable, above all 



285 WATTLED PIGEONS. 

others, of homing from great distances. We have no means-- 
of knowing when the originals of our fancy Carriers were first 
brought into England. It may have been about the time of the 
Crusades; but, from Moore's succinct account, it is probable 
that the breed was of no long standing in London when he 
wrote, and that his words, already quoted, may have been handed 
down through only a few generations of fanciers. From the 
fact of pigeons having been used as messengers by the ancient 
Egyptians and Greeks, and from the fact of a long-faced, 
heavily beak and eye-wattled, Asiatic breed, being the founda- 
tion of the highest developed type of homing pigeon, we may 
assume that such a breed has existed for a long time in the 
world. 

The points of excellence in the fancy Carrier are the fol- 
lowing : 

SIZE. The Carrier should be a large pigeon, and the larger 
the better. From the point of the beak to the end of the tail, a& 
fanciers measure a pigeon, it should be from 16in. upwards. I 
once measured a blue hen, and found her 17fin., and a young 
blue cock of the same strain was 17|in. This hen owed her 
length as much to neck as to feather, and was not badly pro- 
portioned in any way. I should say, then, that a full- sized cock 
Carrier should measure 18in. in feather, without having an un- 
duly long tail. Blues are, however, admitted to be very stylish* 
and handsome birds, though not generally up to blacks and 
duns in head properties. For the latter, 17in., at present, is a. 
good measurement. 

SHAPE AND CARRIAGE. In Moore's description of the 
Carrier, the following sentence occurs : " Their Flesh is naturally 
firm, and their Feathers close, when they stand erect upon their 
Legs, their Necks being usually long, there appears in them a 
wonderful Symmetry of Shape beyond other Pigeons, which are 
generally crowded on Heaps." This is so well put that I cannot 
help quoting it. It will be seen from the illustration, that the 
bird stands very erect, and firmly on its legs, with a long, out- 



286 FANCY PIGEONS. 

stretched neck, and with its beak at right angles to the same. 
The neck ought to be long and thin, with a clean run under the 
jaw, showing no gullet or thickness, and with a beautifully 
arched or rounded-off shape at the back of the head. The neck 
ought to be, as much as possible, slender all the way down, till 
it runs into the body ; but this appearance is only seen in young 
birds. As they mature they naturally get thicker at the junction 
of neck and body. The wing butts should be well forward, and 
level with the front of the breast, which ought to be broad. The 
Carrier is naturally shy and wild, and this is of advantage to 
its shape and carriage in the show pen, as any tameness or 
familiarity is quite at variance with a statuesque appearance. 
The inflation of the crop and spreading of the tail, which add to 
the beauty of a good Pouter, when seen in a Carrier only spoil 
its fine shape. 

THE BEAK. This ought to be long, straight, and thick. 
Moore says : " As to its Length, an Inch and a half is reckon'd 
a long Beak, tho' there are very good Carriers that are found 
not to exceed an Inch and a Quarter." The arguments that 
have been founded on this statement have evidently been based 
on the assumption that Moore's measurement was the same 
as that still known as London measure viz., from the point 
of the beak to the inner edge of the eye. I cannot believe 
that Moore measured as far as the eye, considering the length 
he gives. He evidently measured from the point of the beak 
to where the feathers begin to grow, behind the mouth. I 
think the fairest way to measure is from the point of the 
beak to the centre of the eye, which is the method now 
generally adopted and best understood. Measured in this way, 
therefore, the Carrier should be as long as possible; but 
mere length is of little consequence compared to the style 
and set of the beak. It ought to be thick, and especially 
so at the point; and the under mandible ought to approach 
the upper in consistency as much as possible, fitting closely 
to it. This is known as a box beak, which is one of the 



287 WATTLED PIGEONS. 

greatest beauties of the Carrier. The beak ought next to be 
straight, and not inclining downwards, or the bird is down- 
faced, which takes considerably from its appearance. The 
division between the mandibles should be exactly straight, 
and, when the bird is in position, level, or at a right angle 
with the neck. As to the length of the beak, measured to 
the centre of the eye, 2in. is about the extreme length 
ever seen in a box-beaked bird. Thin spindle beaks, and those 
in which the upper mandible has been allowed to grow out 
past the under, have been seen exceeding this measurement 
considerably, but such are of no intrinsic value, a blunt box 
beak being what is desired. 

BEAK WATTLE. This being one of the hardest points to 
breed good, is, accordingly, a valuable one when anything like 
perfect. A bird has seldom enough of it, to enable it to be 
shown with success, till it has moulted several times, and 
it sometimes continues to grow for five or six years. Many 
kinds of pigeons get rough in beak and eye wattle with age, 
but the Carrier has an extraordinary development of these 
parts. This abnormal growth of wattle round the eyes and on 
the beak constitutes its chief fancy value, all its other properties 
being merely adjuncts thereto, calculated to set off these wattle 
points to the greatest advantage. A good beak wattle must 
be broad across the beak when seen from the front, short in 
profile view, so as to show as much of the point of the beak 
as possible, and rise high above the beak with a forward in- 
clination at its summit, which is called being well tilted. 
The growth of the beak wattle has been compared to that 
of the cauliflower, which is a good illustration. It ought to 
rise in three distinct portions as shown, and be as equal 
as possible in formation on each of its sides, so as to have 
their indentations, or crevices, corresponding. The wattle on 
the under mandible is called the "jew wattle," a term not in 
use in the old pigeon books, and the origin of which is obscure. 
Some have considered jewed to be a corruption of jawed-, but as 



288 FANCY PIGEONS. 

it was customary for the Jews, during the last century, to 
wear their beards when the English did not do so, the word 
may be no corruption or technicality, but mean, literally, 
bearded. The Carrier seems to have had little jew wattle in 
Moore's time; he refers to the beak wattle as being "some- 
times join'd by two small Excrescences of the same kind on 
each Side of the under Chap." The picture of a Carrier in the- 
Treatise of 1765, however, represents a bird well jewed. The 
jew wattle ought to be similarly formed to that on the upper 
mandible, though less in degree; so that, when all is fairly 
well formed, the beak with its wattles, upper and under, has 
the shape of a peg top. Sometimes the jew wattle grows 
very much forward, and is heaviest towards the point of the 
beak; and this, though not the correct form, is generally 
found on what are very stout birds. A form of beak wattle 
called the " walnut wattle " has the three portions on the 
upper mandible very much in one mass, and not so pro- 
minently defined as in the peg-top style. This form, when 
large and well-shaped, is also valuable. A full-sized beak 
wattle should measure 4in. in circumference. 

THE HEAD ought to be long, narrow, and flat on the top. 
Length is necessary for the growth of eye wattle, and to 
prevent the crowding together of the beak and eye wattles. 
Length of head assists what is called the distance, or space, 
dividing the eye wattle from that of the beak, and this is. 
also improved by the tilting of the latter. However, Moore 
very truly says, when writing of the distance : " But I cannot 
allow this to be a Property, because when a Carrier comes to 
be three or four years old, if the Eye is broad, and the Wattle 
large, they must of Necessity meet." This is no doubt true; 
at the same time, a clear dividing space or distance between 
the wattles is admired, and, the greater the length of head, 
the more distance there will be. The head ought to be narrow, 
and, as much as possible, equally broad over its length; it 
ought also to be flat across, and is sometimes depressed on. 



289 WATTLED PIGEONS. 



the crown, which is not considered any fault. There is often 
a protuberance at the back of the skull, but the less of this 
the better, as it takes from the graceful curve of the head and 
neck. If the head be arched from side to side, it is barrel- 
headed, which is a serious defect. In profile view, however, 
the head ought to be rather rounded from back to forehead, 
or there will be no room for a large eye wattle to spread 
upwards, in which case it must either grow over the crown, 
or, if thick and heavy, fall downwards over the eye, which is 
called being beetle-browed. 

EYE. The eye should be large and prominent bolting, or 
staring, as it is called by fanciers. When looked at from 
above, the pupils should be seen standing quite outside of the 
eye wattles. The bolt eye always tells well in competition, as 
it gives an otherwise good bird a fine appearance. The irides 
of black and blue Carriers ought to be, and usually are, of a 
fiery red; they are lighter in duns, and hazel in whites. 

EYE WATTLE. This ought to be as large as is consistent 
with perfect roundness, and, consequently, the diameter of a 
perfect eye wattle is limited to an inch or a little more. I 
have seen a crown piece laid on the eye of a Carrier and not 
cover the wattle. Such enormous eye wattles are generally 
accompanied by rather small beak wattles, and are of no 
intrinsic value, because in their growth they must depart from 
the true circular shape. The eye wattle ought to be thin 
rather than thick in substance, soft yet firm in flesh, of an 
equal breadth all round the eye, and evenly laced. This is 
known as a " rose eye," is the most difficult to obtain, and the 
most esteemed. When the inner edge of the eye wattle takes 
an angular shape, instead of being round, it is known as a 
diamond eye; but though many admire this, it is not a form 
of such true beauty as the rose eye. The eye wattle is a 
property which is subsidiary to the beak wattle, the latter 
being the most difficult point to get both large and well- 
shaped. Given a good beak wattle, then a distance is neces- 

2 c 



290 FANCY PIGEONS. 

sary between it and the eye wattle to set off both, and, 
consequently, there is only room for a really round eye 
wattle of a certain diameter. An eye wattle perfectly circu- 
lar, and more than an inch in diameter, must encroach on 
the beak wattle, and decrease the distance. 

COLOUR. The Carrier ought to be self-coloured, and is 
found black, dun, blue, silver, chequered, and white. Moore 
says: "Its Feather is chiefly black or dun, tho' there are 
likewise blues, whites, and pieds of each Feather, but the 
black and dun answer best the foregoing Properties; yet the 
blues, and blue pieds are generally esteem'd for their Scarcity, 
tho' they will not usually come up to the Properties of the 
foregoing Feathers." This statement remains generally true 
after a lapse of a century and a half. The black ought to 
be deep and glossy, showing no dulness on the wing coverts, 
or with wing bars of a darker colour, as is often the case. 
A white beak, or the same with a black tip to the upper 
mandible, is admired, as often accompanying lustrous colour; 
but though a white or flesh-coloured beak in a black Carrier 
is admired, it is not a sine qua non. Strictly speaking, a 
black pigeon ought to have the beak and toenails black, just 
as a white pigeon must have them white. A white Pouter 
without a coloured feather on it would lose all chance in 
competition if dark beaked; a white beak in a black Pouter 
would be a serious fault; and a black-headed Nun with a 
white beak would have no chance in competition whatever, 
however good otherwise. How, then, does it come that black 
pigeons, such as Carriers and Barbs, are allowed to have 
white beaks, and are admired with such? The reason is, 
that in breeding the different self colours together in Barbs, 
and the black and light-beaked dun in Carriers, the flesh- 
coloured beak often remains in the best coloured blacks, so 
that it has come to be considered by many as correct. 

Regarding the colour of the wattles in the Carrier, Moore 
says: "This Flesh is in some Carriers more inclinable to a 



291 WATTLED PIGEONS. 

blackish Colour, which is generally the more valued." At 
the present time, the whiter they are in the colour of the 
wattles the better they are liked. Pigeons of brilliant colour 
are generally inclined to run reddish in the flesh round the 
eyes, and Carriers are occasionally seen so marked in this 
respect that very good ones have been distinguished as "red 
eyed." Many have decidedly reddish flesh-coloured wattles. 

The usual method in breeding Carriers is to freely cross 
the black and dun colours. By this means the black is more 
easily kept good than by constantly breeding blacks together. 
The dun, which is generally considered an off-colour in most 
fancy pigeons, though not in Carriers, is mostly of a soft 
tint, inclined to fade near the end of the season, and pre- 
senting a very dappled appearance during the moult, till all 
the feathers are renewed. Neither the bright lavender dun 
seen in some foreign pigeons, nor the deep glossy dun of the 
Barb, are common in Carriers. 

Blue Carriers are still inferior in average quality of head 
points to the blacks and duns, but in size and shape they 
are sometimes excellent. They fail, however, for the most 
part, in colour, being often of a dull or dusky blue on the 
wing coverts, with indistinct or half-obliterated wing-bars. 
Blues have of late years risen in favour among fanciers, and 
some superior ones are occasionally to be seen. Considerable 
attention is being paid to them, and they will, no doubt, con- 
tinue to improve. 

Silvers are sometimes produced from blues, and have usually 
the same failing in colour. They are generally hens. The 
bad colour in blue Carriers is often attributed to crossing 
with blacks, which is sometimes done to obtain stoutness in 
head points; but I am of opinion that this bad colour is 
inherent in the breed, and has always existed since it was 
introduced, as I have observed the same bad blue colour 
among the Carriers of Bagdad, the undoubted originals of 
our Carriers. Black being occasionally bred with blue, and 

2 c 2 



292 FANCY PIGEONS. 

all blacks being full of dun blood, the silver colour, which, 
is the original of the dun, is bred from the black-crossed 
blue as a natural consequence. 

As the blue and black, and the silver and dun colours, 
exist in the breed, their intermediate, or connecting colours, 
the blue and silver chequers (dun chequers in fanciers' language) 
are sometimes produced. These colours are not cultivated, 
however, though birds having them might, if otherwise good, 
be valuable enough as stock birds. Such blue and dun chequers 
as are produced in crossing the solid with the barred colours 
do not illustrate what might be accomplished were they to be 
bred for as varieties. A correctly-marked chequer must not 
only be properly dappled on the wing coverts, but show the 
marking down the rump and on its under body. To get such 
marking distinct is a very difficult matter indeed. Bed and 
yellow, the choicest colours in domestic pigeons, do not exist 
in Carriers. I have been told that Mr. Corker, the well- 
known fancier, made considerable progress at one time in 
breeding yellow Carriers, but that he did not persevere in 
his attempt. There is no doubt that reds and yellows could 
be produced, but the time and expense requisite for the work 
would necessarily be very great. Were several breeders to 
attempt it simultaneously, it is not unlikely that in time 
both reds and yellows might be bred. 

White Carriers existed from Moore's time down to about 
1860, when the best collection of them belonged to Mr. 
Potter, a London breeder. His stock was stolen, and it is 
believed they were destroyed, as none of them were ever 
recovered. Since then attempts have been made to resusci- 
tate this variety, and some very good specimens have been 
bred lately, by General Hassard and others who have been 
working with them for years. Although there is no sure way 
of breeding albinos from coloured pigeons, we know that they 
are occasionally so produced, and I know of several instances. 
It is not unlikely, therefore, that some one of the many 



293 WATTLED PIGEONS. 

Carrier breeders may be fortunate enough to breed a pure 
white young one from his best black or dun birds, and such 
would be valuble to a breeder of whites. "When an albino 
is bred from a pair of coloured pigeons, they ought to be 
kept breeding together if albinos are desired, as they are 
likely to do the same again, the cause of lack of colour in 
their produce remaining with them. Ordinary white pigeons 
are well-covered with yellow down when hatched, but an 
albino from coloured parents is hatched devoid of down, 
like the majority of pigeons which afterwards prove to be 
of a poor yellow; for richly-coloured yellows have a good 
covering of down when hatched, though not so much as reds 
and blacks. 

Pied Carriers are mentioned by Moore, but how they ought 
to be pied neither he nor any subsequent writer has set 
forth. I do not think there is any understanding among 
fanciers on the question. During the late scarcity of whites, 
and in the attempts to breed them, parti-coloured birds have 
been produced, and classes have occasionally been made for 
"whites or pieds." There is enough in the standard of the 
Carrier, as a self-coloured bird, to require the utmost attention 
of its breeders, without adding specific white marking, which 
would have to be done if pieds were to be recognised. There 
is no doubt the Carrier looks best as a whole-coloured pigeon. 
Blacks and duns have often white vents, and occasionally 
white feathers, or white crutches, as they are called, at their 
hocks, as well. These faults, in the eyes of some judges, 
preclude their being shown as self-coloured birds, which, with 
such pigeons as Carriers, is carrying the letter of the law 
too far. A white-crutched bird should doubtless lose a point 
or two in competition, but not be disqualified altogether, unless 
the white about it is extensive. A merely white-vented bird, 
which does not show it unless when handled, should only 
lose to an equally good bird free of white. Many good strains 
of Carriers have these small faults, which have not been 



294 FANCY PIGEONS. 

considered a disqualification hitherto; but the question is one 
for breeders to settle among themselves. 

When the beak wattle of a Carrier grows unequally, or 
when its eye wattles become overhanging, causing it to be 
beetle-browed, cutting and carving them into shape is some- 
times practised. Pigeons made up in this way ought, of 
course, to be disqualified if exhibited, the object of all shows 
of fancy stock, such as pigeons, poultry, or dogs, being to 
encourage natural, not artificial, excellence. Carriers cut in 
the eye wattles for spouts are, however, on a different footing. 
They have undergone a necessary operation, which should not 
disqualify them in competition. But as it is an object to 
breed the true rose eye which will not spout, one cut for 
that fault ought to be heavily handicapped in competition, 
as being a bird likely to perpetuate spouting eyes in its 
produce, and, therefore, not of a desirable type. 

The Bagdad Carrier Pigeon. 

My acquaintance with the Carrier Pigeons of Bagdad has 
been confined to such as were brought to Bengal by Arab 
ships from Bussora, during my residence in Calcutta. The 
best I have seen were those I mentioned as belonging to 
the Jewish merchant, Mr. D. J. Ezra. I occasionally saw an 
odd pair or two elsewhere, but they were always inferior to 
his, and would be more correctly described as heavy Dragoons 
than Carriers. They went by the name of Bagdadees, from 
their native place. Mr. Ezra, from his position and influence, 
would be able to obtain the best birds, and I have no doubt 
that those in his aviary fairly represented the breed. He 
had about six or seven pairs, some of which were matured 
pigeons. They were all blues with black bars, most of them 
rather dusky in colour. I could see no difference between them 
and English Carriers as regards size and general character- 
istics. The old cocks had heavy beak wattles and fair eye 
wattles. Their faults were those of forty-nine out of every 




r*ll 



THE DRAGOON. 



295 WATTLED PIGEONS. 

fifty English Carriers, an inclination to be broad-skulled and 
rather down-faced, or Roman-nosed. I consider them, not only 
from Moore's account, but from their appearance, as the un- 
doubted originals of our Carriers, which have been brought to 
their present condition by generations of persevering fanciers. 
And, after all, how many Carriers out of the hundreds bred 
annually in England are fit to be penned at a first class-show ? 
The best birds we have produce plenty not nearly so stout as 
the best of those T have seen from Bagdad. Were any good 
Carrier breeder to visit that city, I believe he might find birds 
which he would consider well worth bringing home with him, 
but whether of other colours than blue I am unable to say. 

The Dragoon Pigeon. 

Before touching on the Dragoon, it is necessary to say 
something about the pigeon which our old writers called the 
Horseman, a bird holding a position somewhere between the 
Carrier and Dragoon. Although no longer recognised in the 
fancy, the Horseman was distinguished from the Carrier in 
being found in greater variety of colour. It was evidently, 
when Moore wrote, the pigeon capable of flying the longest 
distances, and it had then a distinct place in the fancy, as 
will be seen from the following passage in Moore's work : "This 
Pigeon in Shape and Make very much resembles the Carrier, 
only it is smaller in all its Properties, viz. Somewhat less in 
Body, shorter neck'd, the protuberant Flesh upon the Beak 
Smaller, as likewise that round the Eye, so that there remains 
a larger Space or Distance between the "Wattle and the Eye, 
in this Pigeon than in the Carrier. They are generally more 
inclin'd to be barrel-headed, and their Eye somewhat pinch'd. 

" It is to this Day a Matter of Dispute, whether this be an 
original Pigeon: or whether it be not a bastard strain, bred 
between a Carrier and a Tumbler, or a Carrier and a Powter, 
and so bred over again from a Carrier, and the oft'ner it is 
thus bred, the stouter the Horseman becomes. 



296 FANCY PIGEONS. 



"The only tiling that seems inclinable to favour the Opinion, 
that they are original, is a strain of this kind brought over 
from Scanderoon, which will fly very great Lengths and very 
swift ; but still the Answer readily occurs, that they may be 
bred originally the same way at Scanderoon, and so transmitted 
to us, however, non nostrum est inter vos tantas componere Lites, 
that is, we shan't take upon us to determine such Controver- 
sies as these. 

"There are of this kind, of all Manners of Feathers; but 
the Blue and Blue-pieds are most noted to be genuine and 
good, and if flown are very good breeders. 

"These are one of the sorts of Pigeons that are chiefly 
made Use of in England, for the carriage of Letters, or fly- 
ing of Wagers; because those that are possess'd of the true 
original Carriers, which are at present very scarce here, pay 
too dear, and have too great a Value for them, to risque 
their being lost upon every trifling wager. 

" These Pigeons when regularly flown, twice on a Day, that 
is, turn'd out alone and put upon wing without any others, 
will fly very large Circumferences, so that after they have 
made a Tour or two round your own House, they will fly 
four or five Miles out at Length and so maintain the Circuit 
for an Hour or two: This the Fancyers call going an End, 
and is what Daniel Moggs, who was one of the oldest Fan- 
cyers, meant, when he jocularly us'd to bid his Pigeons 
maintain their Length. 

" This Practice is of admirable Service to 'em, when they 
come to be train'd for the homing Part." 

And the following is the whole of what Moore says about 
the Dragoon: 

"This Pigeon is absolutely and without dispute a bastard 
Strain, being bred originally between a Horseman and a 
Tumbler, and by matching their breed often to the Horse- 
man, they will obtain a tolerable Degree of Stoutness. 

"This Pigeon is a very good breeder, and as they are 



297 WATTLED PIGEONS. 

somewhat less than a Horseman, are reckon'd lighter, and 
more expeditious in their Flight, for ten or twenty Miles, 
but the Horseman if good, will generally out- do them at a 
greater Length; they ought to be flown and train'd like 
the foregoing." 

During the last few years the Dragoon has been ex- 
tensively bred and shown, and its popularity has been so 
great that, even at first-class shows, it has been encouraged 
with a classification and an amount of prize money out of 
all proportion to its merits. This pandering to false taste 
in pigeon breeding culminated at the Oxford Show of 1876, 
where Dragoons had eighteen classes, against sixteen for 
Carriers, Pouters, Tumblers, and Barbs combined. Weari- 
some discussions have also gone on for years over the stan- 
dard of a Dragoon, and I am not aware if those who have a 
place in their hearts for fancy pigeons which the Dragoon 
is capable of filling have settled the matter amongst them- 
selves yet. Some time ago the National Peristeronic Society 
of London appointed a committee of its members to con- 
sider the question, and, on the 6th January, 1880, this 
committee, after taking the subject to avizandum, handed in 
the following report, which it was hoped would have been 
accepted as the conclusion of the whole matter; but it merely 
opened up some fresh discussions, so that their deliverance 
can only be called an interlocutor after all. 

"Gentlemen, Tour Committee, appointed to consider and 
note the points of the Dragon, have the satisfaction of pre- 
senting in their Report the following enumeration of pro- 
perties which, subject to your approval, will constitute the 
Standard of the Dragon as recognised by the Members of 
the National Peristeronic Society. 

"The Skull wedge-shaped and broad, yet proportionate to 
the stoutness and length of the beak, slightly curved when 
viewed from the side or front, thus showing no angle or ex- 
tended flat surface. 



298 FANCY PIGEONS. 

"The Beak thick at its base, and so continuing for about 
half its length, thence gradually lessening in calibre. Mea- 
surement from the termination of the beak horn to the ante- 
rior corner of the eye, not less than l|in. The lower man- 
dible, stout and straight ; the upper, also thick, and terminat- 
ing in a slight curve. 

"The Beak-wattle peg-shaped i.e., broad and perpendicular 
at its base, narrowing with even sides and longitudinal fur- 
rows towards the point of the upper mandible, but not in- 
truding on the lower. 

"The Eye-wattle small, not fleshy, nearly circular, slightly 
pinched at the back. 

"The Eye prominent and watchful. In blues, silvers, 
chequers, and grizzles, the irides of a deep rich red colour. 
In other varieties, an approximation to this colour, except 
in whites, in which the iris is dark coloured. 

"The Neck of medium length, neither thin nor gulleted at 
the head, and widening boldly at the shoulders. 

"The Breast broad, the Shoulders prominently denned. 

" The Back nearly straight, neither hollow nor hogged. 

"The Wings strong, the Flights carried slightly above the tail. 

"The Tail running in a line with the back, carried clear of 
the ground, and extending quite half-an-inch beyond the tips 
of the wings. 

" Measurement of the Leg, from the hock to the foot, about 
IJin. The Thigh stout and muscular. The whole length of the 
Dragon, from the point of the beak to the extremity of the tail, 
about 15in. 

"Colour in Blues. The Neck dark and lustrous; the Body, 
Bump, and Thighs, a leaden blue of uniform shade. Markings 
A broad black bar across the end of the tail. Two black bars, 
about i of an inch wide, even and distinct, running trans- 
versely from top to bottom of each wing, in the form of the 
letter Y inverted. Colour of beak, black. Colour of eye- 
wattle, a deep blue-grey. 



299 WATTLED PIGEONS. 



11 Silvers. An uniform and bright creamy tint. Neck of a 
deeper shade. Bars as black as possible. Beak of a dark 
shade. 

" Grizzles and Chequers. Each feather distinctly grizzled or 
chequered. The Markings, colour of Beaks, and Eye-wattles,, 
same as in blues. 

" Yellows and Reds. Colour uniform and bright. Beak of 
an even flesh colour." 

The foregoing scale of points nearly agrees with what was 
formerly known as the " London style," opposed to which, 
the "Birmingham School" upheld a more Skinnumy kind of 
Dragoon. Both kinds are fully described by their partisans in 
Mr. Fulton's book, where coloured plates of each are given. I 
think no one can carefully read Moore's descriptions of the 
Horseman and Dragoon without coming to the conclusion that 
the latter was, in his day, a different bird from the modern 
London one, which closely approximates to his description of 
the Horseman, with its barrel head, pinched eye, and various 
colours, of which " the blues and blue-pieds are most noted to 
be genuine and good." I think that, in the course of time, 
Moore's Horseman and Dragoon have gradually amalgamated 
in the present London Dragoon, which has become of a some- 
what fixed type in the hands of London pigeon keepers, though 
probably without much design on their part ; and now, in these 
days of pigeon shows, when, in the course of a year, a typical 
bird, according to the foregoing standard, can win quite a large 
sum of money in prizes, it is no wonder that what was, before 
show days, a pigeon worth only a few shillings, is now very 
valuable indeed. 

On comparing the standards of the Carrier and Dragoon, it 
will be seen that much which is faulty in the former becomes 
positively excellent in the latter. From this it might be 
supposed that a very bad Carrier would make a very good 
Dragoon, which is by no means the case, for, in practice, it is 
found no easy matter to breed the latter good according to the 



300 FANCY PIGEONS. 



standard. About the time of the Oxford Show, in 1876, already 
referred to, Mr. Denne, editor of the Pigeon, published an 
article in that paper on " Exhibiting and Breeding Dragoons," 
from which I copy the following : " It matters not what inte- 
rested parties may say, the real value of Dragoons is about four 
or five shillings a pair. Of course, temporary causes, such as 
this sudden run upon them for exhibition, may cause the price 
of them to rise to much more than this, but the price we name 
is the true one, as experienced men know, and we have bought 
scores of pairs as good as ever have been seen, and could have 
bought thousands at the price. "We have even bought them as 
late as the early part of this year, and end of last, at an average 
price of seven shillings a pair, as good as need be wished for, 
and, in some cases, good enough to win prizes. The highest 
price we ever paid for a Dragoon, in the whole of our experience, 
we paid this year, viz., seven and sixpence for a blue hen, and, 
at the time we did so, thought we must have been slightly 
* touched ' to pay such a price. From these birds we purchased 
we could, had we been disposed to have gone in for Dragoon 
breeding, have bred as good blues, chequers, and grizzles, in 
the course of one, or, at the most, two seasons, as the ' next 
man,' and so can anyone who has a very slight knowledge of 
breeding, by following the instructions we will give." 

Before the days of pigeon shows, a pair of choice Pouters, 
Carriers, or Almond Tumblers, were worth as many sovereigns 
as the best Dragoons were worth shillings. How is it, then, 
that now a good Dragoon is worth, roundly speaking, about as 
much as a good pigeon of these varieties? Merely because it 
pays well enough to give as much for a bird as it can win in a 
season. The Dragoon formerly held the present position of the 
homing Antwerp Carrier, and, like it, may have been occasionally 
worth a large sum for flying purposes. It now holds the same 
position as the Short-faced exhibition Antwerp, and is just about 
equal to it as a fancy pigeon. Both would go down to their 
former price of a few shillings a pair but for show encourage- 



301 WATTLED PIGEONS. 

ment. Real fancy pigeons have undoubtedly risen in value 
since shows were established ; but they were highly valued 
before, and they would continue to be highly valued were pigeon 
shows abolished. To establish a breed of exhibition pigeons 
from the faulty produce of Barbs, taking as their standard of 
perfection a narrow skull, a small pinched eye wattle, and a 
run-out face of a certain length, would be an analogous case 
to what has been done with the Dragoon since pigeon shows- 
were established. Before then the breed had no fancy value 
whatever, and it has no fancy value now out of England, and 
only there within a limited circle. 

The first thing to be observed in the National Peristeronic 
Society's standard of the Dragoon is the name they give it the 
" Dragon." The analogy between the names Carrier, Horseman, 
and Dragoon, is clear, but at some time before the oldest living 
fanciers were born it became usual to call the Dragoon the 
Dragon. This is noticed in Moubray's Poultry Book, first 
published in 1815, and which went through five editions in ten 
years. The author says : "Dragoons (commonly called Dragons)."" 
The name would easily become corrupted, and more easily 
pronounceable among illiterate pigeon keepers, who were, doubt- 
less, formerly the chief breeders of Dragoons ; and, when 
gentlemen went to buy feeders for their Carriers and Pouters, 
they would hear them spoken of by shopkeepers, and others, 
as Dragons, and so gradually come to speak of them by that 
name among themselves. I have known a similar alteration of 
the name in my own experience. I can remember when there 
were very few Dragoons, Skinnums, or Antwerps in Dundee, 
nothing but flying Tumblers being fancied by the poorer class 
of pigeon keepers. When homing pigeons became in request, 
everything with the least beak or eye wattle more than a 
Tumbler was known, in their language, as a " Draigon." This 
was afterwards shortened into "Draig," and now the word is 
"Drake." I was once rather surprised to hear a gentleman's 
son tell me he had some fine " Drake " pigeons. I have written 



302 FANCY PIGEONS. 

Dragon before now for Dragoon, but I admit there is no defence 
for this. However the word may be pronounced in conversa- 
tion, it ought to be written as of old, because its meaning is 
clear, and not obscure. There is a quaint note by Eaton, on 
page 59 of his 1858 book, on this question : " Why do authors 
on pigeons spell the Dragon with two ' o's', making the word 
Dragoon, a kind of soldier, &c. (Walker) ? In society we never 
call it the Dragoon, but the Dragon Drag-un, a winged serpent 
(Walker), from which it derives its name. I hope no author 
who follows me will be guilty of doing it." This is amusing, 
and very Eatonesque. 

I must next say something about the beak and eye wattles 
of the Dragoon. What they ought to be in a show bird is 
clearly stated ; but it is quite usual for the best birds, while still 
in the very prime of life, to put on, with advancing age, more 
wattle than is allowable for the show-pen, or to become " more 
than a Dragon," as it is called. This bird, therefore, occupies a 
quite unique position among exhibition pigeons. A Fantail can 
never become more than a Fantail, nor a Jacobin more than a 
Jacobin. I have seen Dragoons that could win prizes at from 
two to three years of age become, when five or six, great 
coarse-wattled, pinch-eyed Horsemen. They are then only fit 
for stock birds. 

The colours of Dragoons mentioned in the Peristeronic 
Society's Report do not include black and dun. This is wisdom 
itself. It would scarcely do, for reasons good, to have show 
Dragoons of these colours. There was once an inquiry in The 
Bazaar newspaper on this very subject, and the answer given 
was this : " They would have no chance in competition what- 
ever." But why not ? I would have thought that, the more 
variety of colour in a breed, the better. It will be seen from 
the Report, that the said Society advocates a silver with dark 
beak and eyes, and with bars as black as possible. There can be 
no harm in fancying such a colour, but why should the real 
silver be ignored, and not even be mentioned ? As I have said 



303 WATTLED PIGEONS. 

before, what may be called the four primary barred colours of 
pigeons include the silver with dun bars. There are many 
variations in the colours of wing bars in pigeons, one of which 
the body colour of the silver with the black bar of the blue, or 
as near it as possible is what many consider a silver ought to 
be; but I know this is a mistake. The golden dun barred 
Dragoon, generally called brown barred, is a well-known variety, 
which ought to be recognised. It has a yellow iris and light 
beak. 

A well-known breeder of blue Carriers told me that, having 
an odd blue Carrier cock matched to an Antwerp hen as feeders, 
he bred a young one from them which so took the fancy of a 
Dragoon breeder that he gave him 7 for it. 

The following is from the " Treatise on Pigeons, " 1765, 
page 89 : " They are very good breeders, and good nurses ; and 
are chiefly kept as feeders for raising of Powters, Leghorn 
Bunts, &c. 

" The following may be depended upon as fact, notwithstanding 
the appearance of incredibility, as several gentlemen now living 
can affirm the same if requisite: 

"A gentleman of my acquaintance, having a small wager 
depending, sent a Dragoon by the stage coach to his friend at 
St. Edmond's Bury, together with a note, desiring the Pigeon, 
two days after his arrival there, might be thrown up precisely 
when the town clock struck nine in the morning, which was 
accordingly executed, and the Pigeon arrived in London, and 
flew to the sign of the Bull Inn, in Bishopsgate Street, into the 
loft, and was there shewn at half-an-hour past eleven o'clock 
the same morning on which he had been thrown up at St. 
Edmond's Bury, having flown seventy-two miles in two hours 
and a half ; the wager was confirmed by a letter sent by the next 
post from the person at St. Edmond's Bury. 

" I could relate several more exploits of this nature performed 
by Dragoons ; particularly of their being thrown up and 
returning home by moonlight, &c." 



304 FANCY PIGEONS. 

In Eaton's 1858 book, page 59, there is also the following 
note by Mr. John Boys : " Thirty-six years ago, when my 
collection of Dragons (about thirty) every morning brought me 
from London, in slips, the leading article of the Morning Post 
newspaper, tied round the leg " regarding which, Eaton adds : 
"From London to Margate, seventy- two miles; a decent fly, 
and proves Dragons can do work." 

Blue and blue chequered Dragoons ought to have a dark 
eye wattle, something like that of the Mahomet Pigeon. It 
appears to get lighter in colour with age, and, if report can 
be believed, is often produced artificially. 

Foreign Wattled Pigeons. 

FRENCH BAGDADS. There are various kinds of beak and 
eye-wattled pigeons described by Continental writers, all of 
which are called Bagdads, or Turks, which serves to show 
they are considered to be of Eastern origin. Such as seem of 
distinct breed from our Carriers, though undoubtedly belonging 
to the same family, are described as follows by Boitard and 
Corbie, whose work on pigeons, it must be remembered, was 
published in Paris in 1824. Whether or not the varieties 
mentioned are still in existence is more than I can say. 

Great Wattled, or Mushroomed Bagdad (Pigeon Bagadais 
a Grande Morille). "A mushroom, or large fleshy excres- 
cence on the beak ; large ribbon round the eyes, forming, when 
the bird is old, a second eyelid, fleshy and reddish, which falls 
over the eyes and prevents it from seeing. These ribbons (eye 
wattles) are sometimes so large that they join at the top of the 
head. Beak curved and crooked; eye black. This bird is thick, 
high on the legs, large, and short in the body, the neck fine and 
long, wings short, legs bare. Its backmost part is always of 
an inflamed red. There are several sub-varieties, with plumage 
black, red, black and white, dun, &c. They all produce little, 
and with difficulty; they have also become very rare, and are 
scarcely preserved, except as a curiosity." 



305 WATTLED PIGEONS. 

Batavian Bagdad (Pigeon Bagadais Batave). " Some authors 
call it Grand Batavian, because the first of them were brought 
from Batavia ; they think also that it, and not the Blue Rock 
Pigeon, ought to be regarded as the primitive stock of the 
Bagdads. Larger than the Great Mushroomed Bagdad, though 
with less beak and eye wattle ; pearled eyes ; very long beak, 
attaining up to dix-huit lignes de longeur; neck extremely long; 
body large, short, and very high on the legs; feet and legs of 
the colour of blood, often long enough to get a good finger 
length beyond the tail when stretched out. Its walk is heavy ^ 
and its flight laborious, on account of its short wings, which, 
besides, are sparsely covered with feathers, and the prominent 
bones of the shoulders appear nearly bare. It produces little, 
and is not now much sought after by amateurs, who formerly 
did not grudge to pay up to ten louis a pair for them. This is 
no doubt owing to the little grace of their form, and the 
destruction they make in the aviary in plucking and killing 
the young of others with their formidable beaks. This bird is 
the largest of all pigeons. M. Corbie has one large enough to 
drink out of an ordinary bucket without the least trouble. 
There has been seen, with a fancier coming from Germany, a 
bird called a Hen Pigeon " (Leghorn Runt, or Hiihnertaube), " in 
all respects like the Batavian, except having no beak and eye 
wattle." 

Boitard and Corbie's illustration of this curious pigeon has 
been copied by Brent, on page 21 of his book, and called the 
Scanderoon, or Great Horseman. It has much in common 
with my drawing of the Leghorn Runt, but its very short tail 
is carried below its flights. I can scarcely believe that its 
original home was in Batavia, though brought thence to 
France. There has for centuries been a trade between 
Batavia and the Persian Gulf. This is said to be the largest 
of all pigeons, not excepting the Runt, or Pigeon Romain. 
It is also described by Neumeister who gives a drawing 
of it, coloured red (Plate XYII. of his book) as the 

2 D 



306 FANCY PIGEONS. 

Franzosische Bagdette. He speaks of it in similar terms to 
the foregoing, adding that the tail is sometimes carried 
upright, but must not be like a swallow's tail probably meaning 
that it must be close, and not split. He says the plumage is 
close, fitting the body so tightly that all its parts are sharply 
prominent, especially the shoulders and the breast bone, the bare 
skin being often visible on these parts, which is a peculiarity, 
more or less, of all the Carrier race. Brent says : " I have met 
with very fine specimens in France, by the name of Swan-necked 
Egyptians. They are very large pigeons, almost as large as the 
best Bunts. They are thinly covered with feathers, and these 
lie very close to the body ; neither are the tail and pinion 
feathers remarkable for length. Their beaks are very long, and 
somewhat bent, and they have a moderate wattle, of a whitish 
colour, and the cere round the eyes is broad and red. The head 
is flat ; the neck long, thin, and much bent ; the shoulders are 
broad ; the legs long and large, and they are the most powerful 
of all pigeons I have met with. They are heavy, clumsy birds, 
and appear to have great difficulty in rising ; but I have found 
the young, if kept in exercise, and not allowed to get too fat, 
to be very swift, and excellent homing birds. In the air they 
remind me of wild ducks, owing to their scanty plumage and 
angular form. Many points of the body are left bare, as the 
front of the neck and the shoulders of the wings, exposing a 
red skin. Mine were very good breeders, though they are not 
generally considered so. Their plumage is usually white, black, 
blue, or pied." It is worth notice that Brent found these 
pigeons excellent homing birds. 

The Little Batavian Bagdad (Pigeon Bagadais petit Batave) 
"resembles in general form the Great Batavian, but differs 
in its size, being much less. It produces advantageously." 

The Lace-feathered Batavian Bagdad (Pigeon Bagadais 
Batave Soie). "A new variety, quite as rare as singular. It 
resembles the preceding (petit Batave) in size and general 
form, but the fibres of its feathers are long and silky, and 



307 WATTLED PIGEONS. 



do not adhere together, which prevents it from flying. This 
bird, which is not in commerce, no doubt only multiplies in 
the hands of amateurs, who only consider it an object of 
curiosity." 

I am not aware if this variety still exists, but the fact of a 
Lace-feathered Bagdad having existed shows that such a 
natural variation in feathering might occur in any breed. 

TURKISH BAGDADS (Pigeons Turcs). " These superb birds 
make the natural link between the Bagdads and Runts. They 
have, like the first, a large beak and eye wattle, the latter red 
in colour, and are of large size ; but they come nearer to the 
Bunts by their thighs, legs, and neck, being shorter, and by 
their long wings." They are described as of various colours, 
and both crested and plain-headed. I believe most of the 
fancy Bunts, such as the one I made my drawing from, have 
the blood of these Turcs, as they have more beak and eye 
wattle than the common blue and silver Bunts. Brent has re- 
produced the portrait of a Pigeon Turc on page 20 of his book. 

GERMAN BAGDADS. We come next to the German varieties 
of the Carrier family, as described by Neumeister, which are 
as follows : 

The Short-faced Turkish Bagdad (Die Kurzschnabelige Bag- 
dette, or TiirTcischetaube). This variety is illustrated on Plate 
XIY. of his work on pigeons, and is represented as both crested 
and plain-headed, self-coloured black, red, and yellow, rather 
short in beak, and looking very like short-faced English 
Dragoon Pigeons. 

The Nurnberg Bagdad (Die Deutsche Krummschnoibelige Bag- 
dette, or Number ger Bagdette). The crooked-beaked Bagdad 
is already well known in England as the Scanderoon, and 
is well portrayed, by Mr. Ludlow, in Mr. Fulton's book. The 
German fancier, Fiihrer, has thus described, in Neumeister's 
work, the history and standard of excellence of this bird: 
" This exceedingly interesting pigeon, resembling more a fierce 
bird of prey than a peaceful, granivorous bird, had its home 



308 FANCY PIGEONS. 

in the Orient, and was probably first brought into commerce 
from Bagdad. In Germany, it is chiefly at Nurnberg that 
it is beautifully bred, a town which, hundreds of years ago, 
was in a lively commercial intercourse with the Levant, and 
has the merit of having introduced, and first bred, this stately 
bird, where it is said to be still the favourite pigeon. The 
beak must be beautifully bent, long, thick, blunt, and light 
coloured ; the beak wattle must sit deeply below on the brow, 
rather flat than high, heart-shaped, and not too broad; the 
head must be long and narrow, and, seen from the side, must 
form a semicircle from the nape to the point of the beak ; 
the eye wattle, or rose, must be large, flat, and regular, bright 
red in early age, later in life rather white ; the neck long and 
thin, and the chin adorned with a beard; the body must show 
a broad back and breast; the ridge of the breast bone must 
spring forth sharply ; the pinions must be narrow and short, 
the tail short, and legs high. 

" If the brow and beak form an angle, if the crown has a 
depression, if the upper mandible is longer than the under, or 
if they do not fit close, these are faults which are opposed to 
the beauty of the race." 

The only thing obscure in the above is the chin being 
adorned with a beard, which word is used in Germany to 
designate various properties in pigeons. If, in this instance, 
it means the slight jew wattle inseparable from all abnormally 
wattled pigeons, the less of it the better. I should say that a 
clean-cut, hollow curve, from the point of the lower mandible, 
down the throat, would look best. . It is said that, in whole 
colours, this pigeon is only found of the highest type all white. 
The pied ones are the most valued, and on the regularity of 
their markings fanciers set a high value. The chief marking 
is that shown in Mr. Ludlow's drawing, and may be described 
as exactly the same as that of the Magpie Pigeon, except 
that the head and upper neck are white. From low down 
on the nape, the white runs down the sides of the neck, 



309 WATTLED PIGEONS. 



to a point on the breast, forming a pointed bib. There 
ought to be a spot of colour on each side of the face, at the 
gape of the mouth, and this is shown in the illustration of the 
breed in Herr Priitz's new book. There are also others 
coloured, in addition, on lower body, from breast to tail, in- 
cluding the thighs, the head and bib, wing coverts and nights, 
remaining white. The back must always remain coloured, as 
in the Magpie, and form the figure of a heart, and is known 
as "the heart." Others, again, are all coloured except the 
head, upper neck and bib, flight feathers, and butts of the 
wings, as in the Stork Pigeon. The quality of colour in this 
variety is sometimes superb. 

"Its flight is powerful, quick, and more stormy than dex- 
terous ; its voice abrupt and deep. Towards smaller pigeons 
it is violent, and therefore not suited to live with them, and 
best kept alone. It shows mistrust to men, and only gradu- 
ally becomes accustomed to its feeder." This wild nature 
is common to all the Carrier race and their descendants. 

THE HIMALAYAN CARRIER. When writing about Indian 
pigeons, I mentioned some gentlemen named Wood, whom I 
knew in Calcutta as enthusiastic pigeon fanciers. There were 
four brothers of them who bred choice pigeons, and their 
father had done so before them. The eldest brother had the 
largest and best collection I knew of in Calcutta, with the 
exception of that belonging to the ex-King of Oude. It was 
in Mr. Wood's aviaries I first saw this variety, which I have 
named as above; the native name I have forgotten, if I ever 
heard it. This pigeon is about the size of an average Dragoon. 
It is very hard and close-feathered, upright in carriage, thin- 
in neck, moderately long in neck and limbs, and inclined to be 
short in flights and tail. It is short in face, measuring about 
If in. from centre of eye. The beak is stout and thick at the 
base, sharp rather than blunt at the point, and straight. The 
head is angular, or wedge-shaped, the brow forming an angle 
with the crown and beak. It has a smooth beak wattle, of 



310 FANCY PIGEONS. 

moderate amount, which never grows quite so large as that 
considered necessary for a show Dragoon. The striking point 
about this pigeon is its staring or bolting eyes, which stand 
further out of its head than I have ever seen in other pigeons ; 
these are mostly hazel-coloured, large, bright, and surrounded 
by a thin, smooth wattle, of about fin. diameter in matured 
birds. The colours of those birds I saw were black or blue 
pied, the white predominating, and some being nearly all 
white. The black and blue patches were disposed without any 
regularity, no two birds being exactly alike. This pigeon, 
though a sub-variety of the Carrier, has assumed a distinct 
type of its own, and bears a highly-bred look. I was told 
that the breed had been brought from some of the countries 
north of the Himalayan mountains. 

The only specimen of the Himalayan Carrier I have seen 
in this country is at present in my possession. Going on 
board an East Indiaman in Dundee Docks last March (1886), I 
saw the bird walking about the quarter-deck. The captain gave 
it to me; it is all white, with dark horn-coloured beak, and 
orange eyes. The eye wattle, which resembles that of a show 
Dragoon in its prime, is of a reddish purple hue; but the 
greatest peculiarity of the bird is its bolting eyes, and the 
great space between the irides and the eye wattles. 




Chapter XXV. 



THE TUMBLER PIGEON. X> 




HE above heading causes the almost forgotten 
past to be remembered. Visions of bygone 
celebrities, that were known by such names 
as the Red Mottle, the Blue Hen, and the Red 
Breaster, crowd up from the days of the 
springtime of life. I recall the feat of my little blue Tumbler, 
which, when heading against a strong wind, and neither 
making nor losing any headway, turned clean over forty 
times within the minute, in the same aerial space. The 
pennies that ought to have been spent on biscuits to appease 
the mid-day appetite, were hoarded up till such a sum was 
accumulated as would cause some well-known performer to 
change ownership; and then there was joy in fetching it 
home, the basket being opened many times on the way 
for " another look." I should think there are more Tumbler 
pigeons kept in this country than there are of all other 
fancy kinds put together, and that the accumulation of 
genuine pleasure derived by their owners from them exceeds 
that from all other kinds. Many a fancier has begun with 
Tumblers, and but few refuse to provide a place for their 



312 FANCY PIGEONS. 



first favourites, into whatever other channels their fancy 
may roam. 

The Tumbler derives its name from its inherited propensity 
of turning over backwards in its flight. What causes it 
to tumble over in this way is not known, though many 
theories have been propounded to account for it. Some well- 
bred birds never attain to it, while others carry it to such 
an excess that they cannot rise from the ground a couple of 
feet. The latter kind, known as Ground Tumblers, often 
resume flying and tumbling in the air, and again become 
Grounders. House Tumblers are such as can rise from 
the ground, but often tumble in their flight across a room ; 
they do not, however, always perform when required to 
do so. Air Tumblers sometimes become so proficient and 
systematic in their performances that they change hands 
for 10s. each and upwards among poor men. Such birds 
will sometimes go off tumbling, and fall in value to 
the normal price of a shilling, and, after remaining very 
ordinary ones for a year or two, suddenly become good ones 
again, and rise in value in proportion. Many a good Tumbler 
has never given a turn till two or three years old, and some 
can never get more than half over in their attempts to turn. 
I certainly think that, in the case of ordinary Tumblers, 
tumbling is a real pleasure to them, and that they do it 
voluntarily; but the habit grows on some birds to such 
an extent, that they either cannot rise from the ground, or, 
when in mid air, lose command of themselves, and, striking 
against some projection, destroy themselves. 

There are many styles of tumbling, and the one most 
generally admired is that in which the bird turns over once 
at a time, and often, but without losing way in its flight. 
At the same time, those that rise and fall in the air by 
alternate soaring and rolling each roll being composed of 
several backward turns are also liked by many people. 
Some birds make the most extraordinary motions in the air, 



313 THE TUMBLER. 



turning at right angles in their flight, and throwing them- 
selves about so rapidly that the eye can scarcely follow 
their turns. High-flying Tumblers generally tumble only 
when ascending or descending; but they sometimes go so 
high in fact, quite out of sight that it is impossible to 
follow them in their movements. I have watched them, on a 
clear day, till they seemed no bigger than mites, and then 
lost them altogether. Some remaining on the housetops are 
seen by those in the air, and this tends to bring them down 
sooner than they might otherwise come. Tumblers, when 
allowed unlimited freedom, become lazy, and unwilling to fly, 
and seldom fly in concert. 

Great care and much trouble are necessary in getting up a 
good flight of Tumblers; birds that will not rise must be 
weeded out. To insure success, the birds must be flown only 
at stated times. The morning is the best time, before they 
are fed; and after they return to their loft they should be 
confined till late in the afternoon, or till next morning, 
according to the wishes of their owner. To fly Tumblers 
systematically is, indeed, a separate branch of the pigeon 
fancy, which is only excelled in by such as lay themselves 
out for it. I have known fanciers, including myself, buy 
the best soaring birds that could be got, and I have seen 
them gradually deteriorate for want of the necessary atten- 
tion. Tumblers require special training for flying time 
matches. Dried peas, and other grain, are considered the 
best foods for them, as such take long to digest, and assist 
in keeping up their strength during the time they keep 
on the wing. Without such special foods they would be 
unable to fly so long as they do. 

Mr. G. Smith, a breeder of high-flying Tumblers and 
Tipplers in Nottingham, has lately published a little book 
giving information, derived from experience, on this 
fancy. 



314 FANCY PIGEONS. 

The following Tippler handicap was flown Tuesday, 30th 
March, 1886, at Leicester : 

NAMES. TIME. START. 

W.Warner llhr. 9min Scratch. 

W. Holland 11 4 Scratch. 

W. Allen 10 45 Scratch. 

E.Collins 4 7 30min. 

G. Seal 2 4 90min. 

The birds were started at 8.0 a.m. 

Mr. W. Holland, of 15, "New Walk, Leicester, made a match 
to fly his birds for twelve hours. The birds were started on 
Monday, 12th April, at 6 a.m., and had to be dropped at 
night. Time, 13hrs. 45min. the best on record with Tipplers. 

Common Tumblers. 

The Tumbler is spread in great variety throughout Europe 
and Asia. It has long been known in this country, and is 
described by Willughby (1678). He says: "These are small, 
and of divers colours. They have strange motions, turning 
themselves backwards over their heads, and show like foot- 
balls in the air." The ordinary Tumbler of this country 
is a small pigeon, thin in the neck, full in the breast, of 
medium length in flights and tail, short-legged, and free of 
leg and foot feather. The head is rounded, and free from sharp 
angles, and the forehead of middle height. The beak should 
be short and thin, or what is known as a spindle beak. The 
beak wattle and eye wattle should not be greatly developed. 
The eye should be white or pearl-coloured in the iris, but is 
usually of a red pearl, not nearly so white as in the Conti- 
nental Cumulet. There are, however, many yellow, red, and 
hazel-eyed birds as good performers as ever flew; but I am 
describing the Tumbler as it ought to be when shown, and 
as it is in many lofts where kept only to be flown, for good- 
looking birds that are good performers as well, may be got 



315 THE TUMBLER. 



by selection from the immense numbers kept in every large 
town. I have seen good clean-legged Tumblers with shell 
crests, and also peak -headed ones. I once bred several peaked 
yellow whole feathers from a pair of smooth-headed ones. I 
could only account for this variation as a natural sport. 

The Tumbler is found in all the principal colours, such as 
whole blue, silver, black, red, yellow, dun, and white; and in 
such infinite variety of Mottles, Grizzles, and Splashes, that 
it would be no difficult matter to put up a hundred matched 
pairs, any one of which might easily be distinguished from 
the rest. Birds are matched together for their excellence 
in tumbling, no matter what colour they are, and there- 
fore produce a great variety of curiously- coloured and marked 
offspring. It is generally from Tumblers so matched up for 
their powers of tumbling that the House and Ground Tumblers 
are produced, and, accordingly, many of them have little in 
their appearance, from a fancy point of view, to recommend 
them in the way of feather. Such are out of place in the 
show-pen, however, for which the colours must be pure and 
good to enable them to compete successfully. 

Among those races of Tumblers of the best quality, as 
regards performances in the air, which have been kept to 
feather to a certain extent, I may mention the red Mottles, 
not marked so exactly as show Mottles ought to be, but mottled 
over the whole wing coverts, and often with white feathers 
on the head and neck; black and yellow Mottles of the same 
character; blacks with white flight feathers, white beaks, and 
reddish eye wattle; whites ticked on the neck with red; and, 
lastly, almond-feathered ones. I have known fanciers confine 
themselves to some of these breeds, and, by careful selection 
of such as were good flyers and performers, establish flights 
which would breed very true to feather. 

Exhibition Tumblers. 

Show Tumblers are sub-divided into Self-colours, Mottles, 



316 FANCY PIGEONS. 

Baldheads, and Beards. I am of opinion that foreign 
elements have been, in some cases, introduced into the 
breeding of the self colours and Mottles, to give colour, 
and that few of the pretty birds to be seen at shows 
would be of much account in a flight; but there is this to 
be said of showing Tumblers, that, independently of per- 
formance in the air, they are worth show recognition from 
a fancy point of view. The show Tumbler should have, in 
the first place, all the character in shape of head, beak, 
and body, of the best type of the real performing Tumbler, 
and on no account have about the head even a suspicion 
of any cross with the Short-faced Tumbler. Many people 
erroneously think, or used to think, that the half or quarter- 
bred Short-face, being neater in head, is better for the show- 
pen ; but this idea is on the wane, if it be not altogether eradi- 
cated. There is a medium between shortness and too great 
length of face, and between too thick and too thin a beak 
for the show Tumbler. I have known a quarter-bred Barb 
win all through a season as a common black Tumbler. The 
Barb cross gave colour, pearl eyes, and a white beak ; but 
the latter was too thick, and there was too much beak and 
eye wattle to deceive me. The reddish tinge on beak and 
eye wattles was no conclusive proof of the cross, because this 
accompanies fine colour in black, red, and yellow, and I have 
had the very best performers so coloured in the eye wattles. 
The black, red, and yellow colours ought to be as sound, 
and accompanied with as much metallic lustre, as possible. 
Glossy blacks may be seen, but I have never seen reds and 
yellows within many shades of the colour to be seen in many 
foreign pigeons. These colours not being in the breed, there- 
fore, in their best possible tints, any crosses with other 
varieties which do possess them must result in the loss of 
the tumbling propensity, however much the appearance of 
the pure Tumbler may be retained ; but as the tumbling pro- 
pensity is of no account, and cannot be tested in the show- 



317 THE TUMBLER. 



pen, shape and feather are all that are looked for in the 
Tumbler as a show pigeon. 

Macclesfield Tipplers. 

A well-known variety of the flying Tumbler is known as 
the Macclesfield Tippler, which must only make single turns 
in its flight. Some of these birds are very fine flyers, and 
so rapid in their tumbling that the eye can scarcely follow 
them. I believe the Tippler is of various colours, but there 
is one especial marking which I have seen many of that is, 
white, with dark head, flights, and tail. The colour is 
generally Kity-black, the flight feathers showing sometimes 
black, brown, and white. The marking of the head is not 
cut off sharply, like that of the Nun, but gradually dis- 
appears in mottling, and there are sometimes grizzled feathers 
on the neck, breast, and body. This variety breeds true to 
these characteristics, but with some variation in colour of 
points, and is known locally, I believe, as the Printed Tippler. 

Birmingham Rollers. 

In addition to such Tumblers as I have described, Moore 
mentions the Dutch Tumbler, as "much of the same make, 
but larger, often feather-leg'd, and more jowlter-headed with 
a thin Flesh or Skin round the Eye, not unlike a very sheer 
Dragoon ; some People don't esteem them upon this Account, 
tho' I have known very good ones of the Dutch breed, not 
any Ways inferior to what they call the English. Others 
have remarked that they are apt to tumble too much, and to 
lose Ground, that is, sink beneath the rest of the Flight, 
which is a very great Fault, but I have observ'd the same 
by the English, and am apt to believe that most of the 
extraordinary Feathers have been produc'd by mixing with 
the Dutch breed ; for it is generally observ'd that the English 
Tumblers are chiefly black, blue, or white." This is a good 
description of what are now known as Birmingham Boilers, 



318 FANCY PIGEONS. 

many of which are much larger and coarser pigeons than 
the neat, trim, clean-legged Tumblers. 

Rollers are of many colours, such as whole-feathers ; 
mottles ; saddles, marked exactly the same as the Magpie ; 
white sides, or with white wing coverts and under body when 
through the moult, but self-coloured as nestlings; badges, 
which are all coloured, except with some white sprinkling 
about the head, white flights, and white leg- feathering from 
the hocks down ; grizzles, of various shades, and oddities of 
all kinds of uneven markings. Rollers may be smooth or 
feather-legged. Many are heavily hocked, with feathers 
on the feet Sin. to 4in. long. They are much fancied in 
Birmingham and the Midland counties, where great numbers 
of them are kept, and, when bred for good shape, colour, 
and markings, they realise considerable prices for show pur- 
poses. I have seen Tumblers imported from the Continent 
with much of the character of these pigeons. 

The Mottled Tumbler Pigeon. 

Mottled flying Tumblers for the show-pen are either black, 
red, or yellow, though I have occasionally seen duns. The 
mottling of these birds should either be a rose pinion on the 
shoulders, composed of single white feathers, no two of which 
should be in contact, or run together, or the same marking 
accompanied by what is known as a "handkerchief back,'* 
which is a Y-shaped figure on the back, between the shoulders, 
also composed, when right, of single, separated white feathers; 
while the mottling of the rose pinion is on the wing coverts, 
the handkerchief back is on the scapular feathers. Some 
admire the rose wing alone, others the compound marking. 
The chief defect in Mottles is an excess of white feathers, 
and, when these are not absolutely in patches, weeding can 
transform a bird nearly right into perfection. Removing a 
few superfluous white feathers is not so difficult as supplying 
some to a wing rather undermarked; but there are men who 



319 THE TUMBLER. 



will stick at nothing to win somehow, and I have known of 
a self-coloured bird transformed into a perfect Mottle, the 
white feathers being pasted in. There can be no doubt that 
no pigeon has its toilet made to a greater extent than the 
show Mottle, and that, if absolute perfection has been seen, 
it has been but rarely. 

In breeding Mottles, the best plan is to ascertain how 
the pigeons to be mated have been bred for as many genera- 
tions back as can be found out. If they should have de- 
scended through some generations of nearly perfectly marked 
birds, they ought to breed many such themselves; but as the 
general plan is to mate a self-coloured bird, bred in most 
cases from a Mottle and a self-colour, to a Mottle bred in 
the same way, self-colours and Mottles are produced from 
such mating. Self-colours, therefore, are part of the Mottle 
breeder's stock, and represent more than they appear to do. 
To put a self-coloured to a gay bird is not the plan that ex- 
perience has taught as most likely to produce the right 
marking, for the produce is ever inclined to run too gay. 
And yet, if the self-colour and Mottle matching results in 
an undue proportion of undermarked birds, one rather over- 
marked must be thrown in occasionally. To attain success 
in Mottle breeding, a fancier cannot know too much of the 
pedigree of his stock birds, and, the longer he has the strain, 
the better he should be able to produce good ones. 

The young Mottle does not leave the nest as it appears 
after its first moult, but entirely self-coloured. If a bird has 
even a few grizzled feathers about it as a nestling, it often 
becomes too white after moulting. It is during its first 
autumnal moult, therefore, that its beauties become apparent, 
and that is the time when eager eyes are on the watch for 
a coming wonder. Many flying Tumblers which are self- 
coloured as nestlings become more than half white during 
their first moult. The mottled flying Tumbler is not nearly so 
difficult to breed good as the Short-faced Mottle; but yet it 



320 FANCY PIGEONS. 



is difficult enough to breed, and, if the majority of birds 
seen at shows were penned unweeded, they would be found 
very mismarked. Foul feathers in the neck and breast are 
very prevalent ; but as it is easy to remove many such with- 
out the possibility of detection, many fanciers who admire the 
Mottle prefer rather to spend their time over pigeons not 
so easily manufactured for the show-pen. 

The Baldhead Tumbler Pigeon. 

When Moore, in his description of the Tumbler, said, " This 
Pigeon affords a very great Variety of Colours in its Plumage, 
as blacks, blues, whites, reds, yellows, Duns, Silvers, and, in 
short, a pleasant mixture of all these Colours with the 
white," it is probable that he included Baldheads and Beards 
as "pleasant mixtures." We are, however, indebted to the 
author of the Treatise of 1765 for the first account of these 
favourite varieties of the Tumbler, and his description of them, 
which is one of the original pieces in his book, is as follows : 
"The Bald-pated Tumblers, which are of various colours in 
their body, as blacks, blues, &c., with a clean white head, a 
pearl eye, white flight, and white tail, are esteemed good flyers, 
and are very pretty, even when flying in the air, for the 
contrast of the feather appears at that distance when the 
weather is clear and fine ; but the blue ones are reputed to rise 
higher than any other colour. There are also some called blue 
or black-bearded that is, either of those colours having a long 
white spot from the under jaw and cheek, a little way down the 
throat, and regularly shaped, which has a pretty effect as an 
ornament ; and if they run clean in the flight and tail, as 
before mentioned in the Bald-pated ones, they are accounted 
handsome." 

Baldheads are found in black, blue, silver, red, and yellow, 
and in off colours, as chequers and mealies. The correct 
marking is as follows : Both mandibles should be white ; 
and the whole head, above a line running about iin. under 



321 THE TUMBLER. 

the eyes, should also be white. The line should be cut straight 
and sharp. This marking is known as "high cut," in opposi- 
tion to that in which the white extends farther down the 
neck, which is called " low cut "; and if the line of demarcation 
is uneven, or if the white in any case dips down in patches, 
the bird is said to be "slobbered." The Baldhead ought to 
have pearl eyes, but many otherwise good ones are spoilt by 
having one or both eyes bull, or dark hazel, in colour. This, 
however, in a flying Baldhead, is an intolerable fault for the 
show-pen. The primary nights should be white ; and, as they 
almost invariably number ten in each wing, the correct mark- 
ing in the Baldhead is spoken of as "ten-a-side." White to 
the turn of the flight would be the more correct standard, as 
Tumblers sometimes have only nine primary flight feathers. 
Next, if the bird be lifted up by its wings, it should be all 
white below them, including the rump and tail, with its upper 
and under coverts. If it has any coloured feathers on thighs 
or vent, it is foul-thighed or vented both very great faults. 
If the colour of the breast does not finish off in a straight, 
sharp line, about an inch before the thighs evenly belted, 
as it is called it is faulty. In shape of head, beak, and body, 
and in size and carriage, the Baldhead is similar to the small, 
clean-legged, flying Tumbler. I have never seen any with 
feathered legs, and I am not aware if such exist. 

The Baldhead is a good flyer, and a favourite pigeon with 
many, on account of its beauty, both when seen close or in 
the air. It is sometimes a good tumbler, though not so gene- 
rally as the common Tumblers first described, for, having 
in many cases been bred for feather, or for high flying alone, 
the tumbling propensity has not been so carefully cultivated; 
at the same time, I have had and seen many really first-class, 
tumbling Baldheads. 

I have never seen any almond-feathered common Baldheads, 
but they might be produced in time by crossing with the 
common Almond Tumbler. I have seen yellows with a few 

2 F 



322 FANCY PIGEONS. 

black ticks through the hackle, but I think fanciers are 
agreed that the almond feather is not suitable in any pigeon 
with white markings, such as the Baldhead or Pouter, and 
that, however well it might look in its early beauty, it would 
not compare with black, red, and yellow, in their best tints, 
when it began to darken with age. 

The Beard Tumbler Pigeon. 

The Beard Tumbler, like the Baldhead, is found in black, 
blue, silver, red, and yellow. The ordinary variety of flying, 
tumbling Beard, is similar in size, &c., to the common Bald- 
head and other Tumblers. It is always clean-legged, as far 
as I have noticed, and ought to be marked in the following 
manner : The upper mandible should be coloured, though reds 
and yellows may have it white; and the lower, in all cases, 
white. The beard, from which the bird has its name, is a 
dash of white, extending from eye to eye, across the throat. 
Commencing below the eye as a point, it widens to about 
half-an-inch below the beak, and it should be exactly alike 
on each cheek. This is the marking as described in the 
Treatise before-mentioned; but another style of Beard, known 
as the Pepper-faced, or Peppered Beard, has this dash of 
white sprinkled with coloured feathers. I think this is an 
undesirable marking, though it was liked by many in days 
gone by. There are also Beards with a coloured line down 
the throat, dividing the white into two parts. In addition to 
the 'white beard, the flights should be white to the turn, and 
the tail, with its coverts, upper and under, should be white; 
all else should be coloured. I am aware that it is not easy 
to get Beards, entirely dark-thighed, with ten white flights 
a side; but that is no reason why the standard should be 
reduced. Such birds have been seen, and are all the more 
valuable because scarce. It is considered that seven or eight- 
a-side is good enough for a dark-thighed bird; but I have 
had a strain of Tumblers with far less white about them than 



i 

! 







I 








THE EEAED TUMBLER. 



323 THE TUMBLER. 



the Beard viz., blacks, all coloured except the primary flights, 
which were white and they bred true. And when Beards are 
once got full-flighted and dark-thighed, they will breed true 
after a time, though it may be difficult to fix such marking 
without trouble. Standards of excellence in pigeons should 
be standards difficult of attainment, and they should also be 
artistically beautiful to entitle them to support. Although 
the Beard ought to be entirely dark-thighed, there is always 
some white where the feathers finish off at the hocks ; but the 
less of this the better. The Beard ought to have pearl eyes, 
and, as the whole head above the eyes is coloured, this is not 
a difficult point to maintain. 

Among blue Beards, the hens were formerly always smoky 
in colour, and I have never seen any of a good bright blue. 
This fault appears to be in the breed, as it is in some other 
breeds of blue-marked pigeons. It might possibly be eradi- 
cated by crossing blue Beard cocks with good coloured 
all blue hens; but as such experiments take years to com- 
plete, and the result is so remote, and the reward so uncer- 
tain, who will be at the trouble of it, neglecting what 
might truly be reckoned more important work in the fancy P 
Black, blue, and silver Beards, of the common flying Tumbler 
type, were, when I kept them in my boyhood, capital flyers 
and tumblers. 

A flight of Balds and Beards, assorted in colour, is a 
pretty sight; in clear weather the white markings tell well 
against the coloured body at a considerable height in the air- 
To make them fly high, and well together, however, they 
require all the attention necessary in raising a flight of 
Tumblers, and must not be allowed continual liberty, other- 
wise they will give little satisfaction as high flyers. 

For those who employ feeders for all small, high- 
class pigeons, they answer every requirement, being careful 
nurses and breeders the year through, except in the 
depth of winter; and, when kept for this purpose alone, 

2r2 



324 FANCY PIGEONS. 

they are all the better for unlimited freedom, as in country 
places they gather much green food, and other things service- 
able in the rearing of young birds, which they could not 
procure if kept confined. 

Foreign Tumblers. 

Numerous varieties of the Tumbler exist throughout India, 
Persia, and Asia Minor, according to recent writers who have 
referred to pigeons in their works. In 1885, some common- 
looking Tumblers, undistinguished by specific marking, but 
which could not rise a yard from the ground without 
tumbling, were brought to Dundee in a vessel from Cal- 
cutta. When I resided in Calcutta (from 1865 to 1872) I 
knew many fanciers who kept large numbers of Tumblers, 
which no doubt are, in their numerous varieties, the most 
universally fancied of all pigeons. There is a breed of blue 
Tumblers in Calcutta, similar in size and shape to the com- 
mon British Tumbler, but with the eye wattle which is 
very narrow of a dark blue, like that of a Mahomet Pigeon ; 
they have clear white irides. 

THE TURKISH ROLLER. These Tumblers were introduced 
from Smyrna by Mr. H. P. Caridia, and first described, in 
1874, by Mr. Ludlow, of Birmingham. They are longer in 
head and beak than our Tumblers, the head being flatter, 
and wanting the high forehead, and the beak thicker and 
stronger. The neck is rather short, as are the legs. The 
back is hollow, and the tail is carried rather elevated, and 
over the flights. The tail is peculiar, being long, and com- 
posed of from fourteen to twenty-two feathers, the average 
being about sixteen; these feathers have no approach or 
resemblance to a fan tail, but lie one over the other, in 
two divisions, showing a slight parting, or split, between 
them. As is common with other varieties having an abnor- 
mal number of tail feathers, a double feather growing from 
pne quill is often seen in this breed. The oil gland above 



325 THE TUMBLER. 

the tail is also wanting. Turkish Rollers are of many colours, 
such as black, white, dun, and almond splash, the blacks being 
well-lustred, and with white, black-tipped beaks as is usual 
with good-coloured blacks, among British Tumblers. I have 
not had any of these birds myself, but Mr. Ludlow, from 
whose description I have gathered the above, asserts that 
they are capital performers and flyers. 

THE DOUBLE-CRESTED TUMBLER. The first of this in- 
teresting variety, comprising a pair each of Almonds and 
Blacks or, probably, Kites were brought to Liverpool, from 
some Mediterranean port (probably Smyrna), in the spring of 
1886. The Almonds were purchased by me, and their descrip- 
tion is as follows: The cock is rather dark, of a mahogany 
ground colour, and well spangled with black: the hen light 
buff in ground, and showing very little black spangling, 
except in neck. In size and shape they resemble the best 
type of flying Tumbler, having extremely good carriage, with 
head thrown back, and full, prominent breast. The flights 
are generally carried low. In head, beak, and eye, they are 
similar to our common Tumblers, and their legs and feet are 
unfeathered. They have a broad shell crest on the nape, and 
a rose on the forehead similar in formation to that of the 
Trumpeter, but smaller. I was told they were guaranteed 
to tumble well; but I have not tested their powers, being 
afraid of losing them before I had bred some young ones 
from them. Their first three nests produced three pairs of 
almonds, all with the head feathering of the parents. Their 
fourth nest contained one almond and a white, or albino, 
both double-crested. 

THE RUSSIAN FRONTAL-CRESTED TUMBLER. Herr Priitz, 
in his new book on pigeons, illustrates this curious variety, 
which may be described as a Tumbler of the common smooth- 
legged type, with a frontal tuft on the forehead, but un- 
crested on the nape, thereby resembling the Altenburg 
Drummer. These pigeons are represented of a dark reddish 



326 FANCY PIGEONS. 



strawberry colour, with a few black spots, or ink marks, 
interspersed. 

THE RIGA TUMBLER. In my youthful days, and probably 
still, though I never now watch the arrival of Baltic traders, 
as I then did, vessels from Russia often brought to Dundee 
what we used to call Riga Tumblers. They were self-coloured 
blacks, reds, and yellows, of large size, with heavily feathered 
legs and feet (the quills on the latter often 4in. in length), 
and a large shell crest. They were very similar in shape 
and size to the Trumpeter as we then had it, except as to 
the tuft of feathers over the beak. They were very good 
flyers and tumblers. 

GERMAN TUMBLERS. Numerous varieties of the Tumbler 
are spread over Germany and Austria, many of which are, 
no doubt, bred chiefly for their marking. They vary greatly 
in type, some being long and flat headed, while others are 
short and thick beaked, with a high forehead. The principal 
varieties, some of them now well-known in this country, are 
the following : 

The White-Tailed Tumbler. These birds, with clean legs 
and pearl eyes, are similar in size and style to our common 
Tumblers. Some have a shell crest. They are of various 
ground colours, with a pure white tail and tail coverts. There 
is another pure breed, similar in all respects to these, except 
that their primary flight feathers also are white. 

The Coloured- Tailed Tumbler. Birds of this variety are all 
white, with coloured tails. They have clear pearl eyes, and 
some have shell crests. 

The Konigsberg Moorhead. These pigeons have large shell 
crests, pearl eyes, coloured tails, and heavily feathered legs and 
feet, and are marked on the head like a Nun. I believe they 
are either black or blue marked. 

The Brunswick Beard is now well-known in this country. 
It is rather long in face, and flat in head, with pearl eyes 
and clean legs, though I believe a variety with feathered 



327 THE TUMBLER. 



ones also exists. These birds are found of very good and glossy 
colours, in black, red, and yellow. The beard in this variety 
ought not to extend to the eyes, but should appear as a 
round white spot under the lower mandible, which ought also 
to be white in all colours. The flight feathers are white, 
the rest of the plumage being coloured. 

The White-barred Prague Tumbler is short and thick in beak, 
with a high forehead, pearl eyes, and smooth legs. In colour 
these pigeons resemble Briinner Pigmy Pouters, being either 
light blue or light fawn, with white wing bars. 

The Hungarian Magpie Tumbler resembles, in marking, our 
common Magpie Pigeon, except that the head is white above 
a line running through the eyes. It is shell-crested. 

The Brander is a Copenhagen Tumbler, of a black ground 
colour, but strongly glossed with reddish bronze. A good bird 
should appear all over of the same colour as that on the breast 
of the bronzed Archangel Pigeon, except that the points of the 
primary and secondary flights, as well as a bar across the end 
of the tail, should be black. The Brander is smooth-headed 
and legged, and is, doubtless, the breed referred to by Neu- 
meister as the Fire Pigeon. The hen of a pair in my possession 
answers the above description; the cock is darker, showing 
less bronze over the black ground colour. 

The Shaking Tumbler. All the specimens of this breed I 
have seen came from Germany, and were yellow whole-feathers, 
with grouse-muffed legs. They resembled our common Tumblers 
in general appearance, but had a trembling neck, similar, 
though less in degree, to what the Indian Mookee displays. 
I was informed that they exist in various colours, both self- 
coloured and Magpie marked, and that the Magpies ought to 
have a small white crescent on the breast. 

The German Ancient. The Altstammer, or Ancient, bears some- 
what the same relation to the Shaking Tumbler as our Short- 
faced do to our Common Tumblers. Its appearance betokens 
Barb descent, it having a rather pronounced red eye wattle, a 



328 FANCY PIGEONS. 

thick, short beak, and a broad skull; otherwise, in colour, 
markings, and grouse-feathered legs, it resembles the Shaker; 
but I believe the trembling neck is seldom found in them. 

Mr. O. Neef, of the German Consulate in London, who in- 
troduced this beautiful variety into England, being desirous 
of making known its merits, has requested me to publish 
the following: 

"The Ancient Pigeon (Altstammer], though German, is not 
a Toy Pigeon like the Feldtaube, such as the Swallow, Ice, 
and others, which have long, thin beaks, and heavily-built 
bodies, as characteristics of their type, but is one of the few 
German varieties with the distinguishing features of a short 
beak, round head, and elegantly- shaped body. 

"It is, moreover, a special Berlin variety, reared almost ex- 
clusively there, but also largely represented in Stettin; in 
other parts of Germany it is seldom met with. 

" Really good specimens are very rare, and command a 
high price. Thus, for instance, at a late exhibition at 
Konigsberg, an offer of 1000 marks (about 50) was declined 
for a single pair of them. The sum of 25 was also offered 
at the Berlin Exhibition, in 1882, by a Birmingham dealer, for 
a pair, and likewise refused. 

"The Ancient Pigeon, as the name implies, is a very old 
variety, the origin of which is unknown, and all explana- 
tions hitherto advanced concerning it are mere suppositions, 
devoid of any positive proof. This much, however, is fact : If 
the Ancient be crossed with another variety, its character- 
istics are at once lost. 

"Friends at Berlin have lately elected a body of breeders 
of this variety for the express purpose of ascertaining its 
origin and age; but as yet their efforts have been fruitless. 
From investigation of special and other literature on pigeons, 
it appears that the Ancient was known as early as 1779, but 
nothing has been discovered regarding its origin, or where 
it came from. 



329 THE TUMBLER. 

"The Ancient is found in black, red, and yellow colours, 
with white i.e., marked like the Magpie with the additional 
white mark on the breast, like the English Pouter. In blue 
they are very scarce, and never particularly good. It is a 
remarkable fact that these pigeons produce self-coloured 
specimens in all these colours, as well as pure whites. If 
a pure white Ancient be paired to a whole black, red, or yellow, 
the coloured one ought always to have six or eight white 
flight feathers in each wing ; they then often produce the best 
specimens of Magpie colour. This is a singular characteristic 
of the breed, and is probably peculiar to it alone. 

" There are also extant some with long beaks viz., the 
Flugtaube in all the four prime colours, both self-coloured 
and Magpie-marked. The difference between these and the 
former kind is about the same as that between the Short 
and Long-faced Tumblers." 

The Vienna Gansel, This breed, as represented by Priitz, 
greatly resembles the Ancient in style of head and beak, ap- 
pearing, from its broad, ribbed-up forehead, thick beak, and 
rather broad, red wattle, to be descended from the Barb. It is 
smooth-legged and Magpie-marked; but the head and upper 
neck are white, the white coming down in front, and forming 
a deep bib. The Gansel exists in black, red, yellow, blue, 
and silver. 

The foregoing descriptions do not exhaust the Continental 
breeds of Tumblers. There are an immense number of local 
varieties spread over middle Europe. It is the custom in 
some places to castrate these birds, probably with the inten- 
tion of making them better flyers, for the purpose of training 
the young birds in their flight. 




Chapter XXVI. 




X VARIETIES ORIGINALLY TUMBLERS. X 

| EYERAL varieties, long bred for colour and 
marking, in which the tumbling propensity 
no longer remains, are considered, from their 
formation of head and beak, size, and shape, to 
have been derived from the common Tumbler. 

The Nun, Magpie, and Helmet Pigeons, may be included in 

this category. 

The Nun Pigeon. 

This beautiful breed, from its striking contrast of colours, 
has always held a high place among fancy pigeons. It is 
supposed to derive its name from the arrangement of its 
marking, but in France it is the Jacobin, with its coloured 
body and white head, that is called a Nun (Nonnairi). The 
French call the Nun, Pigeon Coquille Hollondais, or Dutch 
Shell Pigeon, from its shell crown; and the Germans, Das 
Nonnchen, or little Nun,, to distinguish it from a somewhat 
similarly marked variety. Neumeister says that, although 
hitherto considered as belonging to the field, or dovehouse, 
type of pigeons, the Nun is an undoubted Tumbler in forma- 
tion, and in this I agree with him. Having been bred so long, 




THE NUN PIGEON. 



331 THE NUN. 

however it is described by Willughby under the name of 
Helmet for mere markings, it has lost the tumbling propensity. 

The Nun is a compact, trimly-built pigeon, of upright car- 
riage, with a Tumbler's head, beak, and pearl eye, which latter } 
in the black variety, is surrounded with a narrow blackish 
cere. The shell, which is sometimes miscalled a hood, should 
be very extensive, and resemble a cockle shell filled with plaster 
of Paris, stuck, as it were, on the back of the bird's head. It 
should on no account take a cupped form, but, when viewed 
in profile, be perpendicular, and so extensive that, when seen 
from before, it should describe three-quarters of a circle. 
The more even its edge, so as to form an unbroken line, the 
better, and although but few have it so large, it should come 
down below the level of the eyes; and the more it stands out 
from the head the better, when it resembles the halo around 
the head of a mediaeval saint. 

The Nun is found of several colours, such as black, blue, 
dun, red, and yellow-headed. I shall take the black first in 
my description, and, although it is comparatively easy to breed 
this colour good, yet many Nuns are to be found very off- 
coloured in their black. 

The black Nun, however good in colour, must not have a 
light beak like other black-headed pigeons, such as Barbs, 
which are preferred white-beaked, but its beak should be 
as black as possible ; and, I may say, it never is white-beaked 
as far as I have noticed. The head, as far back as the 
shell, which should stand up, and be purely white, must be black. 
As the shell feathers grow with a forward inclination, and 
those of the crown of the head backward, the latter, where 
they meet the shell feathers, take an upward turn, and form 
the support of the shell. If all the backward-growing feathers 
of the crown are black, the shell will, therefore, have a black 
lining, which, being unwished for, causes the dodging exhibitor 
to cut or pluck them, and so show a clean white shell. 

When the young Nun is about twelve days old, the head 



3S2 FANCY PIGEONS. 

feathers will, in a good one, be black only a little way behind 
the middle of the crown, and those feathers which adjoin 
the rising shell will be white. By the time the feathers are 
full grown the black will reach the shell, but not rise 
against it. The black marking of the head should run round 
the corners of the shell, so that, when the bird is viewed from 
behind, two black, pointed patches, are seen, and the colour 
should run down the sides of the neck to the breast, with a 
wide sweep, forming the bib, which ought to be evenly cut. 

The flight feathers, or ten primaries, should be black. Moore 
only speaks of six coloured flights in the Nun, but no bird with 
less than ten-a-side can be reckoned a standard one now. Eight- 
a-side certainly looks a full flight when the wing is closed, 
but not when the bird is flying; however, eight-a-side, with 
quite clean butts of the wings, is preferable to more black 
flights with the spurious wing and adjacent feathers coloured, 
a very common fault with all Nuns, especially with full- 
flighted ones. Here, again, plucking is often resorted to ; but 
an examination of the open wing will enable the searcher to 
detect it, if at all extensive. The twelve tail feathers, with 
their upper and under coverts, must also be black, and cut 
sharply across. There should be no black feathers over the 
rest of the body, nor white ones among the black markings ; 
but a prevailing foul marking is at the knees, or hocks, where 
the thigh feathers finish off. 

The feet and legs of the black Nun, when in the nest, are 
either quite black or heavily patched with black, but this 
generally wears away afterwards, though some birds retain it 
partly, especially those of a very rich colour. The black Nun looks 
much better, however, with bright vermilion- coloured legs and 
feet. The nails of the toes should be quite black, though many 
a good bird has a small fault in having some of them light. 

Probably on account of the less contrast in colour, red 
and yellow-headed Nuns have not been so much fancied by 
breeders as blacks; at least, they do not exist in such per- 



333 THE MAGPIE. 

fection, being, as a rule, very deficient both in shell and 
quality of colour; and it so happens, that the marking of the 
Nun encroaches on those parts of the bird which present 
the very greatest difficulty to the breeder of red and yellow 
pigeons the tail and flights. Could red and yellow Nuns be 
produced of such rich and lustrous colour as some kinds of 
pigeons display, I would consider them very much finer 
examples of the breeder's skill than blacks, though, at the 
same time, they would lack the contrast ; the red, however, would 
not be much behind even there. Bed and yellow Nuns have 
light beaks and toe nails. 

The Magpie Pigeon. 

This beautiful variety of the Tumbler, known in Germany 
as the Elstertummler, is now extensively fancied in this 
country. During late years competition has been strong 
among its admirers, who have drawn up a standard of its 
points, and formed a club for its encouragement. Although 
few of the pretty birds to be seen at shows would be able 
to tumble in the air, as they are bred mostly for appear- 
ance, the tumbling propensity is not entirely eradicated, 
as I have seen some of them perform creditably when 
flown. What is wanted at present in a show Magpie is 
a very small, slenderly-built pigeon, with a flattish head and 
long, slender beak, a thin neck, and short flights and tail. 
The iris should be as pearly white as possible, and the legs 
and feet free of feathers. The colours are black, red, yellow, 
dun, blue, and silver, marked as follows: The head, neck, and 
breast, are coloured to a line running between the butts of 
the wings; the scapular feathers are coloured so as to form 
the saddle, or heart-shaped figure, on the back; the back and 
tail, with its upper and under coverts, are coloured; the rest 
of the feathers ought to be white. This marking is so fixed, 
that the Magpie breeds very true to it. Absolute perfec- 
tion, however, is so rare, that, to make the lines of 



334 FANCY PIGEONS. 

demarcation between the white and coloured portions of the 
plumage exact, the bird is understood to be as subject to 
having its show toilet made as the Nun, or Mottle Tumbler. 
The beak in blacks, reds, and yellows the chief show colours 
is preferred to be flesh-coloured, but in the black is often 
tipped with Yandyke brown. Varieties of the Magpie with 
peak and shell crests exist on the Continent, but such 
are in no request here at present. The colours of the Magpie 
are, for the most part, rich and lustrous, reds being at pre- 
sent the most deficient in this respect, but they have lately 
shown signs of improvement. 

The Helmet Pigeon. 

The pigeon known at present as the Helmet is a German 
Tumbler. Neumeister describes it under the name of Der 
Farbenplattige Tilmmler oder die Calottentaube (Coloured- 
headed Tumbler, or Calotte Pigeon), and says that it has long 
been bred in the greatest perfection in Hamburg. The Helmet 
is of the size of our ordinary flying Tumblers, and is 
similarly formed in head, beak, and body. The upper mandible 
is coloured, the lower white; the head is black, blue, red, or 
yellow, the tail, with its coverts, matching the same. The line 
of demarcation of the helmet, or coloured cap, should run 
through the eye, as it were, and dip somewhat at the back of 
the head. The iris should be pearly white in colour. The 
Helmet is generally smooth-headed and clean-legged, but Brent 
mentions a variety with feathered legs and feet, coloured, he 
says, from the hocks down, to match the head and tail. 
Neumeister says that some Helmets are hooded, and that 
such are more valued, having an additional beauty to commend 
them to the breeder. 



Chapter XXVII. 




<X THE SHORT-FACED TUMBLER PIGEON. X> 
The Almond. 

OON" after the death of Moore, a variety of 
Tumbler called the Almond became in great 
estimation in London, and supplanted the 
Pouter and Carrier in the lofts of many 
breeders. We are enabled to trace its history 
with some degree of accuracy. There is no doubt that its culti- 
vation began before Moore wrote, as will be seen from the fol- 
lowing passage from his book. He says, in writing of Tumblers : 
"But amongst all, there is Mixture of three Colours, vulgarly 
call'd an Almond, perhaps from the quantity of Almond 
colour'd Feathers that are found in the Hackle: Others 
call it an Ermine, I suppose from the black Spots that are 
generally in it; however I am sensible the Name is not com- 
patible to the Term so call'd in Heraldry, which is only 
white spotted with black; yet as the Gentlemen of the Fancy 
have assign'd this Name to this mottley Colour, I shan't 
quarrel with them about a Term: if the three Colours run 
thro' the Feathers of the Flight and Tail, it is reckon'd a 
very good Almond, or Ermine, and is much valued. 



336 FANCY PIGEONS. 

"KB. An ermine Tumbler never conies to the full Beauty 
of its Feather, till it has twice molted off, and when it 
grows very old will decline, till it runs away to a down-right 
Mottle or other Colour." 

The Almond Tumbler was, therefore, very much valued 
when the three colours ran through the nights and tail, as 
early as 1735; and a standard had by that time been esta- 
blished for it in regard to feather. But it seems unlikely, if 
it was then anything else than an almond-feathered common 
Tumbler, that Moore would have omitted to describe its. 
peculiarities of head, beak, and carriage. It seems probable, 
therefore, that at this date it had not altered much in size 
and shape from the common Tumbler, seeing that Moore 
describes it as a variety of that breed. 

Thirty years afterwards the Almond Tumbler had made 
great progress in London, for it is described by the author 
of the Treatise of 1765 at length, and as then distinct in 
character from the common Tumblers. It was then "a very 
small Pigeon, with a short body, short legs, a full chest, a 
thin neck, a very short and spindle beak, and a round 
button head, and the iris of the eye a bright pearl colour." 
But the illustration which accompanies this description is 
disappointing, as it represents a pigeon of a much commoner 
type, compared to the modern Short-faced Tumbler, than some 
of the author's other illustrations are, compared to their 
modern representatives. The author had, however, become 
enamoured of the Almond, and considered that the title of 
the King of Pigeons, conferred by former fanciers on the 
Carrier, might, with greater propriety, be conferred on the 
new favourite. Some of the reasons he gives for this opinion 
are its exceeding beauty and diversity of plumage, its in- 
creasing value twenty guineas having been paid for five pairs, 
and those not of the best and the ease with which it could 
be bred, compared with the Pouter and Carrier. Then, after 
dilating, through four pages of his work, on the difficulties of 



337 THE SHORT-FACED TUMBLER. 

Pouter breeding, lie adds : " The above, and many other in- 
conveniences too tedious to mention attending the Pouter, 
and no trouble at all (comparatively speaking) attending the 
other, easily accounts for the preference given to the Almond 
Tumbler," which requires "no attendance while breeding, 
provided you supply them with meat and water, and throw 
them a little straw." Considering that he himself quotes a 
sale of Pouters by auction, where the prices realised were as 
high as sixteen guineas a pair, and that Moore had known 
eight guineas refused for a single Pouter, the price of the 
Almond Tumblers two guineas each was nothing great ; but 
then he says they were not the best; and probably some of 
the lot of five pairs were worth much more than the average 
price of the whole. 

The fancy for the Almond Tumbler was now established, 
and, the year before (1764), a standard had been published 
setting forth the perfections and imperfections of the bird. 
This was entitled " Ordinances Established by the Columbarian 
Society," and was headed by a picture of an Almond, " elegantly 
engraved on copperplate." The Almond went on increasing 
in popularity after this, and its name, at least, became so 
widely known that people who would not have recognised 
the bird had they seen it, had heard of it. The Sporting 
Magazine, some years after its commencement, in 1792, 
had a portrait of a choice specimen ; and, in 1802, a 
monograph on the breed was published in London, by 
" An Old Fancier." The author was Mr. W. P. Windus, a 
solicitor, a member, and afterwards the president, of the 
Columbarian Society. An engraved circular, dated 1813, 
signed by him, and headed by a picture of an Almond, 
calling a meeting of the society, is in my possession. His 
treatise was the first book ever published on any single variety 
of fancy pigeon, and it goes thoroughly into its subject. 
We learn from it, that though it had been necessary to limit 
the length of face, from the point of the beak to the iris, or 

2 G 



338 FANCY PIGEOMS. 

inner circle of the eye, to |in., it was usual, when he wrote, 
to see birds scarcely fin. in face, so that a great improvement 
had been made. 

In 1851, Mr. Eaton, an enthusiastic fancier of the Almond 
Tumbler, published another monograph on the breed; so that 
this pigeon has been twice honoured above all other fancy 
varieties. Mr. Eaton's book is an unacknowledged reprint of 
the 1802 one, with additions describing the Almond as it was 
in his day; and this brings us down to modern times. 

Although it is expressly stated by the author of the Treatise 
of 1765 that "this beautiful and very valuable species were 
originally produced from the common Tumblers, being properly 
matched so as to intermix the feather, viz., blacks, black-grisles, 
black- splash' d, yellows, whites, duns, &c., and are always attain- 
able if you are endowed with patience sufficient for the 
tedious process, which requires a length of time," I have to 
submit that, as regards the almond feather alone, it is not con- 
fined to the Tumbler. The author of the Treatise (1765) men- 
tions an Almond Barb, and an Almond Narrow-tailed Shaker, 
which were purchased by a certain nobleman, and I have seen 
Almond Runts and almond-feathered pigeons in India, besides 
a very good commencement for this colour in a yellow ground, 
broken to some extent with black, in Turbits and Jacobins. 
The Oriental Holler and Double-crested Oriental Tumbler also 
exist almond coloured. The Short-faced Tumbler, however, 
independent of colour, is a different matter, and how it was 
produced is a question worth some attention. Not to admit 
the possibility of its origin from the common Tumbler alone 
would be a denial of all I have advanced when writing of the 
origin of fancy pigeons; but certain facts having presented 
themselves to me in my experience and observation of 
pigeons, I have acquired the belief that the Short-faced 
Tumbler is a composite breed, and derived from the com- 
mon Tumbler and some other varieties. When in India, 
the love of pigeons, which has possessed me from my child- 



339 THE SHORT-FACED TUMBLER. 

hood, caused me to associate witli pigeon fanciers there; 
and when I saw a race of birds (the Goolees) having all 
the shape and carriage of Short-faced Tumblers, of much 
the same size, and of the same style of head, it struck me 
that, as the Mookee had been described by "Willughby in 
1676, the Goolee might also have been in England at that 
time, and have helped to found the breed of Short-faces. 

About the year 1878, being in London, I met the late Mr. 
Jayne, of Croydon, one of the principal breeders of Almond 
Tumblers, and as he invited me to see his stud of birds, I 
gladly availed myself of the opportunity. After seeing his 
stock, I asked him if he believed that the Short-faced 
Tumbler had been bred from the common Tumbler and 
nothing else. He replied that it was the result of crosses 
between the Tumbler and other varieties, that the African 
Owl had been used in producing it, and that his friend, the 
late Mr. Morey, was the only man he ever knew who could 
give its true history. Eaton in his 1858 book, at page 187, 
says : " The late Mr. Harry Edward Morey, chairman of the 
City Columbarian Society, and an excellent old fancier, used 
to say, however low his stud of birds was reduced, he had 
never been without pigeons for the last sixty years." The 
combined evidence of Mr. Jayne and Mr. Morey, therefore, 
goes back to the last century, and it is probable enough that 
Mr. Morey had spoken in his youth to men who had been 
pigeon fanciers before the Treatise of 1765 was ever designed, 
and that was about the time the Almond Tumbler became of 
consequence in the fancy. Since speaking with Mr. Jayne on 
this subject, I found in the Field newspaper of 19th Oct., 
1872, a report of an address he delivered to the members of 
the National Peristeronic Society when he was president. 
His subject was "The Almond Tumbler," and I quote the 
following sentences: "You are aware my only hobby has 
been a Short-faced pigeon, and, of all the varieties, none can 
equal, in my idea, the Almond Tumbler; if for no other 

2 G 2 



340 FANCY PIGEONS. 



reason, I should admire it as a purely English-manufactured 
pigeon. How often and how deeply have I lamented that I 
allowed to escape the knowledge of this beautiful bird 
possessed by my esteemed companion, the late Mr. Morey. 
He was the only person that I ever heard give a description 
of the thirty-two crosses by which this Almond Tumbler was 
produced." 

Without having seen Mr. Jayne and conversed with him 
on the subject, I should not have known what to understand 
by the thirty-two crosses he refers to whether they were 
merely crosses of different- coloured Tumblers to produce the 
almond feather, or of other breeds of fancy pigeons as well, 
to produce the Short-faced Tumbler. The latter is what he 
meant, and as the knowledge Mr. Morey possessed is lost, 
all I can say is that there is good evidence for my belief 
that the Short-face has something more in its composition 
than the common Tumbler. 

The pictures of the Almond Tumbler in the Treatises of 
1765, 1802, and 1851, show the gradual improvements made 
in eighty-six years. I do not put much stress on the wings 
being carried over the tail in the 1765 and 1802 pictures, as 
they might have been so represented on account of trailing 
wings being considered faulty. Windus says, regarding car- 
riage : "The bird should stand low, with a fine, prominent, 
and full, or, as the Fanciers term it, a square chest, which 
is thrown up considerably by the bird's elevating himself on 
tiptoe, and thereby depressing his tail, so that the point of 
it touches the flooring of the area, penn, or whatever place 
he stands upon." 

As interesting to the fancier of Short-faces, on account of 
the light it throws on the materials used about eighty years 
ago for breeding Almonds, I here give a copy of a little 
handbill in my possession, which is probably unique. I 
found it, with the circular signed by Windus, in a copy of 
the 1802 Treatise which has the autograph of Thos. G-arle, 



341 THE SHORT-FACED TUMBLER. 



Jan., 7th Feb., 1809. The reward offered would imply that 

the pigeons were valuable. Though the bill is undated, the 

type shows it to have been issued not later than 1810. 

Fifteen Guineas 

EEWAED. 

WHEEEAS the DOVE-HOUSE of MB. PAEE, of Bethnal-Green, 
was on FBIDAY Night, the 13th inst., BEOKE OPEN, and the 
following 

TWELVE TUMBLEE PIGEONS 

Stole therein : 

A very fine Feathered ALMOND COCK, small Size, remarkable 
bright Pearl Eyes, fine Beak, the end of upper Bill rather Brown, 
owing to the Canker when young. 

A Eich ALMOND COCK, large size, a little White on the Back of 
his Neck, no Yellow in his Tail except a little in the middle of one 
Feather, a Brown mark on one side of his Neck in front. 

A Eich ALMOND COCK, small short Body, good Shape, Pearl 
Eyes, and fine Beak. 

A Broad-Chested SPLASH COCK, stands low, bold Head, Pearl 
Eyes, fine Beak which droops at the Point, stocking Leg'd. 

Another SPLASH COCK, small round Head, Pearl Eyes, short 
straight Beak. 

A Soft Ground HEN, round Head, good Shape, a few rich Dun 
Feathers about her Neck and Flights, stocking Leg'd, a little broken 
Eyed. 

A DUN HEN, fine Pearl Eyes, straight Beak, rather thin Face. 

An ALMOND HEN, strong Ground, a few Kite Feathers in her 
Left Flight, bright Pearl Eyes, and fine straight Beak. 

A remarkable clear BLACK SPLASH COCK, Pearl Eyes, round 
Head, a little coarse in Beak & Wattle. 

A large dark SPLASH COCK, lofty round Head, broken Eyes, 
short down Beak. 

A soft ground ALMOND COCK, dull pearl Eyes. 

Also a EED COCK, his right Wing only two thirds grown. 

Whoever will discover the Offender or Offenders, shall on Eecovery 
of the said Pigeons, receive FIVE GUINEAS, and in Proportion for 



342 FANCY PIGEONS. 



any Part thereof ; and on Conviction, a further Eeward of TEN 
GUINEAS to be paid by Mr. PAKE, No. 103, Holborn-Hill. 

Or if any Person will give Mr. PAEE a Hint respecting the said 
Eobbery, his Name shall be kept secret, and frilly satisfied for such 
Information. 

It will have been noticed that Mr. Jayne mentioned the 
African Owl as a progenitor of the Short-faced Tumbler. 
The first pair of these beautiful pigeons known to the pre- 
sent generation was exhibited in 1858; but that they were 
known in this country in the last century I quite believe, 
and Mr. Jayne had, no doubt, very good reasons for his 
statement, Mr. Morey probably having mentioned such birds 
as part of the composition of the Short-face. 

Having dealt with the history of the Short-faced Tumbler, 
so far as I have been able to trace it, at some length, I 
now come to a consideration of the bird as it exists. The 
almond-feathered Short-face first demands attention, both 
because it has always been considered the representative 
of its race, and because it best answers the standard of 
perfection laid down. It has always been a matter of specu- 
lation, from Moore downwards, why this pigeon got the name 
of Almond Tumbler, and it has generally been supposed 
that it was so called from the almond nut- coloured feathers 
which compose its ground tint. The nut itself, as well as 
the shell, both inside and outside, in all stages from ripe 
to rotten, have been fixed on by authorities as "the reason 
why." I could never see why only one of the colours in this 
bird should give it its name, and think that a whole-feathered 
yellow pigeon would be more appropriately called an Almond. 
I incline to the belief that the name is not derived from 
either the nut or its shell, but that, as suggested by Brent, 
the word almond is a corruption of Allemand, the French 
word signifying German, and that almond-feathered pigeons 
of some sort, brought from France under the name of 
Allemand Pigeons, originated the name. Such coloured 



343 THE SHORT-FACED TUMBLER. 

French Tumbler Pigeons were described by Boitard and 
Corbie, in 1824, as Pigeons Culbutant Savoyard. 

Taking the Almond as the representative of all the 
Short-faced Tumblers, it may be described as a very small 
pigeon, only larger than the African Owl, and generally said 
to have five properties Feather, carriage, head, beak, and 
eye. 

FEATHER. A standard Almond is one having its twelve 
primary tail feathers, and its primary nights, whether nine 
or ten-a-side, composed of the three colours black, red, and 
yellow. A bird with nine-a-side, all standard feathers, is 
preferable, in my opinion, to one with ten-a-side having 
only nine in each wing standard feathers, because it is full 
flighted; but if the bird with ten-a-side had only the shortest 
flight in each wing out in colour, it would be much nearer 
perfection than if any of its other flight feathers were wrong 
in colour. There are, however, so many other properties in 
the Almond, that it is unlikely such close competition will 
often arise; but where it is a case of showing standard 
birds only, the whole of the flight feathers, whether nine or 
ten-a-side, must show the three colours. The ground colour 
of the Almond should be of as deep and rich a yellow as can 
be got ; but it is generally either mealy and spotty in colour, 
or of a reddish colour which can neither be called red nor 
yellow like unpolished mahogany wood. As the most diffi- 
cult thing to produce is the bright yellow ground which, 
indeed, has been seen but seldom this is the point of most 
consequence ; in fact, however good in head and beak a bird 
may be, it is not a real Almond if it has not the ground 
colour. If the bird does not come out of the nest of a good 
ground colour on back, wings, and rump, it can never attain to 
it later in life. The ground colour being right, it must be 
pencilled over with black of as intense a deepness as possible, 
not in any particular pattern, but to show well as a whole. 
This pencilling ought to increase with the autumnal moults 



344 FANCY PIGEONS. 

till the bird is from two to three years of age, when it comes 
to its best, after which it gets annually darker, till it becomes 
more black than yellow, and the tail and nights lose their 
standard character through absence of white. Even then the 
bird is beautiful, though past its best from a standard point 
of view. In the Treatise of 1765 the author says, at page 57 : 
" I have had some in my collection that have had few feathers 
in them but what have contained the three colours that con- 
stitute the Almond, or Ermine viz., black, white, and yellow, 
variously and richly interspersed." This has been often quoted 
as to mean that the three colours should run through all the 
feathers of the Almond ; but no white must appear elsewhere 
than in nights and tail at any period of the bird's existence. 
When the ground colour is only a yellow tinged with white, 
it is called an Almond Splash, and to breed from such for 
colour is to go backwards, and is like breeding from bad 
coloured pigeons of any sort. The Almond Tumbler is one 
of the varieties which show a sexual difference in colouring, 
the hens, for the most part, being weaker in their ground 
colour than the cocks, and wanting the black pencilling evenly 
distributed over the body. There is generally less break in 
the feather, and the black is seldom of so deep a tint. A 
really good hen takes longer to come to perfection than a 
cock, and consequently remains longer in feather. There is 
no such thing as a standard-feathered hen in nights and 
tail, or, at least, such is of the greatest rarity. 

CARRIAGE. The shape and carriage of the Almond is the 
next property to be mentioned. The breast ought to be 
broad and prominent, the neck short and thin, the back 
hollow, the rump rather full, and the tail carried above the 
nights, which should touch the ground, but not drag on it. 
The head should be thrown back, and the bird should walk 
on tiptoe, on short, unfeathered legs. Nothing is more attrac- 
tive in an Almond than excellent carriage, and it is a sign of 
good blood; for, however fine a bird may be in its other pro- 



345 THE SHORT-FACED TUMBLER. 

perties, it never can look well without good carriage. Shape 
and carriage have been called one and the same thing ; but a 
bird may have all the necessary conformation, and yet lack 
that spirit and vivaciousness which enable it to carry itself 
properly. The Almond shows best when salacious, and when 
driving his hen to nest. 

BEAK. Two distinct forms of beak are seen in Short-faces, 
and that which is most generally admired, and which I 
admire, is what is known as the "goldfinch beak," which is 
formed like that of the well-known song bird. The gold- 
finch beak, from its shape, is generally longer, and more in- 
clined to keep growing at the point, than the other form, 
which more resembles a grain of barley, dipping a little 
at the end. The goldfinch form is, however, so distinct from 
the beak of any other variety of pigeon, that, in my opinion, 
it is the most worthy of encouragement; but whichever style 
of beak a Short-face may have, it must be straight out 
from its head, with neither an upward nor downward inclina- 
tion, and as short and fine as possible. The beak wattle 
should be small, and delicate in appearance, any coarseness 
being considered a great fault. 

HEAD. The head ought to be very lofty, broad, and over- 
hanging the beak, if it can be got so. Though the skull itself 
may not do so, the feathers growing out from the forehead some- 
times give it that appearance in a fine bird, which then has a 
deep stop, or indentation, at the root of the beak. The head 
itself ought to be round from all points of view; and, when the 
cheek feathers are puffed out, or muffed, as it is called, it adds 
wonderfully to the natty appearance of the Short-face. 

EYE. The iris ought to be white or pearl coloured, and 
surrounded by a fine and narrow eye wattle, of which the 
less there is the better. A full and prominent eye adds 
greatly to the appearance. The faults of eye are a reddish 
pearl, a dusky or clouded iris, and a broken iris, which looks 
very bad, and spoils the appearance of any bird. 



346 FANCY PIGEONS. 



As the Almond feather is a composite one, made up of 
various colours, it is preserved by the judicious crossing of 
its various sub-varieties, such as Kites, Duns, Agates, and 
Whole-feathers. Kites are of various shades, from such as 
are almost black, with only the primaries bronzed with yellow, 
to such as have the yellow cast on their feathers more or less 
all over them, especially on the breast. Duns also show the 
yellow on their neck and breast feathers when rich in colour, 
and are then called Golden Duns. Duns are almost invari- 
ably hens, and, when bred from two well-grounded Almonds, 
are useful for matching with a rich Almond. Agates are 
such as are red or yellow, splashed or mottled with white. 
They are of various markings, some showing a preponderance 
of colour, and others of white. Whole-feathers are either red 
or yellow, and when sound in colour through nights and 
tail (which is sometimes seen in reds, and very rarely in 
yellows), they are both valuable for Almond breeding and for 
themselves, as they are the choicest of the sub-varieties of 
the Almond. Black Splashes, or what might be called black 
Agates, appear to have been formerly used in Almond breed- 
ing; but this colour seems to have been bred entirely out of 
our modern birds, which is, perhaps, the cause of the black 
pencilling in our Almonds being usually of a kitey or dun 
black, and, on this account, a cross of a good black mottle, 
or mottle-bred black, might be of advantage. Even the 
darkest Kites always show a smoky tail, barred at the end 
with darker colour; and, however much such birds may assist 
in breaking the feather in Almond breeding, they cannot 
impart the desired velvety black colour. Bed and yellow 
Whole-feathers, grizzled with white in flights and tail, or Agate 
Whole-feathers, as they have been called, are merely unsound 
reds and yellows, weak in strength of colour. All these sub- 
varieties of the Almond are used in Almond breeding, and 
are matched with Almonds according to the way they 
are themselves bred. Although it is not unusual to breed 



347 THE SHORT-FACED TUMBLER. 



Almonds together occasionally, such breeding from richly- 
grounded ones often results in young ones entirely or almost 
white, with what are called "bladder" eyes, and almost or quite 
blind. When such a result happens, the pair must be dis- 
matched at once, and some of the off colours used. I have 
seen a pair of Almonds produce all the colours I have men- 
tioned except blacks and black Splashes; so it will easily be 
seen that there is much uncertainty in the production of this 
beautiful pigeon, and that it is a study in itself. When I 
was young in the fancy I thought the Almond Tumbler the 
finest and the most beautiful of all pigeons, and I was never 
weary of admiring my first pair, which were Spitalfields- 
bred birds and cost me a sum of 5. It is over twenty- 
five years ago since then, but I well remember that I bred 
five birds from them during their first season (two Almond 
cocks-, an Almond hen, and two Golden Dun hens), which 
realised me 12, and pigeons were cheaper in those days than 
of late years. 

Since the secret, so well kept for so long, and which was 
in reality a trade secret, of manufacturing the heads of Short- 
faced Tumblers, was given to the world in Fulton's "Book of 
Pigeons," the Almond fancy has declined; but after a time it 
will rise again, when the importance attached to the head of 
the bird gives way to its other beautiful properties. There 
is enough in the natural Short-faced Tumbler, in all its varie- 
ties, to entitle it to the position of a very high-class pigeon. 
The shaping of the skull, which is begun when the squab is a 
few days old, and continued during its growth in the nest, 
is done by pressing with a wooden instrument shaped for the 
purpose, or with the thumb nail, at the root of its beak, and 
so forcing the bone back into the head, which gives breadth, 
height, and a deep stop. This is a cruel process, which kills 
many in the doing, and which renders the lives of those 
that survive it, for the most part, miserable. No pigeon is so 
much troubled with vermin as the Short-face, as it is unable, 



348 FANCY PIGEONS. 

with its tiny beak, to free itself entirely from them; and, when 
the beak is distorted in the shaping of the skull, as it often 
is, the bird is quite unfit to keep itself free from parasites. 
The signs to know a made-faced bird are when it is up-faced, 
which is never natural; and if the lower mandible protrudes 
beyond the upper at the point, it may be taken as certain that 
the operator has been at work. Wry beaks are, no doubt, often 
produced naturally in Short-faces, but there is something about 
a natural wry beak different from one which is the effect of 
shaping the skull. The natural wry beak, though crossing at the 
point, generally fits closely farther back, which is not the case 
with the artificial one. As I have seen many Short-faces 
of high quality which I know were never tampered with when 
young, I would not condemn the whole race, as some do, 
because manipulated birds may sometimes get away undetected; 
but I would hold for absolute disqualification of all birds which 
clearly showed they had been tampered with, because the whole 
system of making heads is a swindle, and only done to obtain 
money under false pretences. 

Many a man has gone into the Short-faced fancy, and 
finding he could never produce birds anything like so good 
as those he began with, for the simple reason that they were 
unnatural, has given it up in bewilderment; or, learning how 
the thing was done, he has become a modeller himself, and 
then cheated others as he was cheated himself. The decline in 
this fancy is principally on account of the unsatisfactoriness 
of merely producing quality in pigeons by hand. Honest 
men wish to breed quality, not to make it with a wooden 
spoon. I think it may be safely said that when a bird does 
not show that something has been done to it, there has been 
so little done that it may be allowed to pass as natural ; 
but when the skull has been forced in, the upper mandible 
is always displaced to a certain extent, and a bird showing 
this should invariably be passed over. The under mandible 
may be turned up, but it cannot be forced back. I think 



349 THE SHORT-FACED TUMBLER. 

that it depends on the judges whether the Short-faced fancy 
is to decline still further, or whether it is to rise again. The 
Short-face is naturally a charming pigeon, beautiful in all 
its colourings, and original in many ways. 

One of my set of eight life-size, very old, oil paintings of 
fancy pigeons, is an Almond Tumbler. From a careful study 
of these paintings, I conclude they are the work of a faithful 
and conscientious artist, and if not older than Moore's " Colum- 
barium," they are at least older than the Treatise of 1765. 
The Almond represents a common Tumbler in shape and 
general style, carrying its wings over its tail. It is a rich- 
feathered bird, showing white in its flight feathers. The 
pictures are evidently portraits, as many little faults are 
represented which would have been left out had the artist 
meant to depict perfect birds. 

The Mottle Short-faced Tumbler. 

As already pointed out from the Treatise on pigeons of 
1765, and from the old handbill, black Splashes and black 
Grizzles were formerly sub-varieties of the Short-faced Almond 
Tumbler. These gradually settled down into a separate 
variety, and are referred to at page 64 of that book as 
follows : " There was also a prize last season for black 
Mottled Tumblers, whose properties should agree with those 
of the Almond Tumbler, except the feather, which should be 
a black ground, the body mottled with white, with a black 
tail and flight ; and, when they are in perfection, they are an 
excessively pretty fancy, and very valuable. There is also 
another very pretty fancy, equal at least, if not superior, to 
the black Mottled, viz., the yellow Mottled Tumbler, whose 
properties likewise agree with the Almond Tumbler, except 
the feather, which should be a yellow ground, the body 
mottled with white, and a yellow flight and tail. Either of 
these two last-mentioned fancies are extremely useful (pro- 
vided they answer in their other properties) to intermix occa- 



350 FANCY PIGEONS. 

sionally with the Almond." The illustration of the Mottle 
accompanying these remarks represents a long-legged, common- 
looking type of Tumbler, with a black flight and tail, and 
white body, over which are dotted about thirty-four well- 
separated black feathers. I scarcely think it represents the 
author's intentions, as he expressly says, "a black ground, 
the body mottled with white." The Mottle may, however, be 
said to have been then in its infancy, and a standard more 
difficult of attainment would soon be aimed at. The present 
standard is the same as that mentioned for the Mottled flying 
Tumbler, viz., a self-coloured pigeon with a rose pinion of 
single, well-separated white feathers on the shoulder, either 
with or without the Y-shaped handkerchief back, but with it 
for choice. This standard of feather, accompanying good Short- 
face properties of head, beak, eye, and carriage, makes up 
one of the most difficult standards in fancy pigeons to breed 
at all good. "When a fancier with such experience of Short- 
faced Tumblers as Mr. Fulton, has said that he has only 
seen a few pairs of Mottles that could even be trimmed into 
something like perfection, and that the nearest approach to 
a perfect bird he ever knew of had to be weeded on both 
breast and shoulders, it will be seen how much remains to 
be done for the Short-faced Mottle. Whoever follows after 
this fancy, then, has not only to contend against made heads, 
as in the Almond, but also against trimming ; and so he sets 
himself a difficult task. Perhaps there have been but few 
Long-faced Mottles ever produced perfectly marked; but there 
are certain inherent faults of marking in the Short-faced 
Mottle, as it exists, which make it harder to produce than the 
Long-faced. There still exists, however, what may be called 
the remnants of a good strain of black Mottles, in which the 
ground colour is good, but which are much inclined to a 
blaze of white on the forehead, and to orange instead of 
white eyes. Both are great faults, and a white-eyed bird 
has only to be seen by the side of a yellow or orange-eyed 



351 THE SHORT-FACED TUMBLER. 

one to show how very nmcli better it looks. From the 
amount of colour in the Mottle there is but little to contend 
with in the way of broken eyes, as in the Almond. In head 
and beak they are, though sometimes passable, never so 
broad nor so lofty as the best Almonds, while in carriage 
they are sometimes very good indeed, which is a great set- 
off to their appearance. In breeding black Mottles, the blaze 
face should be avoided, however good they may otherwise 
be, and it might be eradicated in time, as in black pied 
Pouters, which nearly always had it many years ago. 

About the year 1872, I bought two pairs of black Mottles 
from the late Mr. James Ford, of London, who then had 
a good strain of them. Two of them were very fairly 
marked, and the others were Mottle-bred black Whole-feathers 
of the same strain. As the Mottles were quite free of blaze 
on the forehead, I managed to keep it out of the great 
proportion of the produce; but the orange eye, which one 
of the "Whole-feathers had, was difficult to alter, the best 
marked young ones generally coming with it. I found that 
a bird which had any white on it as a nestling became too 
gay when it moulted off, and that when a bird moulted 
something like what a Mottle ought to be, it came out of 
the nest all black. There was, therefore, no distinguishing 
between what were to become fair Mottles or remain Whole- 
feathers till after the first moult. Dun Mottles are occa- 
sionally bred from blacks, and they are useful for breeding 
back to blacks, but dun being an off-colour, few care for 
them. 

Red and yellow Mottles would each be more difficult to 
keep good in colour than blacks, but I am not aware that 
any long-standing strain of either is in existence. In Almond 
breeding, both red and yellow Agates are often produced 
well marked to the Mottle standard. These, however, have 
generally a weak, washed-out colour in flight and tail feathers, 
and white rumps as well ; but it is from the judicious 



352 FANCY PIGEONS. 

breeding of such with red and yellow Whole-feathers and 
Agate Whole-feathers that a strain of red and yellow Mottles 
might be produced. Such red and yellow Mottles as were 
in existence when the fancy for them was at its best were 
doubtless produced in this way. 

Considering the difficulty there is in producing Short-faced 
Mottles, and remembering the fact that none have ever been 
seen naturally perfect in marking, it is a question if the 
standard of feather for them is not too high. A standard 
that would allow of white feathers on the head, neck, breast, 
wings, and back, but retaining the entirely dark flights, tail, 
rump, and under body, would be a pleasing one. There would 
also be great difficulty in keeping the white feathers separate, 
as they are always inclined to run together. 

The Blue Short-faced Tumbler. 

There is another whole-feathered Short-faced Tumbler, now 
seldom seen, viz., the Blue. It was formerly bred to great 
perfection in London. Eaton, who has a picture of one in 
his Treatise of 1858, says: "I cannot by any possibility let 
the opportunity pass without noticing the observations and 
great admiration the venerable and much-respected old 
Fanciers bestow upon the amazingly pretty little compact 
Sky or Powder Blue Whole-feather, with its black bars, black 
as ebony, the Short -faced head and beak, with its other 
properties the pretty little Blue Tumbler. Whenever they 
have the opportunity to see one, I have almost fancied they 
would have gone into fits in observing a good one with its 
five splendid properties head, beak, eye, carriage or shape, 
and feather. It appeared to me almost to make them boys 
again ; it has as great or greater an effect upon them as 
going to the mill to be ground young again. Unfortunately, 
it is seldom you have the opportunity to see one ; they are 
very scarce at this time (1858)." 

It was soon after this time (in 1862) that I saw in the 



353 THE SHORT-FACED TUMBLER. 



possession of Mr. Fulton, who then lived in Deptford, a very 
fine pair of Short-faced Blue Tumblers ; I have often spoken 
to him about them since. I believe such good birds as they 
were are not now in existence. Though probably made-faced, 
they were broad and lofty in skull, with good colour and 
fine carriage. 

Baldheads and Beards. 

Short-faced Baldheads of good quality are now extremely 
scarce. They have always been rare, but formerly there were 
at least some very fair ones in blacks, blues, and silvers. 
Blacks are scarcest at the present time, and it is now about 
twenty years since I saw a good pair of that colour. 
During the past twenty years Short-faced Balds have been 
represented chiefly by the strain of Mr. Woodhouse, who has 
shown blues and silvers, with which he has carried off many 
prizes at the principal shows where classes were given for 
Balds. Red and yellow Balds have lately been shown of very 
fair colour and quality, and I understand they were produced 
from a cross with the Almond and its sub-varieties. They 
were bred by Mr. Burchett, a London fancier, who sold off 
some years ago, when they were distributed among the 
breeders of this very beautiful and interesting variety. The 
standard of feather for the Short-faced is the same as for the 
Long-faced Bald; but there are very few, if any, really well- 
marked ones in existence which combine good Short-faced pro- 
perties of head, beak, eye, and carriage. Compared to the 
best Almonds they are far behind, and all I have seen, which 
I knew to be untampered with about the head, could only 
be called pleasant faced at the best. I have, however, seen 
of late several of each colour excepting the blacks, which 
seem nowhere at present manufactured into very passable 
ones. I say manufactured, because it was plain from their 
appearance that they had been tampered with, and the young 
ones they produced showed it clearly. Beards are even of 

2 H 



354 FANCY PIGEONS. 



lower quality, as judged by the Short-faced standard, than 
Balds, and the only colours in existence at all good are the 
blues and silvers. Mr. Woodhouse has bred some of the best. 
As for black, red, and yellow really Short-faced Beards, I 
have never seen any. Beards ought to be marked exactly 
the same as the flying ones. 

All Short-faced Tumblers of high quality have a difficulty 
in shedding their flight and tail feathers during the moult. 
The feathers will grow to their complete length without 
bursting from their sheaths, and, if allowed to do so, their 
fibres will rot. The upper skin of the feather should be 
scraped off with the thumb nail as it continues to grow, and 
the inside core of the feather carefully removed. By this 
means the feathers may be preserved good. 




Chapter XXVIII. 




X HOMING PIGEONS. X 

HE well-known love of pigeons generally for 
their homes has been taken advantage of, 
from the earliest ages, by making use of them 
as messengers. The flying fancier can point 
to Anacreon's "Ode to the Carrier Pigeon," 

written twenty-five centuries ago, as a proof of the existence 

of his fancy in early times: 

" Tell me why, my sweetest dove, 
Thus your humid pinions move ? " 

" Curious stranger ! I belong 
To the bard of Teian song ; 
With his mandate now I fly 
To the nymph of azure eye." 

Throughout history there are records of the use of Carrier 
Pigeons as messengers to and from beleaguered cities : from 
the amphitheatre, to tell the results of the sports or combats ; 
and from caravans, to announce their setting out or arrival 
Many passages from mediaeval writers have recently been 
brought to light regarding their employment ; and if, in modern 



356 FANCY PIGEONS. 

times, the telegraph has superseded them in Europe as swift 
carriers of news, railways have afforded such facile means 
of training them, that probably at no other period of the 
world's history have such immense numbers of these birds 
been kept, by sweepstakes and others fliers, as at the present 
time. 

The pigeons formerly used in this country as messengers 
were mainly of Carrier descent, such as Horsemen, Dragoons, 
Skinnums, and Long-faced Beards. All such have been for 
long known amongst us as Homing Pigeons, and are so re- 
ferred to by Moore in his "Columbarium," where, at page 
5, in describing the construction of the " Trap, or Airy," he 
says : " Others build them very wide and lofty, designing 
them to give Room and Air to Pigeons of the homing Sort." 
Again, at page 32, under the Horseman : " This Practice is 
of admirable Service to 'em, when they come to be train'd 
for the homing Part"; and elsewhere, when writing of the 
" Powting Horseman." 

The Skinnum Pigeon. 

The Horseman and Dragoon have been already described, 
and the Skinnum, probably named from the somewhat 
skinny appearance of its eye wattles, is merely some mixture 
of the Dragoon and Tumbler varieties. For short distances 
the Skinnum is capable of quick work. 

The London Beard Pigeon. 

The Long-faced, or London Beard, is a pigeon of respect- 
able homing powers, having in recent years done as much 
as 100 miles, when carefully trained. These bold, intelligent- 
looking pigeons, are found chiefly in black, blue, silver, and 
dun, as well as in chequers of these colours. They ought to 
be marked exactly the same as the English Beard Tumbler. 
They vary in type, some having a considerable amount of 
eye wattle, denoting Dragoon blood; but the correct type is 



357 HOMING PIGEONS. 



that of the flying Tumbler on a large scale. Although some 
birds have measured more, Ifin. in face, from the point of 
the beak to the centre of the eye, may be considered the 
standard for a cock of the Tumbler type, hens being about 
T Vin. less. 

The Antwerp Carrier Pigeon. 

On the Continent, the pigeon now chiefly used for match 
flying is the Antwerp Carrier, or Belgian Yoyageur, which 
has been bred from a judicious mixture of several long and 
high-flying varieties. The first of these a pigeon that can 
itself do long distances is the Smerle of Liege, which is 
quoted in Mr. Tegetmeier's book as capable, when matured, of 
doing 500 miles in twelve hours, in fine weather. The Smerle 
is the opposite in appearance of the .Dragoon type, being 
arched and broad in skull, with a short, thick beak, and with 
evident appearance of Owl descent, some of them even show- 
ing the frilled breast. The next mixture is the Continental 
Cumulet, a pigeon noted for the length of time it can keep 
on the wing. I have seen it mentioned that these pigeons 
have flown as long as thirteen hours at a stretch, the distance 
covered during that time being probably several hundred 
miles. They are of various colours, but blacks and reds, 
with white tails or white flights, or with both, are known as 
varieties, while pure whites, ticked with red on the head and 
neck, are also a well-known race, distinguished in France as 
Pigeons Volant cou- Rouge. The Cumulet is much alike in 
size and shape to the common clean-legged flying Tumbler, 
but is rather longer in beak. It has a pure white iris, which 
is larger than usual in pigeons, the pupil being small and 
contracted. The third ingredient of the composite bird now 
known as the Antwerp Carrier is the English Dragoon, 
known in Belgium as the Sec-Anglais. The fusion of these 
three varieties has taken place during the present century, 
and a race of pigeons has been established remarkable for 



358 FANCY PIGEONS. 

their power of flying long distances in quick time. The cross 
of the Dragoon with the Smerle, or the Cumulet, is called 
a Demi-bee, and the cross of the Dragoon-Smerle with the 
Cumulet, or Dragoon-Cumulet with the Smerle, a Quart-bee. 
The Quart-bee, bred over again to the Smerle, or the Cumulet, 
takes after its progenitors; so that among the best pigeons 
there are various types of skull, some being after the Owl 
strain, while others are more run out in head and beak. The 
chief colours found in the Antwerp are blue, blue chequer, 
mealy, and red chequer, and these colours pied to some 
extent with white. These colours are the most natural, being 
what are found among semi-wild pigeons, and in process of 
time have doubtless asserted themselves as the hardiest and 
fittest for the severe work they have to perform. 

Coming now to the consideration of the wonderful per- 
formances of Antwerps in returning distances of 500 miles 
and more, there is no doubt that training has much to do 
with it, that great numbers of them are lost in the severe 
training they get, and that the percentage of birds that 
would return from a first toss of 400 miles would be but 
small. Still, they have been known to return to their domi- 
cile from such a distance without any previous training, 
and therefore there remains something still unexplained in 
connection with them, which may never be satisfactorily 
elucidated. Dogs, cats, and other animals, have been known 
to return immense distances when taken from home; they 
have been sent by sea, and have returned by land. But then 
we hear of such incidents when they happen, and of those 
who do not so distinguish themselves we never hear. 

Some years ago Mr. James Huie, of Glasgow, the well- 
known Pouter fancier, a writer whose diction and style of 
composition have caused many to wish that he had written 
otherwise than only fugitively on fancy pigeons, contributed 
the following article on the Antwerp Carrier to the Journal 
of Horticulture : 



359 HOMING PIGEONS. 



" POWER OF WING AND COMPASS. 

" I hear a voice you cannot hear, 

Which bids me not to stay ; 
I see a hand yon cannot see, 
Which beckons me away. 

"There has been much, interesting writing on the powers 
of the Carrier Pigeon, the length and rapidity of their nights, 
and modes of training, along with speculations as to their 
guide for their homeward course. The latter points to the 
theory of this bird flying by sight alone. I find that the 
Rev. E. S. Dixon, in his very interesting work, 'The Dove- 
cote and Aviary,' takes this same view; and though I always 
hesitate to place my opinion against that of such men of 
letters as Mr. Dixon, still on this point (the guide of the 
Carrier on the wing) I beg most respectfully to differ. It 
is pretty well known that I am not an Antwerp Carrier 
fancier, and do not encourage the Antwerp as a bird that 
ought to be in the fancy, for several reasons which I shall 
not discuss at present. But Antwerps I keep for two pur- 
poses: First, as feeders for my young Pouters; and second, 
for table use. For both these purposes I find them most 
suitable. First, then, as to the power of wing possessed by 
this bird. I do not think this point is yet fully developed in 
this country; but, so far as my personal experience goes, I 
shall give it. The plain narrative, I think, may answer the 
purpose best. It may be interesting, and I hope will not 
weary readers. 

" Several years ago, when in Manchester, I called on Mr. W. 
Millward, bird dealer, from whom I had all my Belgian Cana- 
ries. He had lately arrived from the Continent, and brought 
with him a stock of Antwerp Carriers, which he then found 
to be most unprofitable. Not having before seen such birds 
which I could be sure of having been imported, I purchased 
three pairs. The stock consisted of mostly blues, some 
mealies, and some nameless colours ; but all were self- 



360 FANCY PIGEONS. 



coloured, and all showing a cross of the Owl a slight divi- 
sion of the feathers on the breast. Some of them had the 
breast feathers slightly turned, indicating the frill. They 
were wild as newly-caught hawks, and strong enough to 
carry before them a pane of window glass, as one of them 
did when in my possession. After much care and caution I 
found them to be hardy birds, breeders almost the year 
round indeed, I am never without some few young ones. 
During the season, when early light, they take two flights 
per day, the cocks and unoccupied hens at about 7 a.m., the 
hens and unoccupied cocks about 1 p.m. The flock invariably 
fly southward, and are away for about an hour and a half 
each time. I have seen them fully ten miles south still hold- 
ing in that direction. When first noticed on their return 
they are always at a very great height; but should it be 
blowing hard (the weather seems of little consequence to them), 
they often return from the northward, having, no doubt, 
been carried to the east or west, beyond their home. Three 
years passed, when a friend came on a visit from Ledbury, 
Herefordshire. This friend saw my An twerps, and expressed 
a wish for a pair or two to breed for table use. After his 
leaving for home I caught three pairs, all bred in my loft 
(Antwerp loft, for with them I have nothing else). They 
were put into a box (not a basket or cage), and addressed to 
a mutual friend in Manchester, as they could not reach 
Ledbury in one day from Glasgow. They reached Man- 
chester in the evening, were re-booked for Ledbury next 
morning, and reached their destination that evening, but 
until then were not taken out of the box in which I had 
placed them. Before sending the birds away I pulled the 
flight feathers out of the right wing of each bird, and my 
instructions were : ' Keep them confined, with such a netting 
as will let them see the locality, till they have each a nest 
of young ones, and are sitting upon their second eggs.' 
Those instructions were rigidly adhered to. One night the 



361 HOMING PIGEONS. 

netting was removed according to instructions, and the birds 
were at liberty next morning. A man was set to watch. 
The cocks took sundry short nights, and by-and-by relieved 
their mates occupied in incubation; the hens came out, and 
at once took wing, The date now I cannot give precisely 
let me call it the 18th of July. On the morning of the 20th 
I had a letter from my friend, dated the day before (the 
19th), saying: 'The birds were yesterday morning let out, 
but two of them have not returned. I am afraid they are 
lost.' While in the act of reading my friend's letter, my 
man who attends to those birds came into my office, saying : 

' I think two of Mr. 's birds are back.' Scarcely believing 

him, 1 went out into the yard, and there certainly were two of 
the hens I had sent to Ledbury. 

"Now I can tell to a mile the distance between Glasgow 
and Ledbury, Herefordshire, by railway; but I will let our 
readers measure the distance as the crow flies, and decide 
whether or not this is a very long flight. Mark, first, those 
birds had never been trained; second, they had never been 
in the hands of anyone till caught by me, when I pulled 
the flight feathers from one wing of each bird. These birds 
would leave their cote at Ledbury about 10 or 11 a.m. on 
the 18th, and, as I did not know what day or week they 
were to be set at liberty, of course I did not expect them, 
and at all events I certainly did not expect they would at 
any time return to Glasgow on the wing. For all I know, 
they may have reached on the evening of the 18th, or during 
the day of the 19th. Two months after this I gave a pair 
to a friend in Paisley a pair of young ones. They had only 
been two days outside the loft, and never had left it beyond 
a hundred yards. They were taken away squeakers, and con- 
fined, with a netting in front, for three weeks. When let 
out, they were at their birthplace in ten or twelve minutes. 
It is only seven miles to Paisley by road. Those birds had 
never been flown." 

2 i 



362 FANCY PIGEONS. 



The following was published in the Fanciers' Chronicle of 20th 
August, 1880, and was noticed also in the Field and other 
papers: "Wonderful performance of a Homer. In February 
last year I bought from Mr. Mills, Brussels, some homing 
pigeons. On Sunday, the 8th instant, I gave one of these 
birds its liberty, and it disappeared. I thought no more of 
it, but on Thursday last I was surprised to receive from 
Mr. Mills a letter, saying that the bird reached his loft on 
Wednesday morning. I send you this information, as I con- 
sider this a most marvellous performance, the bird having 
been in confinement many months, and had to travel over 
about four hundred miles of country which it had never 
seen. The pigeon in question is a three-year-old blue chequer 
hen, and will be again in my possession to-night or to-morrow 
morning, Mr. Mills having sent it off yesterday. JAMES P. 
TAYLOR, Moss Croft, Gateshead-on-Tyne." 

This is a record of a truly wonderful performance, one 
similar to that which was accomplished by the birds of Mr. 
Huie, of Glasgow. Training brings out the natural homing 
powers of these pigeons, but that they do not fly by sight alone 
the above proves. And in training for the long Continental 
matches the final stages often exceed a hundred miles, over 
which the best birds fly straight home. What guides them 
on their way? 

That some pigeons, especially certain breeds, both from 
a strong natural and inherited love of home, will return 
from long distances without any previous training, is there- 
fore an established fact. But at the same time, little de- 
pendence could be placed on even the best bred flying pigeons 
without training. They must, therefore be flown first from 
a short distance, and gradually by increased stages, till 
perfect at their work, during which process of training many 
of them will of course be lost. It has been recommended by 
writers on this subject, that birds in their first year should 
not be flown above a hundred miles from home, and not 



363 HOMING PIGEONS. 

over two hundred miles in their second year, as they are 
not fully matured till over two years of age. 

It is an established fact that pedigree in homing birds 
is of the first consequence, so that those entering on pigeon 
flying should by all means endeavour to procure stock from 
fliers of repute. If the best Homers could be selected by 
appearance there would be no need to go further ; but it is well 
known that some of the best have had little in their looks 
to recommend them. 

The most absurd stories regarding Carrier pigeons are 
often circulated in the newspapers, such as the return of 
some sent to the Arctic regions to their home in Ayrshire, 
the flight of others across the Atlantic Ocean, and the capture 
of others at sea with stamps on their wings showing them 
to have been employed during the Siege of Paris, which 
happened seven or eight years before their capture, and since 
which event their flight feathers must have been renewed 
annually. It seems impossible to kill these fables, and they 
crop up at regular intervals. One or more Carriers were 
captured at sea during the Siege of Paris, and were shown 
at exhibitions of pigeons as objects of interest. Since then 
the story has been repeatedly re-published as a late event, 
and it will probably continue to be published in time to 
come, as it comes under the observation of those who do not 
understand the way in which pigeons are used as messengers. 

On the Continent the flying fancy is much followed. In 
Belgium there are hundreds of clubs or societies for the cul- 
tivation of the Yoyageur Pigeon, whilst they also abound in 
France and Germany. In this country the fancy is increasing, 
and rising in public estimation, many gentlemen and respectable 
people being devoted to it. The use of the Yoyageur for war 
purposes has been recognised on the Continent, and Govern- 
ment studs of them have been established in France, Germany, 
and other countries. The principal foreign flying matches 
take place in July, and extend over distances of from 200 to 



364 FANCY PIGEONS. 

500 miles. Twice have races been organised from Rome to 
Belgium, a distance of some 900 miles, but with so little 
success, both as to time and the percentage of returns, that it 
is now recognised that this long fly can only be attained at 
too great a sacrifice. 

The following interesting account of the origin of the Belgian 
Homing Pigeons was sent to me, in 1880, by M. Yictor La 
Perre de Boo, so well known on the Continent for his researches 
into the subject, and as the adviser of nearly all the Con- 
tinental Governments as to the adoption of these pigeons for 
war purposes. 

" As regards the Belgian Homing Pigeons, they are very much 
like our street dogs (chiens de rue) ; they are the result of 
numerous crossings between the Carrier and the different 
varieties of pigeons which existed in Belgium about a century 
ago. In other words, they are degenerated Carriers, as the 
wattle on the upper mandible of the beak and round the eye 
shows clearly. Some have thick, short beaks ; but as a rule 
they have thin beaks, like those sent you by M. Gere. 

" There are some birds with round heads, very short beaks, and 
frills like Owls ; but they are very small birds, and are not so 
much liked in Belgium as the large Antwerp birds, their wings 
not being so powerful. These birds have undoubtedly been 
obtained by crossing the degenerated Carrier with the Owl. 

" The Carrier was brought to Belgium by Dutch sailors, got 
neglected, and soon degenerated. 

" There are also birds with white eyes, and these are supposed 
to be a cross between the degenerated Carrier and the Pigeon 
Volant, or Highflier (the Cumulet). 

"But all these birds have been crossed, as I state in my 
book, dans nos fermes et nos basses cours, with the Pigeon 
Biset (the Blue Bock Pigeon) and all the other varieties of 
pigeons which existed in Belgium a century ago, as is gene- 
rally the case with pigeons which are kept only for table 
purposes. 



365 HOMING PIGEONS. 



" My father died twenty years ago, at the age of seventy-six, 
and he often told me that the birds he had when he was a boy 
had more wattle on the beak and round the eye than the birds 
I kept about thirty years ago; but at that time a pigeon which 
had flown a distance of twenty-five miles was looked upon as a 
very good bird, and the very few birds which had been sent 
to be thrown from Paris that is, about a hundred and fifty 
miles from Brussels were considered to be most wonderful 
and exceptional birds. 

"Since then you know what regular training has done. 
During the season, about 100,000 to 150,000 pigeons are sent 
every Saturday from all parts of Belgium, to be thrown from 
all parts of France, and Auch, Bordeaux, Bayonne, Biarritz, 
and St. Sebastien (Spain), are now the stations they are 
generally sent to. 

"There are now upwards of 1000 pigeon societies in 
Belgium." 

M. La Perre de Roo sent me several lots of Antwerp Carriers, 
all of which were descended from the birds presented to the 
French Government, after the war of 1870, by MM. D'Hanis 
and Gits. I have kept the strain pure, and supplied numerous 
fanciers with their produce, many of which have flown long 
distances. They are easily trained up to 100 miles during 
their first season. 

As feeders for my Pouters these Antwerps are the best birds 
I ever employed. They are larger than the Homers usually 
seen, and such prolific breeders that I am never without fat 
squabs for the table. 

Exhibition Antwerp Pigeons. 

Although a Homing Antwerp Carrier of the highest type 
has little in its appearance to distinguish it from birds which 
could not possibly home a moderate distance with certainty, 
it has been usual for some years to exhibit the Homer for 
prizes in the show-pen. This method has been of great use 



366 FANCY PIGEONS. 



in one respect, as the immense classes of these so-called 
Homers have proved serviceable in providing funds for the 
encouragement of real fancy pigeons which might not other- 
wise have been provided with classes. No doubt many really 
good flying birds are of good colour and style; while others 
as good, or better, have nothing in their appearance to re- 
commend them ; so that showing the Homer is a mere lottery 
as far as being able to pick out the best flying bird is 
concerned. 

Where prizes for homing pigeons are offered at shows, the 
following remarks on judging them, by Mr. W. B. Tegetmeier, 
who is an authority on the subject, will be found of value. 
He says: 

" The classes for Homing Antwerps which are now common 
at many shows offer considerable difficulty to those who have 
to award the prizes, unless, indeed, as not very often happens, 
they are practically acquainted with the breed. 

" When the judge is not in this position the birds selected 
are usually of the short-faced Birmingham type ; and I have 
seen, at Bingley Hall and elsewhere, prizes given to a set of 
bad show birds, the best of which would have been lost at 
twenty or thirty miles, even if they could have been trained 
that distance. It should be borne in mind, that the properties 
of a homing pigeon lie in the wing more than in the head, 
and a judge who simply looks at a pen and decides the 
prizes upon the appearance of the birds proves that he 
knows nothing whatever about the subject on which he under- 
takes to decide. 

"At the exhibition of the birds that won in the late (1876) 
race to Brussels from the Alexandra Palace several distinct 
types were recognisable. Some of the birds were rather light, 
and fine in the head, whilst others were heavy, thicker in head, 
and stouter in body. Although the lighter birds are generally 
regarded as flying well in fine weather, and for short distances, 
the stouter are usually regarded as the standard type. 



367 



HOMING PIGEONS. 



" Of the three engravings which accompany this article, the 
first (Fig. 14) represents, life size, a head which may be regarded 
as that of a very handsome Belgian Yoyageur cock. It may 
be taken as that of the bird which Mons. Ch. Mills and Mr. 
C. L. Sutherland both practical men gave me the first prize 
for at the Alexandra Poultry Show, 1875; but it was not 
drawn from that bird, but from a cock I obtained of Mons. 
Ch. Mills. The bird has all the properties that I desire to 




FIG. 14. 

see in the head of a flying pigeon a full-developed brain 
case, showing a large brain, and such a structure of head as 
indicates strength and endurance and he is without any 
tendency to the absurd exaggeration of any fancy point. Of 
course, no really practical judge would give a prize in a homing 
class, even to such a bird, unless he were in first-rate condition, 
with his plumage hard and firm, the flight feathers broad and 
overlapping, and the bones of the wing well clothed with power- 



368 



FANCY PIGEONS. 



ful muscles. To prove that this bird is as good as he looks, 
I may give his history. He was hatched, early in 1874, from 
a bird of Mons. Ch. Mills' that was one of the first winners 
in the great annual national match from Marseilles, in the 
south of France, to Belgium a 500 miles race. The same 
year, as a young bird, he flew from St. Quentin and Creil 
(about 200 miles), and in 1875 he again flew from St. Quentin, 
taking first prize ; also from Paris, Orleans, and was a winner 
in the race from London 200 miles. 




FIG. 15. 

" At my request Mons. Ch. Mills sent him over to show 
at the Alexandra Poultry Show, 19th Oct., 1875, and I induced 
him very reluctantly, I am afraid to part with him. The 
bird was, necessarily, useless to me to fly, for on liberation 
he would doubtless have returned to Brussels, as I have had 
birds do after two years' confinement in England ; but I kept 
him to breed from, and his early progeny are very good indeed. 



369 HOMING PIGEONS. 

" So good is the bird in appearance, that I have repeatedly 
refused the offer of 5 for him merely as a stock bird. 

"Fig. 15 represents a Homing Antwerp belonging to me to 
which the judges gave the silver cup at the Crystal Palace 
Poultry Show in 1875. The bird was certainly a handsome 
one, but not, in my opinion, equal to the former, even in looks ; 
he was purely Belgian bred, and was a good Homer, having 
flown about 100 miles in previous years. In 1876, I entered 
him in a private race from Brussels, but the truth must be 
told I have never seen him since he was let off in that 
pleasant city on the morning of the 20th July, and was lost, 
although his companion in the race, not half as good looking, 
is walking about before my eyes. 

" I have now shown what is regarded as the most esteemed 




FIG. 16. 

type of Belgian birds viz., as regards cocks, for the hens are 
generally less stout in the head and beak ; and I may state, that 
the sketches are executed with the most extreme accuracy, not 
only as regards the form, but also as to the expression of the 
birds. Mr. T. W. Wood, one of the most accurate of natural 
history draughtsmen, devoted very great care to their delinea- 
tion, and I may state that the drawings are not altered to suit 
my views of what a good Homer should be, but show the birds 
exactly as they are. 

" I now wish to show whajb is not an uncommon view of a 
homing bird amongst some amateurs. The outline sketch (Fig. 
16) is traced with the closest accuracy from one of the drawings 

2 K 



370 FANCY PIGEONS. 

of Mr. Ludlow, of Birmingham, published in the New York 
Pet Stock and Poultry Bulletin. The drawing represented, 
with all Mr. Ludlow's skill, an indifferent Birmingham show 
Antwerp, with pert, upright carriage, short, stubby beak, large 
eyes, small head and brain, and is no more like a Belgian 
Yoyageur than I to Hercules. Such a bird could not fly fifty 
miles, and would not fly five. 

" I have visited over and over again the lofts of the Belgian 
amateurs ; I have owned, and still own, hundreds of these birds ; 
I have had thousands pass through my hands; but in all 
Belgium I never saw a bird approaching the form that is 
apparently regarded by Mr. Ludlow and the Birmingham 
fanciers as that of a Belgian Yoyageur. 

" The exhibition of the right sort of birds is very much pro- 
moted by their liberation after being judged in the pens, the 
prizes being withheld if the birds are not returned at a given 
time. It is true some of the birds may live close to the show, 
and have their flying powers very slightly tested, but really 
good flyers are certain to be sent for the selection of the judge, 
and the Short-faced show birds will be kept at home. 

"The liberation clause should always be qualified with the 
stipulation, 'weather permitting,' for it would be a serious 
matter if, during the worst flying months of the year, a flight 
of really good birds should be liberated in a fog, or in hazy 
weather, when they could not see their way home. For, in spite 
of all the nonsense written about flying by instinct, all practical 
men know that a bird flies by sight. I have lost some of the 
best birds I ever possessed from trying to fly them across 
London on a foggy day." 

The Short-faced Antwerp Pigeon. 

This pigeon has been produced principally from the Smerle 
of Liege, one of the varieties from which the Belgian 
Yoyageur descends, as mentioned already. According to 
Fulton, who ought to know, some breeders have made use of 



371 HOMING PIGEONS. 

the Barb in breeding it. Its chief properties lie in its head, 
which must be capacious, and present in profile an unbroken 
curve from the nape to the point of the beak. The beak 
itself ought to be thick and short, the under mandible ap- 
proaching the upper in consistency as much as possible, and 
fitting close to it, or, as fanciers say, boxed. Any gullet is 
objectionable, and detracts from the appearance and value of 
this variety in the opinion of its admirers. Viewed in front, 
the head ought also to be round from eye to eye. The 
irides should be orange or blood red in colour, light or pearl 
eyes being faulty. The eyes must be prominent, or bolting, 
and be surrounded with a fair but not excessive amount of 
wattle. Like other pigeons of this type of head, the beak 
wattle thickens with age; it should be of considerable sub- 
stance, lying well spread on each side, and by the time the 
bird arrives at maturity some three or four years it should 
have filled up all inequalities in the curve of the head, and 
even if it stands out a little beyond the curve it is not con- 
sidered any fault in a good bird. Mere shortness of face, 
therefore, is no desideratum in this bird, but rather the 
reverse, for room is required for the forehead behind the beak 
wattle to fill out, and this is the point which gives a finish to 
a good bird, and makes it massive in skull. 

The Short-faced Antwerp should be a large pigeon, bold in 
appearance, upstanding, and tight-feathered. The choicest 
colour is the mealy, almost always now called silver dun, which 
is a good sounding name ; but there is certainly no silver in this 
colour, neither is there any dun. The mealy colour may be said 
to have been bred to perfection in this pigeon. The cocks are 
sometimes finely powdered on the head and upper neck, while 
the lower neck, breast, and wing bars, are of a rich brown or 
red ; but it is difficult to get the same colour in the hens, which 
are generally dark-headed. Next comes the red chequer, both 
dark and light ; the blue chequer, also of various shades ; and 
the black-barred blue, the original colour of wild pigeons. 

2K2 



372 FANCY PIGEONS. 



These are the chief colours, valued, I believe, in the order 
named. Then come silvers, preferred with bars of as dark a 
dun as possible ; dun chequers, called silver chequers ; yellow 
mealies, called creamies ; and lastly blacks, which are sooty or 
blue black, showing bars of a deeper black. 

My opinion of the Short-faced Antwerp is in accordance with 
that of a great many men who are the mainstays of the pigeon 
fancy. I cannot admit that it has one original point in its 
composition entitling it to be called an original variety, and all 
the diagrams and illustrations published of it only confirm this 
opinion. The chief difference between it and the Owl is said to 
be that the latter is essentially a short-faced pigeon, which the 
Antwerp ought not to be. No doubt all the Owl tribe are known 
as Short-faced Frilled Pigeons ; but they would quite as correctly 
be called blunt-faced, for mere shortness of face is not any desi- 
deratum in them, as it takes away room for the filling up of the 
forehead behind the beak wattle. This when well-developed 
gives them, above all else, a look of quality, just as it does 
the Antwerp. 

The Short-faced Antwerp may be difficult to breed good 
according to the standard laid down for it ; but, when bred as 
good as can be, it is no more than a pigeon with some Owl points 
in its head, and, for the most part, clothed in the mere off 
colours of fancy pigeons. I think the encouragement it gets 
tends to foster low art in pigeon breeding, wastes time and 
trouble that might be much better employed, and that there is 
no result, from an artistic point of view, in its production. 
Many fanciers, whose judgment of pigeons is acknowledged to 
be sound, agree with me in this opinion. 

The Long-faced Antwerp Pigeon. 

During the past few years this variety, bred for the show-pen, 
has come into considerable prominence. Those birds I have seen 
were very large pigeons, mealy and red chequer in colour, with 
enormous, long, arched heads, and a considerable amount of 



373 



HOMING PIGEONS. 



beak and eye wattle. A great winner was a mealy one, called 
" Goose," who with his son, known as " Young Goose," swept 
the boards for a long time. They were aptly named, having, 
with their small, sunken eyes, the look of being descended from 
the Runt, which as Moore says is Goose-headed. 

The Medium -faced Antwerp Pigeon. 

There is still another show Antwerp, known as the Medium- 
faced, and there are frequent disputes over prize birds, 
difference of opinion existing as to what type they really 
belong. 




Chapter XXIX. 




X TURKESTAN PIGEONS. X> 

B. T. B. COOMBE WILLIAMS, M.A., lias 
lately described, and illustrated with wood- 
cuts, in the periodical Poultry (July 3 
Oct. 30, 1885), a series of skins of fancy pigeons 
belonging to the Zoological Department of the 
British Museum, South Kensington. They were collected by 
Dr. Scully, a member of an expedition that visited Turkestan 
in 1875, and were procured in the city of Yarkand. The 
following is part of a note written by Dr. Scully regarding 
them : 

"In the spring and summer of 1875 I purchased all the 
varieties of domestic pigeons that I could find in the place. 
When I found that my stay in the country would be limited 
to a short time, I thought it might be worth while to pre- 
pare skins of all the varieties to which the natives give 
distinct names. In this way I found that there were about 
twenty-six named varieties, of which the accompanying skins 
are specimens. 

" These varieties are said by the Tarkandis to breed true, 
and the fanciers select and match the different kinds. The 



375 TURKESTAN PIGEONS. 

natives of Eastern Turkestan assert that the differences which 
are found among the pigeons are due to the direct inter- 
position of Providence, but they know that the varieties can 
only be regularly perpetuated by interbreeding. They also 
add, that by crossing different varieties they could predict 
almost exactly what the resulting progeny would be like; in 
short, they seemed to think that pigeons could be bred to a 
feather. 

" The people were well aware of the great fondness domestic 
pigeons have for salt. A Yarkandi fancier advised me to give 
my birds plenty of salt. He said the result of this would be 
that my pigeons would attract those of other people to the 
place where the salt was to be found, and that I should thus 
greatly increase my stock of pigeons at a very trifling cost. 

" The domestic pigeons of Kashgaria are very fond of 
perching. In almost every house where pigeons are kept, a 
pole is placed across the open courtyard, from wall to wall, 
for them to perch on, and several other plans are resorted to 
for the same object. In the house where I kept my pigeons, 
I had sticks placed across in various directions, and I found 
that they preferred perching on them to standing on the 
ground. Great fights often took place among the birds to 
secure favourite places. 

"In Eastern Turkestan I never saw any of the dovecotes 
tenanted by semi-domesticated pigeons in nearly the same 
livery as the wild stock which are commonly met with about 
the villages in Egypt. 

" I have given all the native names first in the Persi Arabic 
character, as written by the Tarkandis, then a translation of 
the words into Roman character, and, wherever it is known 
to me, I have added the meaning in English. It will be 
noticed that many of the names (Damdar, Palang, Zagh, &c.) 
are Persian, and that others have reference to China. 

" All the measurements were made in the flesh, before skin- 
ning. The length is from the tip of the beak to the tip of 



376 FANCY PIGEONS. 

the longest tail feathers ; the wing, from the point of the 
carpal joint to the end of the longest primary; the tail, from 
the vent to the end of the longest tail feather; and the bill, 
straight from the angle of the gape to the tip of the upper 
mandible. The measurements are in English inches and 
decimals of inches ; the weight, in ounces and decimals of 
ounces avoirdupois." 

Mr. Williams has added the length of face from centre of 
eye to point of beak; but these measurements, being taken 
from the skins, can only be regarded as approximately correct. 
The varieties he has made drawings of are the five follow- 
ing : Ak Bash Zagh, Char Bash, Kara Tokum Damdar, 
Sidam Rakhshi, and Sidam Borghul. 

The following is Mr. Williams' description of these Yarkand 
pigeons. I give the weight, but not all the measurements 
only the length of face and feather. 

KASHKA KOK. Male. Beak, black; eyes, orange-yellow; 
head and neck, silvery, with much green lustre ; breast, vinous ; 
shoulders, silver, with dark bars; nights, bluish dun; tail, 
silvery blue, with dark bar. Face, T35 ; length, 13'5. Weight, 
lloz. 

SIDAM KOK. Male. Beak, greyish black; eyes, bright red; 
general colour, light blue, with black wing bars ; neck and 
breast, darker, and lustred; belly, light; flights, slightly grizzled 
with white; tail, blue, with Kity tinge and black bars. A few 
white feathers at back of skull. Face, 1*5 ; length, 13*5. 
Weight, 12-2oz. 

AK BASH KOK (White-headed Blue}. Male. Upper mandible, 
flesh-coloured, with dark stripe; lower, black; eyes, reddish- 
brown; head, white above eyes; body, blue; neck and breast, 
darker, and lustred; belly, dark; grizzled black wing bars; 
rump, white ; tail, blue, with black bar. Face, 1'32 ; length, 13. 
Weight, 10-3oz. 

GORA BAJINI (Bajini = Chinese). Male, very short-faced. 
Beak, livid, horny ; eyes, dark straw ; general colour, white, with 



377 TURKESTAN PIGEONS. 

vinous tint, the quill of nearly every feather being red; top of 
head, dark red ; a few black feathers on neck ; quills of nights, 
ruddy ; tail feathers, some white, others with ruddy quills ; legs 
slightly feathered. Face '82 ; length, 12'3. Weight, 97oz. 

AK BASH ZAGH (White-headed Crow) ; also called Siah 
Palang (Black Leopard). Male. Beak, light, horny ; eyes, 
reddish brown; colour, white, with blackish cheek markings 
like a Turbiteen, rusty black shoulders like a Turbit, and 
coloured breast and belly within lines drawn across breast 
and vent. Face, T25; length, 13'2. Weight, 9'6oz. 

KHUTANI (from Khotan, a town in Turkestan). Male. 
Closely resembles the foregoing in marking ; colour, bluish 
chequer, with red bronze wing bars. Face, 1*33 ; length, 13. 
Weight, 8'7oz. 

KIZIL BASH (Bed Head). Female. Beak, livid, horny; eyes, 
orange ; head, white, with reddish tinge, which becomes darker 
on neck and breast; shoulders and nights, white; tail, white, 
with a little bluish red in it. Face, 112 ; length, 13'8. Weight, 
12'25oz. 

KOK BASH (Grey or Blue Head). Male. Upper mandible, 
dark; lower, light; both with great substance. Eyes, orange- 
red ; head and neck, silvery blue, lustred with green and red. 
The colour is cut off across the breast like a low-cut Magpie, 
and the remainder of the bird should, probably, be white, but 
it has some foul feathers on body. Face, 1'07 ; length, 14*5. 
Weight, 12'25oz. 

CHAR BASH. Male. Beak, light; eyes, orange. Yery pecu- 
liar pigeon, black in colour, except shoulders as in a Turbit, 
and under body from breast to vent, which are white; beak, 
short and thick. Is crested up the forehead, from beak wattle 
to crown of head, in shape like that of a rose-combed fowl ; the 
feathers rise up over each eye, and meet together in the centre, 
a form of head crest not known in Europe. Face, 1'08; length, 
13'9. Weight, ll-6oz. 

KARA BASH (Black Head). Male. Marked like the preceding, 



378 FANCY PIGEONS. 

and with the peculiar frontal tuft, but rather smaller. Face, 
1-07 ; length, 13'5. Weight, lO3oz. 

ALDI POPSHAK ALA KARGHA (Frontal Top-knot Variegated 
Crow}. Female. Beak, very short and thick; eyes, golden 
yellow; marked like the Char Bash; frontal tuft wonderfully 
developed. Face, '82; length, 121. Weight, 8'25oz. Some of 
the short-faced Yarkand pigeons tumble in the air, but not 
to any great extent. 

SIDAM RAKHSHI. Male. A very curious bird. Beak, light; 
eyes, yellow ; colour, black ; head, white above eyes ; white 
stripe down the gullet, about an inch long ; white flight 
feathers ; shoulders, as in a Turbit, whitish, but showing black 
through the white, the quills and under down being dark. Face, 
1-07; length, 12-7. Weight, 9-5oz. 

DAMDAR (Blower, or Trumpeter}. Male. Beak, light, red 
flesh-colour at base ; eye ceres, orange ; eyes, dark brown ; peak, 
crested ; legs, feathered ; a few toe feathers ; colour, pure white. 
Face, 1-37 ; length, 127. Weight, 10'5oz. 

KIZIL TOKUM DAMDAR (Red Blower}. Male. Beak, light; 
eyes, dark brown; shell crest; stocking legs; colour, white, 
with ashy-red shoulders; breast, mottled, with about twenty 
feathers, well separated. Face, 1'25 ; length, 13. Weight, 9'4oz. 

KARA TOKUM DAMDAR (Black Blower}. Female. Beak, 
light; eyes, dark brown; shell crest; legs unfeathered; Kity 
black shoulders; mottled breast. Face, 1'24; length, 13*2. 
Weight, 7'25oz. 

KAGHAZI (Kaghaz means Paper}. Female. All white Dove- 
like pigeon; eyes, dark brown. Face, T25; length, 12'3. 
Weight, 8-9oz. 

PELANG (Leopard, or Mottled}. Female. Upper mandible, 
light ; lower, dark ; eyes, bright red ; head and neck with Tur- 
biteen cheek markings ; shoulders, Kity black ; rest of body 
plumage white, flecked with black; some flights white, others 
black; tail, rusty black. Face, T25; length, 12'5. Weight, 
8'25oz. 



379 TURKESTAN PIGEONS. 

SID AM ZAGH (Zagh, Persian for Crow}. Female. Beak, 
brownish black ; eyes, orange-yellow ; plumage, black through- 
out. Face, 1-25 ; length, 13. Weight, 10'5oz. 

SIDAM ARGHTTNI. Male. Beak brown; eyes, light pink; 
general colour, Kity black; breast, all bronze lustre, which 
turns to green towards thighs; rump, ashy black. Face, 1*1; 
length, 12. Weight, 7oz. 

SIDAM ARGHTJNI. Male. Beak, .black ; eyes, orange-yellow ; 
plumage, black, grizzled with blue, and exceedingly lustrous. 
Face, 112; length, 12'9. Weight, lO75oz. 

MIGIZI (Brain (?) Pigeon). Female. Beak, brownish; eyes, 
orange-yellow ; plumage, blue and black chequered ; neck much 
lustred; black-barred tail. Face, 1-25; length, 131. Weight, 
8'5oz. 

SIDAM BORGHUL. Female. Beak, black; eyes, orange; 
excepting tail, which is dark blue with bar, every feather on 
this bird is black with a white tip ; the head and neck appear 
as if powdered with white; breast has a green, bronze lustre. 
Thighs, ashy and lustrous; shoulders, creamy white, with the 
black at the roots of the feathers showing in places through the 
white; nights, black and white, with white tips. Face, T23; 
length, 12. Weight, 810oz. 

SIDAM BORGHUL. Female. Plumage same as foregoing, 
but has a peak crest and frontal tuft like the Char Bash. 
Face, 1*24; length, 121. Weight, 8oz. 

KOSH POPSHAK ARGHUNI (Double Top-knot). Male. Beak, 
greyish black; eyes, orange-red; frontal tuft and peak crest; 
head, neck, and breast, black, richly lustred with green and 
purple; shoulders, brownish blue, tipped with black; rump, 
ashy black; nights, bluish brown; tail, blue, with black bars. 
Face, 1-07 ; length, 13'9. Weight, 12'2oz. 

AK KOYRTJK BAJINI (White-tailed Chinese). Female. Beak, 
greyish black; eyes, orange; head, black, with white frontal 
spot; neck and breast, black, lustred with green and bronze; 
shell crest ; thighs, dark ashy black ; body feathers, black, with 



380 FANCY PIGEONS. 



white tips, causing the shoulders to appear nearly white ; 
nights, black, with white tips. Face, '93 ; length, 13. Weight, 
lOoz. 

SIDAM BAJINI. Female. Beak, dusky ; eyes, orange-yellow ; 
head, neck, and breast, dark, with bronze lustre; shoulders, 
creamy white, tinged with red, and some feathers ticked with 
black ; rump, ashy black, lustred with green ; flights, creamy 
white and black mixed, darker towards their ends, and having 
signs of a white tip ; tail, blue-black, with dark bar. Face, 1*13 ; 
length, 11-6. Weight, 8oz. 

BALDAK (a Ladder ; in allusion to the marks on the wings). 
Female. Beak, greyish black; eyes, light pink; small frontal 
tuft ; colour, dusky blue, with white wing bars. Face, 1 ; 
length, 12-1. Weight, 8'3oz. 

BORGHUL. Female. A great novelty. Mandibles, dusky; 
eyes, dark straw colour. In each feather of the head there is 
black, white, and almond-yellow, well broken ; the neck feathers 
show most of the black colour. Breast lustred with purple ; the 
belly a darker shade, but the feathers tricolour, with a bronze 
lustre; shoulders, white, with ruddy edges and black base; 
flights, light at base ; quills, black, the ends dark, with white 
and almond tips ; rump, black and white, with but little almond 
colour; tail feathers mostly black. Face, 1'13; length, 11*3. 
Weight, 8oz. 

It will be seen from the foregoing interesting descriptions 
that there are still many curious pigeons in the possession of 
Asiatic fanciers that we know very little about. I mentioned, 
in the first chapter of the first edition of this book, written 
about 1878, that we might still expect to get something new 
from Central Asia and China. 




Appendix. 




X PIGEON LITERATURE. 



AVING for many years been a collector of 
books relating to domestic pigeons, I have 
now a collection of them, in various languages, 
which it would be difficult to match. Some 
of the works are of great rarity, and have only 
been got after years of search. When it is considered that 
few fanciers consider it necessary to publish their experiences, 
it is surprising to find how many books have been written 
on the subject from time to time. It is true that the great 
proportion of them are merely reprints or abridgments of 
previous works; but the publication of so many editions of 
Girton's " Complete Pigeon-Fancier," for instance, shows that 
the demand for them must have been considerable. 

Early Printed Books. 

PLINY'S " NATURAL HISTORY." The first edition was printed 
at Venice, by Joannes de Spira, in 1469, and is, I suppose, 
the first printed book containing any reference to the pigeon 
fancy. The notices are in Chaps, lii.-liii. of Book X., as already 
mentioned in Chapter I. of this work. The first edition is 



382 FANCY PIGEONS. 



a rare and expensive book, copies having been sold at from 
50 to 120, though I was once offered an imperfect one for 
much less; but many later editions were published before 
1550, and these can occasionally be purchased for little money. 
An English translation of Pliny, by Dr. Philemon Holland, 
was published in 1601, and another by Bostock, in 6 vols., in 
late years, by Bohn. Pliny's "History" is a great storehouse 
of ancient learning, all that is known of the writings of hun- 
dreds of lost authors being preserved in it. The author was a 
man of the most indefatigable industry, and wrote many 
other works. Being near the Bay of Naples, in command of a 
Roman fleet, when the eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed 
Pompeii and Herculaneum (A.D. 79) broke out, he sailed 
near, and went on shore to observe more closely its effects. 
A midnight-like darkness coming on, from the quantity 
of dust and fine ashes in the air, the party hurried back to 
the shore; but Pliny, then fifty-six years of age, being 
corpulent, and his breathing becoming affected, was unable 
to proceed, and soon after lay down and died. These particu- 
lars are recorded in the letters of his nephew, Pliny the 
Younger. 

ALDROVANDI, ULYSSIS : " OKNITHOLOGIA." Bonnonise, 1599- 
1603, 3 vols.; 2nd Ed., Francofurti, 1610, 2 vols., folio. 

Aldrovandi (1522-1607), the Italian naturalist, began the 
publication of his works on natural history in 1599, and they 
were continued for many years after his death, the series being 
concluded in 1668. In the second volume of the Frankfort 
edition of his "Ornithology" there are sixty closely-printed 
folio pages containing quotations from ancient authors who 
have referred in any way to the pigeon, and everything extant 
on the subject, from Homer to Tasso, seems to have been 
known to the writer. I find almost everything mentioned 
about pigeons that I had discovered in my reading of Greek 
and Roman authors, and much more besides; and I think 
Aldrovandi's account may be considered an epitome of ancient 



383 PIGEON LITERATURE. 

references to them. Several varieties of domestic pigeons, 
including some malformed ones, are figured in his engravings. 
The Jacobin and Frizzled breeds are recognisable; also a bird 
having a resemblance to the Leghorn Bunt as portrayed in 
the London Treatise on Pigeons of 1765. 

WILLUGHBY'S "ORNITHOLOGY." London: 1676 and 1678. Folio. 

Francis Willughby (1635-1672), according to John Bay 
(1628-1704), who edited the "Ornithology," was a man of 
great ability, who, before his death at the age of thirty- 
seven, had travelled over a great part of the Continent in 
pursuit of knowledge connected with natural history. Bay 
writes as follows: "Of his skill in Natural Philosophy, 
chiefly the History of Animals, I shall say no more at present, 
but that it hath not yet been my hap to meet with any man, 
either in England or beyond Seas, of so general and compre- 
hensive knowledge therein." The first description of fancy 
pigeons published in England, so far as I am aware, is by 
"Willughby, whose book was first published, in 1676, in Latin, 
and then, in 1678, in English. At pages 181, 182 of the 
latter edition is an interesting account, so far as it goes, of 
seventeen varieties of tame pigeons, much of which I have 
already referred to in the preceding pages. The figures he 
gives on Plates XXXIII. and XXXIY. are partly copied 
from Aldrovandi and partly original; but it is impossible to 
believe that his plates of the Pouter, Carrier, Jacobin, and 
Fantail, represent the best birds existing in London at the 
time he wrote. Bay says: "But because Mr. Willughby 
(though sparing neither pains nor cost) could not procure, 
and consequently did not describe, all sorts of Birds, to 
perfect the Work I have added the Descriptions and His- 
tories of those that were wanting out of Gesner, Aldrovandus, 
Bellonius, Marggravius, Clusius, Hernandez, Bontius, Wormius, 
and Piso" It may be that additional information on 
domestic pigeons exists in the writings of these old authors. 
Gesner is quoted by German writers on pigeons. 



384 FANCY PIGEONS. 

English Books. 

"COLUMBARIUM; OR, THE PlGEON HOUSE : BEING AN IN- 
TRODUCTION TO A NATURAL HISTORY OF TAME PIGEONS. 
By John Moore. London : Printed for J. Wilford, behind the 
Chapter House in St. Paul's Churchyard, MDCCXXXY." 

"MOORE'S COLUMBARIUM. Reprinted Verbatim et Literatim 
from the Original Edition of 1735, with a Brief Notice of the 
Author by W. B. Tegetmeier, F.Z.S. London: The Field 
Office, 346, Strand, W.C., 1879." 

For many years the only known copy of the " Columbarium " 
among pigeon fanciers was that in the possession of Mr. F. C. 
Esquilant, from which Mr. Tegetmeier made his reprint, in 
1879 ; but soon afterwards a copy turned up in London, at one 
of Puttick & Simpson's sales, which passed into my possession 
on 5th November, 1879. J. M. Eaton, the writer on pigeons, 
possessed a copy in 1852, which, there is no doubt, was de- 
stroyed. The book is extremely rare. My copy measures 
7fin. by 4fin., and is printed (from the signatures) in quarto. 
The title-page, dedication, and preface, occupy seven leaves 
(i.-xiv.), and the body of the book thirty leaves, paged 1-60. 
There are four copies in the British Museum, according to 
Mr. Tegetmeier, one of which is paged up to 80, the additional 
matter being headed 

An ACCOUNT of some medecines prepar'd by JOHN MOOEE, Apothe- 
cary at the Pestle and Mortar, in Lawrence Pountney's Lane, the 
first great Gates on the left Hand from Cannon Street ; who formerly 
lived at the Pestle & Mortar in Abchurch Lane, London, with a faith- 
ful Narrative of some cures effected by them. 

Eaton's copy had these twenty extra pages, to which he 
refers in his Treatises on Pigeons (1852 and 1858). 

Moore was proprietor of a worm powder, and seems, from 
the references to him in contemporary literature, to have been 
well known. The Rev. Alex. Headley, rector of Hardenhuish, 
"Wilts, who writes on pigeons under the nom de plume, " Wilt- 
shire Rector," first called attention to Pope's lines entitled 



385 PIGEON LITERATURE. 



To Mr. JOHN MOORE, 
Author of the celebrated WORM-POWDER, 

a witty production of ten verses, that may be found in the 
poet's works. 

I have also discovered that Moore is referred to by Swift in 
" A Letter from a G-entleman in the Country to his Friend in 
Town," who compares his existence to that of a tenant of some 
house, saying: 

"At this present time I live in a poor, little, sorry house of clay 
.... and, what is worst of all, am liable to be turned out at a 

minute's warning I might have had my tenement (such as it 

is) upon better terms if it had not been for a fault of my great grand- 
father; he and his wife together, with the advice of an ill neighbour, 
were concerned in robbing an orchard belonging to the lord of the 
manor When I am turned out, I understand my lodge, or what- 
ever you please to call it, depends upon a low-spirited, creeping 
family, remarkable for nothing but being instrumental in advancing 
the reputation of the Great Moor in Abchurch Lane." 

Mr. Tegetmeier says, in the Introduction to his reprint: 
" Twenty-two years before the issue of the ' Columbarium ' he 
(Moore) published a work with the following title: 

"Arcana Mooreana ; or a Succinct and Lucid Discourse of the Origine, 
Essence, Scituation, Symptoms, Causes, and Cure of the Cholick. In 
all its various Denominations, different Kinds, Degrees and Compli- 
cations. Done by Mr. John Moore, Apothecary, at the Pestle and 
Mortar, in Abchurch Lane, near Lumbard Street, London : Printed 
for the Author 1713." 

He also says : " It is probable that the writer must have been 
in business some time, as he states: 

"If ever any person upon the face of the universe who devoted his 
whole life to the doing good, and rendering himself beneficial to man- 
kind, has reason to complain of the ill and barbarous usage he ha& 
encountered .... I am the Man." 

Though said to be " Reprinted verbatim et literatim from 
the original edition of 1735," Mr. Tegetmeier's reprint con- 

2 L 



386 FANCY PIGEONS. 

tains a few misprints when compared with my copy of the 
original. 

The Gentleman's Magazine for February, 1735, notices the 
" Columbarium " in a list of lately published books, " price Is." 
The author only lived a short time after this, his death being 
mentioned in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1737, page 252, as 
follows : " April 12. Mr. John Moor, of Abchurch Lane, the 
noted "Worm Doctor. He will now shortly verify Mr. Pope's 
witty Observation, viz.: 

" learned Friend of Abchurch-lane, 

Who sets our Intrails free, 
Vain is thy Art, thy Powder vain, 
Since Worms shall eat ev'n thee." 

Moore may be called the Father of the pigeon fancy in 
England; his descriptions are so accurate, concise, and clear, 
that, generally speaking, they stand good now ; and, with the 
exception of what was written on Short-faced Tumblers, nothing 
to any great extent original was added on the subject till 
recent times. From the rarity of the " Columbarium," I should 
suppose that only a very limited number of copies were printed. 

"A TREATISE ON DOMESTIC PIGEONS. London: Printed 
for and sold by C. Barry, in Ingram Court, Fenchurch Street. 
MDCCLXY." 

This book, the author of which is unknown, is inscribed to 
John Mayor, Esq. It should contain thirteen full-page copper- 
plate engravings of the principal varieties, and a frontispiece 
representing the pigeon loft, matching pen, grain hopper, water- 
fountain, and net for catching the birds. Some copies differ 
in the plates of the Almond and Mottled Tumblers, two sets 
of which appear to have been executed. The title-page, 
dedication, and preface, occupy eight leaves (i.-xvi.), and the 
remainder of the book seventy-two leaves, paged 1-144, printed 
in 8vo. It is by no means scarce, at least thirty copies having 
come under my observation, some of them containing book- 



387 PIGEON LITERATURE. 



plates with coats of arms. They are often very much cut 
down, but I have one fine uncut copy, which measures 8fin. by 
5fin., illustrated with fifteen plates, those of the Almond and 
Mottled Tumblers, that differ in some copies, having been added. 

The author, who was an experienced pigeon fancier, says in 
his preface: "In regard to the model of this treatise, we do 
not offer it to the public as an entire new work, but have 
proceeded on the plan of Mr. Moore, have corrected some 
errors, and made many additions. And, as Mr. Moore's essay 
is very deficient for want of cuts to convey a just idea of the 
different species, in order to supply that defect we have pro- 
cured engravings from the best hands, at a very great expence, 
in order to illustrate this work, all which are done from the 
life, and very masterly executed, under the inspection of the 
author, and other fanciers." 

He refers to " a kind of standard, calculated for the better 
judging of Almond Tumblers, lately published by some of the 
admirers of this fancy, elegantly engraved on copper-plate, at 
the top of which is an Almond Tumbler, very finely executed 
from life, the outlines being inimitably well performed, and by 
much the best I ever saw, and at so reasonable a price as six- 
pence." A copy of this "standard" is given in Eaton's 1858 
book, at page 186. It is entitled "Ordinances established by 
the Columbarian Society, at the Globe Tavern, Fleet Street, 
respecting the perfections and imperfections of Almond or 
Ermin Tumblers, 1764." Its illustration is the one found in 
some copies of the Treatise with the words " Simpson, sculpt.," 
on it. The author also refers to " the standard now published 
and in use among the Columbarians " for judging Pouters. 
This is uniform with the " Ordinances " for judging Almond 
Tumblers. It is a large sheet, headed by the same portrait 
of a Pouter which the Treatise contains. 

The author says, with reference to his own experience in the 
fancy, that he had kept pigeons for many years, " having been 
possessed (I believe I may venture to say without vanity, of 

2 L 2 



388 FANCY PIGEONS. 

as good, if not the best, in England) of fancy pigeons, besides 
Toys of all kinds." 

The most original part of this book is the long account of 
the Almond Tumbler, a variety no more than mentioned by 
Moore, but which had risen, in 1765, to great estimation in 
London. The Mahomet Pigeon, which Willughby had de- 
scribed, but which Moore had evidently never seen, is also 
well described ; but most of the work is, as the author 
acknowledges in his preface, "on the plan of Mr. Moore." 

(1.) " A TREATISE ON DOMESTIC PIGEONS. London : Printed 
for the Proprietors, and sold by all the Booksellers in Town 
and Country. Price only Two Shillings and Six-pence." 

(2.) " THE NEW AND COMPLETE PIGEON FANCYER ; OR, 
MODERN TREATISE ON DOMESTIC PIGEONS. By Mr. Daniel 
Girton, of the County of Bucks. London: Printed for Alex. 
Hogg, No. 16, Paternoster-Row. Price Two Shillings." 

(3.) " THE NEW AND COMPLETE PIGEON FANCYER ; OR, 
MODERN TREATISE ON DOMESTIC PIGEONS. By Daniel Girton, 
of the County of Bucks. London: Printed for Alex. Hogg, 
at the King's Arms, No. 16, Pater-noster-Row. Price only 
One Shilling and Sixpence." 

These three books, with the exception of their title-pages, 
are the same imprint. The second leaf contains a preface (iii., 
iv.). The remainder of the book consists of sixty-four leaves, 
paged 13-140. All the copies I have seen are similar, beginning 
at page 13, though none have more than two leaves of title 
and preface. They have, when perfect, a folding plate con- 
taining the figures of twelve pigeons, copied in reduced size 
from those in the large Treatise of 1765. Full-sized copies 
should measure 6fin. by 4fin. The work is compiled from the 
large Treatise, from Willughby as regards the Smiter Pigeon, 
and from writers such as Worlidge and Lisle, whose agricultural 
works refer to pigeons as farm stock. Whether the name 
Girton was a mere nom de plume, taken, as some suppose, from 
Moore's reference to " one Girton," who had a flight of Turbits 



389 PIGEON LITERATURE. 

that would mount almost as high as Tumblers, or the actual 
name of the compiler, cannot now be determined. The history 
of the book I imagine to be something like this: The large 
Treatise was probably too dear for the majority of pigeon 
fanciers, and the first form, at 2s. 6d., was published, to be 
succeeded by the second, at 2s. These are both so extremely 
scarce that not many copies can have been issued. The third 
form, at Is. 6d., seems to have been more successful, as it is 
not uncommon. 

The book was probably printed about 1770, and issued, with 
its various title-pages, from that date till about 1780. Alex. 
Hogg, the publisher, dealt in remainders, and probably pur- 
chased the unsold copies of the first form, issuing them with 
new title-pages. 

(4.) "THE COMPLETE PIGEON FANCIER; OR, A NEW 
TREATISE ON DOMESTIC PIGEONS. By Daniel Girton, of the 
County of Bucks. London : Printed for Alexander Hogg, No. 
16, Pater-noster Row. Price only Is. 6d." 

This edition, with the same folding plate of twelve pigeons, 
is a verbatim reprint of the preceding, page for page, the leaves 
also being numbered 13-140. The probable date of issue was 
from 1780-90. 

(5.) "THE NEW AND COMPLETE PIGEON FANCIER; OR, 
MODERN TREATISE ON DOMESTIC PIGEONS. By Daniel 
Girton, Esq., of the County of Bucks. A New Edition, Revised 
and Improved by Mr. ~W. Thompson, Author of 'The New 
and Complete Bird Fancier.' London : Printed by S. Couch- 
man, Throgmorton Street, for Alex. Hogg and Co., at the 
King's Arms, No. 16, Paternoster Row. Price only One Shilling 
and Sixpence." 

This form, illustrated with the same folding plate of twelve 
pigeons, is an abridged edition of the preceding, in smaller 
type. The preface is on the back of the title-page ; the second 
leaf contains a list of " Contents," and the paging is 5-64. The 
last page contains an advertisement of the " Treatise on the 



390 FANCY PIGEONS. 



Almond Tumbler/' by "W. P. Windus, which was published in 
1802. The date of issue of this edition was probably about 1805. 

T. Ward, a London bird-dealer, "at the Sell and Bird- 
Cage, the corner of Silver Street, in Wood Street, near Cripple- 
gate," published early in last century a little book on song birds, 
which, he says in the preface, is the first of its kind " wholly 
treating thereof." The copy in my possession is entitled, " THE 
BIRD-FANCIER'S RECREATION : BEING CURIOUS REMARKS ON 
THE NATURE OF SONG BIRDS. Third Edition, London, 1735." 
Many editions of this little book were published by Hogg to- 
wards the end of last century, under the title of the " New and 
Complete Bird Fancier ; or, Bird-Fancier's Recreation and 
Delight, by Mr. Wm. Thompson, late Gardener to the Duke of 
Ancaster, and Author of the 'New Gardener's Chronicle.'" 
Although his name is on the title-page of many editions of 
both "Complete Bird and Pigeon Fanciers," this Thompson 
had nothing to do in the composition of either. 

(6.) "THE NEW AND COMPLETE PIGEON-FANCIER; OR, 
MODERN TREATISE ON DOMESTIC PIGEONS. By Daniel 
Girton, Esq., of the County of Bucks. A New Edition, Re- 
vised and Improved by Mr. W. Thompson. London : Printed 
by Rider and Weed, Little Britain, for Hogg and Co., No. 16, 
Paternoster Row. Price only One Shilling and Sixpence." 

This contains folding plate, title-page, and preface on first 
leaf, contents on second, and pages 1-56. It is a reprint of 
No. 5, and the date may be about 1810. 

(7.) "THE NEW AND COMPLETE PIGEON-FANCIER; OR, 
MODERN TREATISE ON DOMESTIC PIGEONS. By Daniel 
Girton, Esq., of the County of Bucks. A New Edition, Re- 
vised and Improved by Mr. W. Thompson. London : Printed 
by Weed and Rider, Little Britain, for H. Hogg, No. 16, 
Paternoster Row. Price only One Shilling and Sixpence." 

This contains folding plate (a very worn impression); title- 
page; preface, one leaf (iii., iv.); contents, one leaf (v., vi.); and 
pages 1-66. Descriptions of several foreign wild doves have 



391 PIGEON LITERATURE. 

been added to previous editions, and the date, from the type, 
appears to be 1810-20. While No. 6 was printed by Rider 
and Weed, this edition was by Weed and Rider. 

(8.) "THE NEW AND COMPLETE PIGEON-FANCIER; OR, 
MODERN TREATISE ON DOMESTIC PIGEONS. By Daniel 
Girton, Esq., of the County of Bucks. A New Edition, Re- 
vised and Improved by Mr. "W". Thompson. London : Printed 
for T. Kelly, 17, Paternoster-Bow. Price only One Shilling." 

This edition was printed at Maidstone, by W. Hill, printer, 
Bank Street, and has the folding plate of twelve pigeons, 
which had been re-touched; and it has a second plate of 
"Improved Pigeon-Houses and Nest Apparatus, by Dr. Dick- 
son, copied by permission from his ' Live Stock and Cattle 
Management,' " a work first published in 1805. It contains 
title-page ; preface, one leaf (iii., iv.) ; contents (v., vi.) ; pages 
1-60, and is a reprint of No. 7, apparently printed about 
1820-30. 

(9.) "THE NEW AND COMPLETE PIGEON-FANCIER; OR, 
MODERN TREATISE ON DOMESTIC PIGEONS. Printed and 
Published by J. Bailey, 188, Fleet Street." The probable date 
of this might be found from an old London Directory. A 
publisher of same name issued "The Young Sportsman's 
Pocket Companion," from 116, Chancery Lane. 

(10.) "THE PIGEON-FANCIER, London: Printed and Pub- 
lished by W. Mason, 21, Clerkenwell Green." Plate of six 
pigeons, copied from Girton. This is Girton cut down to 
thirty-six pages. About 1820. 

(11.) "THE COMPLETE PIGEON-FANCIER. London: Orlando 
Hodgson, Cloth Fair." Coloured plate of six pigeons, copied 
from Girton; twenty-four pages small type. An exact reprint 
of- No. 10. One of a series of sixpenny pamphlets, green paper 
cover. About 1830. 

(12.) " THE PIGEON AND BIRD-FANCIER. Derby : Published 
by Thomas Richardson. Simpkin, Marshall, and Co., London ; 
S. Horsey, Portsea." Twenty-four pages small type, half on 



392 FANCY PIGEONS. 



pigeons, half on cage birds. An abridgment of No. 10. About 
1840. 

I daresay other editions of this manual, which appears to 
have been in good demand for three-quarters of a century, 
may yet be found. Small pamphlets in paper covers are apt 
to be thrown aside and destroyed; hence their scarcity. The 
earlier editions are generally found bound, often with other 
small books, in the same volume, and are not nearly so scarce 
as the later ones. 

Short descriptions of fancy pigeons, taken from authors 
mentioned, may be found in many works published in the 
eighteenth century, such as ALBIN'S " HISTORY OF BIRDS," 
"THE COMPLETE SPORTSMAN," "DICTIONARY OF COUNTRY 
AFFAIRS," "THE COUNTRY GENTLEMAN'S BEST GUIDE," and 
"THE SPORTSMAN'S DICTIONARY." "THE NEW FOUNDLING 
HOSPITAL FOR WIT," vol. vi., 1784, contains some amusing 
verses on fancy pigeons. 

(1.) "A NEW AND COMPLEAT TREATISE ON THE ART OF 

BREEDING AND MANAGING THE ALMOND TUMBLER. London: 
Printed for the Author by W. Williams, No. 35, Chancery 
Lane. Price Seven Shillings. 1802." 

(2.) " A NEW AND COMPLEAT TREATISE ON THE ART OF 
BREEDING AND MANAGING THE ALMOND TUMBLER. London: 
Printed for the Author by W. Williams, No. 35, Chancery Lane. 
Price Five Shillings. 1802." 

(3.) "A NEW AND COMPLEAT TREATISE ON THE ART OF 
BREEDING AND MANAGING THE ALMOND TUMBLER. By an 
Old Fancier, and a Member of the Columbarian Society, held 
at the Queen's Head Tavern, Holborn. London: Printed for 
Alex. Hogg and Co., at the King's Arms, No. 16, Paternoster- 
Bow. Price 4s., in extra Boards." 

These are three forms of the same imprint, full-sized, uncut 
copies of which should measure 8in. by 5fin. Frontispiece of 
an Almond Tumbler, coloured. Title-page, one leaf. Dedi- 
cation to the Gentlemen of the Columbarian Society, four 



393 



PIGEON LITERATURE. 



leaves (i.-virj.), and pages 9-104. No. 3 has an extra leaf 
following the title-page, containing advertisements of Hogg's 
" Complete Bird and Pigeon Fanciers " on one side, and 
" Contents of this Work " on the other. The author was 
"W. P. Windus, a solicitor in London, who says in the book 
he had been a fancier of Almond Tumblers for ten or twelve 
years. He continued in the fancy for some time, for I have 
a circular letter signed by him in 1813, which I found in aC 
copy of his book which belonged to " Thomas Garle, jun., 
1809," who, with his father, was long connected with the 
Columbarian Society. The circular is partly engraved, the 
portion I print in italics being in the autograph of Mr. 
Windus. It is headed by an engraving of an Almond 
Tumbler, of which I give a copy (Fig. 17). 




FIG. 17. 

Sir, You are requested to Dine with the Colombarians, on Tuesday 
next, the 7th of Deer., at four o'clock precisely, to declare Birds, to 
choose Committee, President, and Deputy, and to audit accounts. 
Yours, &c., W. P. WINDUS, Secy. 

2d Deer., 1813. 



394 FANCY PIGEONS. 

With the above I also found a card, of which the following 
is a copy: 

Colomberian Society Meetings, 
Queen's Head Tavern, 

Holborn, 

rhe first Wednesday in the following months : 
February Shew Day 
April 
June 
August 
October 
December 

J. BEADSHAW, 

President. 

The sketch heading the circular was probably etched by 
Jas. "Ward, R.A., himself; it bears his initials. There is a 
portrait of an Almond Tumbler by him in the Sporting 
Magazine of the year 1808; and there is another, which I 
have, in the Sporting Magazine for March, 1825, from a 
painting by him, the description of which is as follows : 

This bird was sister to a famous pigeon called Columbine, and 
was bred (we believe) from birds of Mr. Parry's, by French Stevens, 
about the year 1803, who sold her to Richard Latham, Esq., in whose 
possession she remained some time, during which Edward Whitehead 
offered him thirty guineas for her. She was one of the most perfect 
birds of her day, and her family having been successfully continued, 
has contributed most essentially to the perfection of the present breed ; 
and, notwithstanding the pains that have been taken in the rearing of 
this breed of pigeons by several amateurs, the feathers of the specimen 
we lay before our readers have not been surpassed in the present race 
of Almond Tumblers. We believe she was afterwards in the possession 
of Sir John Sebright, or Lord Heathfield. The portrait was painted for 
E. Latham, Esq., by his valued friend, James Ward, E.A. 

In the Gentleman's Magazine for 1792, page 1152, there is a 
notice of the marriage of Mr. W. P. Windus. 

There is no edition of the "Treatise on the Almond Tum- 
bler" dated 1804, as stated by Eaton. The edition by Hogg, 



395 PIGEON LITERATURE. 

who bought the remainder, is not uncommon. The author's 
editions, especially the seven-shilling one, are very scarce. He 
probably disposed of very few copies. 

(1.) "A TREATISE ON DOMESTIC POULTRY, PIGEONS, ANI> 
BABBITS. By Bonington Moubray, Esq. London, 1815." 
12mo. Pages i.-viii., and 1-218. 

This was written by John Lawrence, author of veterinary, 
agricultural, and sporting works, under the assumed name of 
" Moubray." He was also author of " British Field Sports," 
and "The Sportsman's Repository," published under the 
assumed name of "W. H. Scott," as I found in an edition of 
his " Treatise on Horses," where he lays claim to these works. 

He says in the preface: "I may presume to style myself 
practical, since I have throughout my life been a breeder and 
keeper, and also an amateur of domestic poultry, pigeons, 
and rabbits ; " also that he had kept a Stud Book for his 
poultry and pigeons. He gives a very good account of the 
way to keep and breed pigeons ; but, having kept them chiefly 
for the table, his remarks are of little interest to fanciers. 
He refers to "The Treatise on Pigeons, 1765," as the best 
authority he knew of, and says: "The only breeds which I 
have kept, exclusive of the Common, were Tumblers, Horsemen, 
Carriers, Turtles, Dragoons (commonly called Dragons), and 
Bunts." Being for some years the only book of its kind, 
this work had an extensive sale, and went through nine 
editions, gradually enlarged, before 1850. 

(2.) " MOUBRAY'S TREATISE ON DOMESTIC AND ORNA- 
MENTAL POULTRY." New Edition (the Tenth), Bevised and 
greatly Enlarged by L. A. Meall. London, 1854." 8vo. 
Coloured plates. Pages i.-viii., and 1-504. About fifty-five 
pages are devoted to pigeons, and a good deal of information 
is given regarding the principal fancy breeds. The com- 
piler was acquainted with Eaton's and Brent's writings. The 
correct origin of the name "Turbit" is here given for the 
first time, I believe. 



396 FANCY PIGEONS. 

(1.) "THE BOY'S OWN BOOK: A COMPLETE ENCYCLOPEDIA 

OF ALL THE DIVERSIONS OF BOYHOOD AND YOUTH. Tenth 

Edition. Pp. 462. London: Yizetelly, Branston, & Co., 
Fleet Street. 1835." 

(2.) " THE LITTLE BOY'S OWN BOOK OF SPORTS AND 
PASTIMES. London : David Bogue, 86, Fleet Street." No 
date (published 1854). 

(3.) "THE BOY'S OWN BOOK: A COMPLETE ENCYCLOPEDIA 
OF SPORTS AND PASTIMES. A New Edition, Revised and En- 
larged. Pp. 696. London: Lockwood & Co. 1868." 

The description of fancy pigeons in the various editions 
of " The Boy's Own Book " appears to have been edited by a 
practical fancier, for although evidently inspired by "Daniel 
Girton, of the County of Bucks," there are a few original 
observations added. A chapter on pigeon lofts and traps, 
nicely illustrated, is new, and the pretty woodcuts were in 
several instances drawn from birds in the possession of 
London fanciers. All editions are beautifully printed, and 
illustrated with charming vignettes, and must have been a 
source of enjoyment to many. I cannot trace the date or 
publisher of the first edition. 

" THE LITTLE BOY'S OWN BOOK. By Augustus Goodf ellow. 
"With Sixty Illustrations. London : George Goodfellow, Strand." 
Small square 8vo, fancy boards. This differs from the pre- 
vious volume of same title, being printed on 184 pages, in 
large type. The account of pigeons, taken from Girton, 
occupies pages 103-140, and the woodcuts of them are the 
same as those in J. Rogers' "Pigeon Fancier's Guide" (1844), 
to be afterwards noticed. 

" THE POULTRY AND PIGEON KEEPER'S COMPANION. 
London: G. Purkess, 286, Strand, "W.C." A small pamphlet 
of thirty-six pages, in yellow paper covers, published probably 
about 1855. Small woodcut illustrations. The pigeon part is 
abridged from Girton. 

"THE YOUNG ANGLER, NATURALIST, AND PIGEON AND 



397 PIGEON LITERATURE. 



BABBIT FANCIER. Ninety-eight illustrations. London: Rout- 
ledge, Warne, and Boutledge. 1860." 12mo. 124 pages, cloth 
gilt. The description and illustrations of pigeons, occupying 
pages 69-86, are from "The Boy's Own Book." 

"THE NATURAL HISTORY OF PIGEONS. By Prideaux John 
Selby. Edinburgh, 1835." Thirty-two coloured plates, 8vo, 
228 pages. One of the volumes of "Jardine's Naturalist's 
Library," chiefly on wild pigeons or doves; contains a short 
account of domestic pigeons, drawn chiefly from Boitard and 
Corbie's work, published at Paris, 1824. The argument in 
favour of the Blue Bock being the progenitor of all tame 
pigeons is clearly stated. 

"BEES, PIGEONS, BABBITS, AND THE CANARY BIRD FAMI- 
LIARLY DESCRIBED. By Peter Boswell, Greenlaw. Glasgow: 
W. B. McPhun; London: Hall, Arnold, & Co. 1840. Price One 
Shilling." The author, who also published a manual on poultry, 
seems to have had an acquaintance with some previous works 
on pigeons, but in his brief description there is nothing new 
on the subject. The book is a small one of 117 pages, in 
green paper cover, and is now scarce. It was reprinted in 
America, in 1842, by Wiley & Putnam, New York ; and also 
in London, in 1852, by Boutledge. 

(!.)"THE PIGEON FANCIER'S GUIDE: A COMPLETE DIREC- 
TORY FOR THE PROPER TREATMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF 
FANCY AND OTHER PIGEONS. By James Bogers. London : 
Thomas Dean & Co., Threadneedle Street. Price One Shilling. 
.., The Second Edition, Enlarged and much Improved." This has a 
folding plate containing figures of seven pigeons, mostly from 
Girton, and a pole locker. Other cuts are scattered through 
the book, which is nicely printed on sixty- eight pages. It 
may be called a compilation from Girton. Bogers was a 
pigeon and bird dealer in the City Boad, London; and I 
remember, when on my way from school at Taunton, to Scotland, 
in the year 1857, standing entranced at Bogers' shop, looking 
at his pigeons and lockers, of which latter he was a builder. 



398 FANCY PIGEONS. 

I induced my father, who was with me, to buy me a pair of 
blue Turbits and a pair of black Jacobins. Several hundreds 
of pairs were descended from the Turbits, which bred in-and-in 
for fifteen years without any of the bad results which are 
generally supposed to follow such a course. According to the 
London Catalogue of Books, Rogers' " Pigeon Fancier's Guide " 
was published in 1844. 

(2.) "THE PIGEON KEEPER. By James Rogers. Seventh 
Edition. London: Dean & Son, Ludgate Hill." This has 
no date, but was published in 1860, at 6d., in paper covers. 
It is an exact reprint, on forty-four pages, of "The Pigeon 
Fancier's Guide," but has no folding plate. 

(3.) " PIGEONS: How TO REAR, BREED, AND KEEP. By 
James Rogers. New Edition, Revised by F. Crook, Esq. 
32 pages. London: Dean & Son, E.G." A third form of 
Rogers' book; no date, but published in 1880, at 6d., in 
illustrated paper covers. The arrangement slightly altered, 
and a few additions by Mr. Crook. 

(4.) "POULTRY AND PIGEONS. By J. Moffat and J. Rogers. 
Revised by F. Crook, Esq. With Oil-colour Illustrations. 
London : Dean & Son, Ludgate Hill." Two of Dean's pamphlets, 
issued in one volume, with the oil-colour plates from Meall's 
1854 Edition of "Moubray" added. The pigeon part is the 
same as No. 3. No date, but published in 1880. 

"OuR DOMESTIC FOWLS AND SONG BIRDS. By W. C. L. 
Martin. London." No' date (published 1847). 16mo. The 
author, who devotes about thirty-eight pages to "The Colum- 
bine, or Pigeon Group," acknowledges that he was "not of 
the fancy ; " but he writes in a sensible way of the origin of 
domestic pigeons, and gives a good account of the uses of 
Carrier pigeons, from various authentic sources. 

"THE PIGEON FANCIER'S ASSISTANT: CONTAINING PLAIN 
DIRECTIONS FOR BREEDING AND REARING EVERY DESCRIP- 
TION OF FANCY PIGEON. By G. Bignold, Dog, Rabbit, and 
Pigeon Breeder and Dealer, Leadenhall Market, London. 



399 PIGEON LITERATURE. 

London: 1848." This is another variation of Girton, on 
thirty-two pages, with a few cuts in the style of those 
in "The Boy's Own Book." It is paged 33-64, has a 
yellow paper cover, and was probably the second part of a 
larger pamphlet which contained information on Dogs or 
Rabbits. 

"DOMESTIC PETS: THEIR HABITS AND MANAGEMENT. By 
Mrs. London. London, 1851." 162 pages. The sixteen pages 
devoted to pigeons contain nothing of special interest. The 
book contains four woodcuts by Harrison Weir, in his best 
style, of Dogs, Cats, Rabbits, and Birds. 

(1.) "THE DOVECOTE AND THE AVIARY. By Rev. E. S. 
Dixon, M.A., Author of 'Ornamental and Domestic Poultry.' 
Woodcuts. London: John Murray, Albemarle Street. 1851." 
8vo. Pages i.-xiv., and 1-458. 

(2.) "THE DOVECOTE AND THE AVIARY. By Rev. E. S. 
Dixon, M.A. London: Wm. S. Orr & Co." 

These are the same impression, No. 2 differing only in title- 
page, being issued by Orr & Co. after purchasing the remainder 
from Murray. The author, who writes from Cringleford 
Hall, Norwich, displays great research, and writes in a very 
entertaining way. He treats pigeons more from a naturalist's 
than from a critical fancier's point of view; but the book has 
a charm of its own, and should be in the libraries of all pigeon 
fanciers. 

(3.) "PIGEONS AND RABBITS IN THEIR WlLD, DOMESTIC, 

AND CAPTIVE STATES. By E. Sabastian Delamer. Illustra- 
tions. London : G. Routledge & Co., 1854." 8vo. Pages i.-vij., 
and 1-151. 

This book, as regards pigeons, is an abridgment of the 
account of them in " The Dovecote and the Aviary." The name 
" Delamer " was a nom de plume assumed by Mr. Dixon when 
residing on the sea coast. The work must have had a con- 
siderable sale, for many editions have been published. I have 
six of them, all differing slightly, if only in the character of 



400 FANCY PIGEONS. 



the type on title-page. The woodcuts are by Harrison Weir. 
The first edition, dated 1854 late editions have no date 
was my first pigeon book, purchased, as I see from the date 
on it, in October, 1854. I saw it in a bookseller's window 
one day when trudging home from school, and began to save 
up immediately for its acquisition. I soon had it by heart, 
and such passages as " Tumblers, saith Willughby, are small, 
and of divers colours; they have strange motions, turning 
themselves backward over their head, and show like footballs 
in the air," are indelibly imprinted on my memory. 

(4.) " PIGEON KEEPING. By E. Sabastian Delamer. London : 
George Routledge & Sons. Ninety-four pages." No date (pub- 
lished 1885). This is merely the pigeon part of " Pigeons and 
Babbits," printed from the stereotype plates. It has no 
illustrations. 

(1.) "A TREATISE ON THE ART OP BREEDING AND MANAG- 
ING THE ALMOND TUMBLER. By John Matthews Eaton. 
Published for the Author, 7, Islington Green, London. 1851." 
Large 8vo. Pages i.-vj., and 7-50. Coloured Plate of Almond 
Tumbler, by Dean Wolstenholme. 

(2.) "A TREATISE ON THE ART OF BREEDING AND MANAG- 
ING TAME, DOMESTIC, AND FANCY PIGEONS. By John 
Matthews Eaton. Published for, and to be obtained of, the 
Author, 7, Islington Green, London. 1852." Large 8vo. Pages 
i.-xxij., 23-88 ; i.-vj., 7-50 ; i.-viij., or 146 in all. Coloured 
Plate of Almond Tumbler by Dean Wolstenholme. 

(3.) "A SET OP Six LIFE -SIZE COLOURED PORTRAITS OP 
PIGEONS, viz., THE ALMOND, BLACK-MOTTLED, BALDHEAD, 
AND BEARD TUMBLERS, CARRIER, AND POUTER. From Paint- 
ings by Dean Wolstenholme. Published by J. M. Eaton, 7, 
Islington Green, London, Dec. 8, 1852." 

(4.) "A TREATISE ON THE ART OF BREEDING AND 
MANAGING TAME, DOMESTICATED, FOREIGN, AND FANCY 
PIGEONS. By John Matthews Eaton. Published for, and 
to be obtained of, the Author, 81, Upper Street, Islington Green, 



401 PIGEON LITERATURE. 



London, N. 1858." Large 8vo. Pages i.-xix., 20-200. Thirty 
coloured Portraits of Pigeons by Dean Wolstenholme. 

(5.) "A SET OF Six LIFE-SIZE COLOURED PORTRAITS OF 
PIGEONS, viz. : THE FANTAIL, JACOBIN, OWL, TURBIT, TRUM- 
PETER, AND BARB. From Paintings by Dean "Wolstenholme. 
Published by J. M. Eaton, 81, Upper Street, Islington, London, 
Oct. 16, 1860." 

(6.) "A NEW AND IMPROVED COLOURED DIAGRAM, OR A 
PLAN OF BUILDING OR FITTING UP A PIGEONARY, EMBEL- 
LISHED WITH TUMBLERS, POUTERS, AND CARRIERS. Pub- 
lished by J. M. Eaton, London." 

Eaton was an enthusiastic fancier of the Short-faced Tumbler, 
and the above list of his publications shows how much he 
contributed to spread knowledge concerning fancy pigeons in 
general. Dean "Wolstenholme, who illustrated these works, 
was also a fancier; he was born at Waltham Abbey, in 1798, 
the son of an artist of the same name well known for his 
pictures of sporting subjects, coloured prints of which may 
sometimes be found in London print shops. Eaton informs 
his readers in his work on the Almond that he was indebted 
to a former work on the subject, but he does not indicate 
what is his own and what he has copied out of the Treatise 
by Windus published in 1802, he having reprinted a con- 
siderable part of that work. Having obtained a copy of 
Moore's "Columbarium," after spending pounds and years 
searching for it, as he informs his readers, Eaton reprinted it 
in 1852, taking it as the text of his Treatise on Pigeons, and 
adding footnotes by himself and others. As will be seen from 
the pagination of No. 2, the latter half of the book is merely 
made up from the unsold copies of the treatise on the Almond, 
bound up with the reprint of Moore. 

The six life-size portraits of pigeons (No. 3), and the diagram 
(No. 6) also, were, I believe, originally published by Dean 
Wolstenholme, on his own account, in 1834. He sold the 
plates to Eaton, who republished them in 1852. 

2 M 



402 FANCY PIGEONS. 

Eaton's 1858 Treatise, containing in all 200 pages, and thirty 
coloured illustrations of pigeons, two of which (the Almond 
Tumbler) are identical, includes the whole of his previous writ- 
ings, together with additional information on the subject, 
taken chiefly from Brent's articles on pigeons. It is an epitome 
of what had previously been published in this country on the 
subject. Eaton sets all rules of grammar and composition at 
defiance, introduces irrelevant anecdotes, and tells them in a 
rambling fashion; but there is no doubt his book is a most 
entertaining and instructive one. I believe the author was 
once in good business as a tailor at Islington ; but his latter 
days were sadly clouded with misfortune. In 1862, I found 
liim keeping a pigeon shop in the City Road. A circular he 
used to send to secretaries of shows, to induce them to order 
copies of his books and pigeon portraits, which were some- 
times given as prizes, is a great curiosity. The copy I have 
is lithographed, from his own peculiar cramped handwriting, 
on two-and-a-half leaves of paper 15in. by 6in. It is an 
amusing production, and the space for the date and address 
is filled up by himself: "Monday, 18th Dec., 1865. To the 
Right Worshipful the Mayor of Cork. May your Show be 
crowned with success." 

(1.) "THE PIGEON BOOK; WHEREIN ALL THE KNOWN 
VARIETIES OP THE DOMESTIC PIGEON ARE DESCRIBED AND 
CLASSIFIED. By B. P. Brent. London: Cottage Gardener 
Office, 162, Fleet Street." Small 8vo, 114 pages. No date 
(about 1860). 

(2.) "THE PIGEON BOOK: CONTAINING THE DESCRIPTION 
AND CLASSIFICATION OF ALL THE KNOWN VARIETIES OF 
THE DOMESTIC PIGEON. By B. P. Brent. Second Edition. 
London : Journal of Horticulture and Cottage Gardener Office, 
171, Fleet Street." 114 pages. No date (about 1865). 

(3.) "THE PIGEON BOOK: CONTAINING THE DESCRIPTION 
AND CLASSIFICATION OF ALL THE KNOWN VARIETIES OF 
THE DOMESTIC PIGEON. By B. P. Brent. Third Edition. 



403 PIGEON LITERATURE. 

London : Journal of Horticulture and Cottage Gardener Office." 
114 pages. No date (published 1871). 

The three editions of Brent's book appear to be printed 
from the same stereotype plates. Nos. 2 and 3 only differ 
from No. 1 in having a few lines of additional matter on 
p. 112, entitled "New Varieties." The author resided for 
some time on the Continent, and was the first fancier who 
published good descriptions of French and German varieties, 
which appeared in the pages of the Poultry Chronicle (1854-5) 
and Cottage Gardener. Most of the woodcuts in the "Pigeon 
Book" were first published in the Cottage Gardener, during 
1850-2, accompanying a translation of Boitard and Corbie's 
" Les Pigeons de Voliere et de Colombier," Paris, 1824, which 
was probably done by Brent, and they are copied, though not 
improved in the process, from those in that book. Brent 
was not only an ardent pigeon fancier, but had a good know- 
ledge of poultry, cage birds, and all pet stock. 

"HOME PETS. London: S. O. Beeton, 248, Strand, W.C." 
This work was first published in fortnightly parts, com- 
mencing 1st September, 1861. Parts 12 and 13, issued in 
1862, each containing thirty-two pages, treat of pigeons. The 
name of the compiler is unknown to me, but Brent and 
Dixon are his chief authorities. The illustrations consist of 
a coloured plate and various neat vignettes by Harrison "Weir. 

" OUR FEATHERED FAMILIES : GAME AND WATER, BIRDS ; 
TO WHICH IS ADDED A PRACTICAL CHAPTER ON DOVES AND 
PIGEONS. By H. G. Adams. London: James Hogg & Sons." 
No date (published 1863). 

The appendix to this work (pages 315-340) consists of an 
account of fancy pigeons gathered from Dixon's "Dovecote 
and Aviary." 

" PIGEONS : THEIR STRUCTURE, VARIETIES, HABITS, AND 
MANAGEMENT. By W. B. Tegetmeier, F.Z.S. With Coloured 
Representations of the Different Varieties, Drawn from Life 
by Harrison Weir. London : George Boutledge & Sons. 1868." 



404 FANCY PIGEONS. 

This work was first issued in eight monthly shilling parts, 
each containing two coloured plates and woodcuts, and then 
as above, in one volume, imp. 8vo, pp. 190. The second 
edition, also in monthly shilling parts, was published from 
June, 1873, to January, 1874. The book is still being issued 
by the publishers, but without a date. The author, the well- 
known naturalist and pigeon fancier, says in the preface: "In 
compiling the following pages the Editor has endeavoured to 
produce a Treatise that should not only furnish the amateur 
of pigeons with a greater amount of practical information on 
the different varieties than is to be found in any previous 
volume, but also to treat the whole subject in a more 
scientific manner than has hitherto been attempted." 

" THE VARIATION OF ANIMALS AND PLANTS UNDER 
DOMESTICATION. By Charles Darwin, M.A., F.R.S., &c. 
2 vols., 8vo. London: John Murray, Albemarle Street. 1868." 

The great naturalist refers extensively to domestic pigeons, 
and explains the experiments he made in breeding different 
kinds together for the purpose of satisfying himself that 
they all had a common origin. His book contains a great 
amount of information most interesting to the pigeon fancier. 
He refers to a Persian Treatise on Pigeons written by Sayzid 
Mohammed Musari, who died in 1770, which Sir Walter Elliot 
discovered when in Madras, and of which he sent him a 
translation. I applied to Mr. Darwin for leave to copy this 
Treatise, but he replied that he was unable to find it in his 
library, and feared that, as it was in loose sheets, it had been 
mislaid. I then wrote to Sir Walter Elliot, asking him if he 
still had the original in Persian. He informed me it was 
lost, with his library, on the voyage home. 

(1.) " PIGEONS: THEIR VARIETIES, MANAGEMENT, BREED- 
ING, AND DISEASES. By Hugh Piper. London: Groombridge 
& Sons, 5, Paternoster Row. 1871." Small 8vo, 64 pages. 
Coloured plate of seven varieties of pigeons. 

(2.) "PIGEONS: THEIR VARIETIES, MANAGEMENT, BREED- 



405 PIGEON LITERATURE. 

ING, AND DISEASES. By Hugh Piper. London : Groombridge 
& Sons." No date. Coloured plate. Blue paper cover. Issued 
by Wm. F. Clay, 2, Teviot Place, Edinburgh. Published 1881. 

(3.) " POULTRY AND PlGEONS : THEIR VARIETIES, MANAGE- 
MENT, BREEDING, AND DISEASES. By Hugh Piper. London : 
Groombridge & Sons, Paternoster Row, 1885." Coloured plate 
of poultry only. Paged 1-64 and 1-64. 

This is a handy little book, compiled from Dixon, Brent, 
Tegetmeier, and others. The pigeon part in No. 3 is printed 
from the same stereotypes as Nos. 1 and 2. 

"THE ILLUSTRATED BOOK OP PIGEONS, WITH STANDARDS 
FOR JUDGING. By Robert Fulton. Edited by Lewis Wright. 
Illustrated with Fifty Coloured Plates from Paintings by J. 
W. Ludlow. Cassell, Petter, & Galpin, London, Paris, and 
New York." No date. 4to. Pages i-viij., and 1-392. 

The publication of this fine work commenced in 1874, and 
extended over two years, being completed in twenty-five 
monthly shilling parts. It was then issued, as a complete 
volume, in 1876. It has been re-published, both in parts and 
in complete form, but the coloured plates of the first edition 
are much superior to those in later issues. Since the book 
was written many varieties of domestic pigeons existing in 
various countries throughout the world have become known 
which are not mentioned in it; but, so far as it goes, the 
subject is treated in an exhaustive way. 

"THE PRACTICAL PIGEON KEEPER. By Lewis "Wright. 
Cassell, Petter, Galpin, & Co., London." No date (published 
1879). Pages i.-viii., and 1-232, 8vo. This book, by the editor 
of Fulton's work, is a useful one for the young fancier. It is 
illustrated by pretty woodcuts, which had previously appeared 
in a German work by Baldamus. They are mostly copied 
from Fulton's coloured plates. 

"THE POUTER PIGEON. By Capt. Norman Hill. Also a 
Report of the Committee appointed to draw up a Standard of 
the Pouter. 1882." Octavo, 16 pages. One of the standards 



406 FANCY PIGEONS. 

drawn up by the National Peristeronic Society of London ; 
others already issued include the Carrier, Dragoon, and Eastern 
Frilled varieties. When completed, these standards might be 
issued in book form by the Society, but they are not 
printed uniformly. 

"How TO BREED, BEAR, AND TRAIN THE MACCLESFIELD 
TIPPLER AND THE HIGH-FLYING TUMBLER PIGEON. By 
G. Smith, Nottingham. 1883." 58 pages; 4in. by 2fin. 
This little book contains practical information on the sub- 
ject of High-flying Tumblers, how to train and feed them 
so that they may fly, as they do, for as long as ten to 
twelve hours at a stretch. There seems to be nothing new, for I 
have a copy of a Persian manuscript that was found in Delhi 
which gives various recipes, such as the following : " To make 
pigeons soar high and fast, and good tumblers during flight ; " 
" A drink to make pigeons soar high ; " " For curing asthma 
in pigeons," a recipe by Meer Bukar Ali, who was also author 
of recipes for making Bulbuls and Quails fight well. Had 
our old friend, " egregious Moore," " author of the celebrated 
worm-powder," been born a subject of the Great Mogul, he 
would have been an adept at this kind of thing. 

" PIGEONS ; an Essay delivered before the Tunbridge Wells 
Ornithological Society by O. E. Cresswell, Esq., on October 3rd, 
1883. Tunbridge Wells." Small 8vo, 16 pages. 

"PIGEONS FOR EXHIBITION AND PROFIT. London: J. & 
B. Maxwell." 8vo, 32 pages. Woodcuts; coloured wrapper. 
Published 1884. 

" THE MANAGEMENT OF PIGEONS." Small pamphlet, 16 
pages; coloured wrapper. Printed by Alex. Boyle, London, 
1881. 

"OuR FANCY PIGEONS, AND RAMBLING NOTES OF A 
NATURALIST. By George Ure, Dundee. 1886." The author 
repeats, with variations, the accounts of the Pouter and Fantail 
"he wrote for Fulton's "Pigeon Book," and gives a description 
of his early experience and fancier friends. 



407 PIGEON LITERATURE. 

"THE PLEASURES OP A PIGEON FANCIER. By the Rev. 
J. Lucas. London: Sampson Low & Co., 1886." This work, 
by a London clergyman, has just been announced. I have not 
seen it. 

To render the foregoing list of books on pigeons as complete 
as possible, I here give the dates of publication of my own work 
on the subject. 

(1.) " FANCY PIGEONS " was originally published in the 
pages of the Bazaar, Exchange and Mart, from November, 
1878, to June, 1881. 

(2.) In eleven monthly parts, commencing June, 1880. 

(3.) In book form, 8vo, pp. 330. London : The Bazaar Office, 
170, Strand, W.C. 1881. 

(4.) Second Edition, 8vo, pp. 348. London: L. Upcott Gill, 
170, Strand, W.C. 1883. 

(5.) Second Edition, in eleven monthly parts, commencing 
March, 1884. 

(6.) Third Edition, in monthly parts, with coloured plates, 
commencing September, 1885. 

Books on Homing Pigeons. 

"THE HOMING, OR CARRIER PIGEON (LE PIGEON YOYA- 
GETJR): ITS HISTORY, GENERAL MANAGEMENT, AND METHOD 
OF TRAINING. By W. B. Tegetmeier, F.Z.S. London: George 
Routledge & Sons." No date (published 1871). 8vo, 124 



" CARRIER PIGEONS. By R. W. Alldridge. 1871." 

(1.) " CARRIER PIGEONS. By Hartley and Sons, Woolwich." 
8vo, 32 pages. No date (about 1875). 

(2.) "BELGIAN HOMING PIGEONS. Second Edition (of No. 1). 
Published by the Authors, Hartley and Sons, Woolwich." 8vo, 
32 pages. No date (published 1885). 

"ON THE GENERAL TRAINING AND TREATMENT OF CAR- 
RIER PIGEONS. By G. Alsteen, Ryde." A pamphlet of 8pp., 
translated from Dr. Chapuis. (Published 1881.) 



408 FANCY PIGEONS. 

(1.) "THE BELGIAN HOMING PIGEON. By J. L. Burgess. 
8vo, 52 pages. London : Hamilton, Adams, & Co. Cirencester : 
Keyworth & Everard." No date (published 1881). 

(2.) "THE BELGIAN HOMING PIGEON. Second Edition. By 
J. L. Burgess. 8vo, 79 pages. London: Kent & Co. Ciren- 
cester: C. H. Savory." ISTo date (published 1882). 

(3.) "THE HOMING FANCIER'S ANNUAL FOR 1882. Edited 
by J. L. Burgess." 8vo, 94 pages. 

(4.) "THE HOMING FANCIER'S ANNUAL FOR 1883. Edited 
by J. L. Burgess." 8vo, 118 pages. 

"THE HOMING PIGEON FANCIER'S GUIDE. By John W. 
Logan. London : The Stock-keeper and Fancier's Chronicle 
Office." 8vo, 112 pages. Published March, 1885. 

This contains " Practical Hints on the Formation of a Loft 
of Homing Pigeons," well illustrated; Rules of the United 
Counties' Flying Club; and a List of Races for Season 1885 
(should be 1884). The author has been, during the past few 
years, one of the most prominent and influential fanciers of 
homing pigeons. 

Serial Literature. 

GARDENER, FLORIST, AND AGRICULTURALIST. Yol. iii. 
1848. This contains four chapters on fancy pigeons, illus- 
trated, on pp. 83, 121, 324, 340. 

THE COTTAGE GARDENER, commenced about 1848, now 
incorporated with the Journal of Horticulture, formerly con- 
tained much information on pigeons. A translation of Boitard 
and Corbie's work on the subject (Paris, 1824) was published 
during 1850-2. Brent wrote extensively in its pages; and, 
about 1871, a series of well- written pigeon articles, illustrated 
by Ludlow, appeared. 

THE POULTRY CHRONICLE, a weekly periodical, edited by 
Miss Watts, began on the 1st of March, 1854, and was con- 
tinued for seventy-seven weeks, the last number being pub- 
lished on 15th August, 1855, when it was incorporated with 



409 PIGEON LITERATURE. 



the Cottage Gardener. Complete sets of it, in three volumes, 
small 4to, may occasionally be met with. It is interest- 
ing as the first journal devoted entirely to the poultry and 
pigeon fancy. Under the heading of the " Columbary," the 
late Mr. Brent contributed to it many papers on fancy 
pigeons. 

THE FIELD newspaper, commenced about 1858, devoted 
considerable space to poultry and pigeons for many years, 
but latterly has left these < subjects almost entirely to the 
various periodicals that cater specially for followers of these 
fancies. 

THE POULTRY REVIEW, edited by James Long, existed 
from 21st June, 1873, to 31st December, 1874, and treated of 
poultry, pigeons, dogs, and pet stock. A complete set con- 
sists of eighty-one parts, making three vols. 4to. 

THE PIGEON, edited by Thomas M. Denne, continued weekly 
from 19th February, 1876, to 28th December, 1877; in all 
ninety-eight parts, which make a thick 4to volume. 

THE COUNTRY, a weekly periodical for fanciers, was published 
from May, 1873, to October, 1879, when it was incorporated 
with The Bazaar, Exchange and Mart. 

THE BOY'S OWN PAPER contained, in 1881, a series of 
illustrated articles on pigeons, entitled, "The Boy's Own 
Pigeon Loft and Dovecote." 

THE BAZAAR, EXCHANGE AND MART (from 1869), FANCIERS' 
GAZETTE (1874) (afterwards LIVE STOCK JOURNAL, and again 
FANCIERS' GAZETTE), FANCIERS' CHRONICLE (1879) (now 
STOCK-KEEPER and FANCIERS' CHRONICLE), POULTRY (1883), 
and THE SCOTTISH FANCIER (1884), are the periodicals 
presently (October, 1886) being issued in this country for dog, 
pigeon, poultry, and other pet stock fanciers. 

Foreign Literature. 

The quantity of foreign pigeon literature in existence is so 
extensive that I would not attempt to give a detailed list of 

2 N 



410 FANCY PIGEONS. 

it. I have in my possession over a hundred books on 
pigeons in French, German, Dutch, Italian, and Spanish. A 
considerable number of these have been published since 1870, 
and many of them are on Homing or Carrier Pigeons. A 
number of early essays on pigeons, compiled from Aldrovandi 
and other sources, and written in mediaeval Latin, were pub- 
lished in Germany from 1684 to 1751 ; but the earliest 
Continental book on fancy pigeons and poultry was written 
by M. Buchoz, the French botanist, and published in Paris 
in 1777. The influence of this book may be traced in many 
German ones published during the following half-century. 

Since Boitard and Corbie's " LES PIGEONS DE VOLIERE 
ET DE COLOMBIER " was published in Paris, in 1824, nothing 
of great interest has appeared in France till Yictor La Perre 
de Roo's recent publications. 

The principal pigeon books published in Germany are the 
" TATTBENBTJCH," Ulm, 1790; Riedel's Works, 1824; Putsche's 
"TAUBEN KATECHISMUS," 1830; Neumeister's "DAS GANZE 
DER TATJBENZUCHT," 1837 ; and the modern Works by Buhle, 
Priitz, Baldamus, Durigen, Bungartz, &c. The "MusTER- 
TAUBENBTJCH," the latest work by Priitz, now being issued, 
will be the largest book on pigeons ever published. When 
complete it will contain about 400 pages, large 4to, and eighty- 
one coloured plates, with about 200 figures of fancy pigeons. 

The Italian works by Malmusi, Martinelli, and Bonizzi, are 
chiefly on the Triganica Pigeons of Modena. 

The Dutch pigeon works are few and unimportant, excepting 
La Perre de E-oo's "POSTDTJIF"; and the only Spanish work 
I know of is a translation of some of La Perre de B-oo's 
writings on homing pigeons. 

Many poultry and pigeon journals are published in America ; 
but, with the exception of reprints of Boswell (1842), and 
Moore's " Columbarium " (1874), the only pigeon book I know of 
is " THE STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE FOR JUDGING PIGEONS/' 
compiled and illustrated with coloured plates by J. W. Ludlow, 



411 PIGEON LITERATURE. 

Birmingham, and revised by Wm. Simpson, Jim., New York, 
1879. 

A Japanese book, in six folio volumes, containing life-size 
portraits of 150 pigeons, representing each bird on one page 
facing the right, and on the accompanying page the left, 
making in all 300 pictures, drawn and coloured by hand, was 
recently offered to me by a bookseller on the Continent. After 
seeing one of the volumes, I refused to purchase the work, as 
the birds represented were merely common pigeons, differing 
from each other only in colour, but not marked with any 
degree of regularity. I have no doubt that similar works, 
representing real fancy breeds, exist in China, Persia, 
Turkestan, and India, but the difficulty is to get them. 




Conclusion, 




INCE writing about the Persian treatise on 
pigeons on page 404 I was agreeably surprised 
to learn that the work was still in existence. 
Sir Walter Elliot found a translation of it 
when arranging his papers, and sent it to 
me. The work is a practical one, treating of the breeding 
and management, and describing the varieties, of fancy pigeons 
known to the author. It also contains critical marginal notes 
by a fancier who had possessed the original. The Preface, 
written in a conventional style common in the East, inter- 
spersed with verses, may interest and amuse the British 
reader, so I transcribe it. The names Khubin and Wali are 
short names, such as Jack or Bob. The author gives his 
proper name at the end of the Preface. 

"KABUTAB, NAMAH (HISTORY OF PIGEONS). 

"In the name of God the Gracious and Merciful. 

"PREFACE. 

" When Khubin asked a love-gift from his friend, 
Wali this Treatise on the Pigeon penned. 

" Boundless praise and infinite Glorification are due to the 
Creator who hath caused the Pigeon of the human heart in 



413 CONCLUSION. 

this Dovecote (Dhabli) oil the bosom to hunger after the 
delight of seeing Him, that it might gather from the Feeding- 
court (Thatar) of his bounty the Grains of grief and care, 
and might sit in the rapture of love apart from the world 
on the Perching-place (Addah) of peace and contentment : 
and who hath then shaken the Disturbing- staff (Chipi the 
bamboo rod with flag attached) of desire that the pigeon, 
urged by the shrill whistle (Zafil) of his prompting may 
betake itself to flight : and who hath clipt the wings and the 
tail of the Decoy pigeon (Kutti) of worldly appetite, that 
sitting on the perch of amazement it may behold from afar 
the outward show of things. 

" Snatch gaily from my bird-like thought, 
The song-flowers which its sweet note brings ; 
From the soft pigeon's theme is caught 
Thy poet's joys, thy poet's wings. 

"And abundant praise to that illustrous Syed who hath well 
ranged the strange pigeons (Parghara) of devious path and 
erring flight in the bond of the followers of the Law, that they 
may no more be scattered and distracted: and who hath 
shewed the lamp of his guidance to them in the dovecote 
of recklessness and in the darkness of night, that they may 
become all trained in one system to the Circuit (Khalqa) 
of obedience ; and who hath scattered over the Feeding- ground 
(Tah) of human helplessness the Grain of high resolve to 
persevere in the course of duty till they are exercised in 
the discipline of coming and going (Bhuryan) and abstinence : 
and at length escaping from the Feeding-tray of weakness, 
they shall sport at will by the effort of divine grace ; and 
shall finally arrive at the Terrace of proximity to Him and 
taste the delight of the Sugared rice (chat used for bringing 

pigeons down) of Union. 

f 

" Whene'er my heart in fairy joys would stray, 
With gentle pigeons in rapt thought I play. 



414 FANCY PIGEONS. 

" The following pages on the diversion of Pigeon-flying form 
a treatise on the various sorts of pigeons, with an account 
of the color and character of each kind, and the method 
of training them ; being composed by Syed Mohammad Musari, 
the humble Fakeer, the dust of the feet of the travellers of 
the region of fancy : and the author hath judged it best to 
express his ideas on the subject in one introductory chapter 
and three following sections. 

" Of Pigeons Khubin bids me tell, 
Whose friendship sweetly doth compel. 
These artless pages Wall gives, 
Wherein his soul embodied lives, 
Along whose descant as it flows, 
The hue, the fragrance of the rose, 
As from a hundred bowers is shed : 
And where the feast of soul is spread, 
Each eye that scans this rich parterre, 
Unsated culls the blossoms there." 



FINIS. 



X INDEX. X> 



A. 

African owl 

Owl, fancy points of 
Age of fancy pigeons . . 

Air tumblers 

Akbar, Emperor, a pigeon 

fancier 

Albinos 

Aldrovandi's (Ulysse) " Orni 

thologia " 

Almond and blue grizzled 
runts 

Fancy points of the 

History of the 

Treatise on Breeding and 
Managing the 

Tumbler 

Altenburg trumpeter . . . 

Altstammer, die 

Ancestor of fancy pigeons 
Ancient, German ... . ... 

Annatalozia pigeon 
Antiquity of pigeon shows 
Antwerp carrier 

Carrier, how bred . . . 

Carrier, Mr. Huie's article 
on the 

Carriers, homing .. 

Carriers, performances of 

Long-faced 

Medium-faced 
Short-faced 



PAGE 

. 193 
. 194 
. 109 
. 312 
a 
5 
. 47 

. 382 
d 
. 142 
. 343 
. 335 
d 
. 392 
. 335 
. 151 
. 327 
. 9 
. 327 
. 102 
. 50 
. 357 
. 357 
e 
. 358 
. 365 
>f 
8, 362 
. 372 
. 373 
. 370 


Antwerps as feeders ...359 
Exhibition 
Archangel, the 
Asian pigeons : 
Capuchin . 


PAGE 

365 
365 
95 

134 
136 
135 
127 
125 
125 
126 
131 
123 
120 
121 
270 
14 
76 

77 
294 
305 
306 
306 
304 
307 
304 
306 
306 
304 


Chinese dewlap 
Coral-eyed 
East Indian flying 
Goolee 
Goolee, mottled 
Lowtan 
Mahomet 
Mookee 


Sherajee 


Sherajee, mottled 
Austrian klatcher, the 
Aviary 


Azure blue pigeon 

B. 

Badge of Honour pigeon 
Bagdad carrier 
Bagdads, Batavian 
Batavian, lace-feathered 
Batavian, little 
French 
German . . 


Great wattled 
Lace-feathered Batavian 
Little Batavian 
Mushroomed 



416 



FANCY PIGEONS. 



Bagdads, Niirnberg 307 

Short-faced Turkish ... 307 

Turkish 307 

Baldhead, short-faced 353 

Tumbler 320 

Baldpate tumbler, Mr. Wood- 
house's sport from ... 12 

arb 276 

Fancy points of 278 

History of 276 

Barbary pigeon 276 

Bartige taube 79 

Baskets, pigeon, plan for 

dividing 53 

Show 52 

Bathing water 33 

Bavette, the 92 

Bearded pigeon 79 

Beards, Brunswick 326 

London 356 

Peppered 322 

Short-faced 353 

Tumbler 322 

Bengal pouter 271 

Birmingham rollers 317 

Blaze face, the 74 

Blondinettes, black laced ... 217 

Blue 218 

Brown 217 

Satin 217 

Silver 218 

Sulphur 217 

Blue Brunswick pigeon ... 86 

Rock 8, 44 

Boards, feeding 17 

Bokhara trumpeter 145 

Books on homing pigeons ... 407 

On pigeons, early printed 381 

On pigeons, English ... 384 

Bottle, water 19 

Bowels, inflammation of ... 56 

Boxes, feeding 17 

Nesting 21, 22 

Show 51 

Wall 14 

Brander tumbler 327 

Breaster pigeon 75 

Breast pigeon 71 

Breeding 35 



PAGE 

Breeding, elements of success 

in 43 

Power, differences in ... 38 

Breeds, characteristics of ... 27 

Brent's (B. P.) " Pigeon Book " 402 

Breslau pouter 261 

Bristle pigeon 104 

Broad-tailed shakers, Wil- 

lughby's 164 

Briinn pigmy pouter 273 

Brunswick beard 326 

Brusttaube 75 

Bullfinch pigeon 95 

Burmese pigeon 159 



C. 



Calcutta, pigeon-flying at ... 128 

Canker 57 

Captain Hill's black pied 

pigmy pouter 254 

Capuchin, the 134 

Carmelite, the 91 

Carp-scale pigeon 102 

Carriers, absurd stories re- 
garding 363 

Anacreon's ode to 355 

Antwerp 357 

Bagdad 294 

English 282 

Fancy points of 285 

Himalayan ., 309 

History of 282 

Changes in colour 45 

Characteristics of breeds ... 27 

Chinese dewlap pigeon 13 

Gulls 203 

Cleaning pigeon houses ... 23 

Club, Fantail 173 

Cold 59 

Coloured breasted pigeon ... 75 

Headed pigeon 79 

Tailed tumbler 326 

Colours, changes in 45 

Combinations of 48 

Of fancy pigeons 44 

Of pigeons, general re- 
marks on ... 49 



417 



INDEX. 



Colours of Triganica pigeons 118 

Whole 47 

Columba leuconota 12 

Livia 8 

" Columbarium," Moore's 6, 384 

Combinations of colour 48 

Common ancestor for fancy 

pigeons 9 

Pigeons 70 

Tumblers 315 

Coral-eyed pigeon 135 

Core, the 59 

Covering for floors of flights... 24 

Crescent pigeon 71,77 

Cropper or pouting pigeons : 

Austrian klatcher 270 

Bengal 271 

Breslau 261 

Briinn 273 

Cavalier 259 

Dutch 269 

Dutch balloon 275 

English pouter 223 

Foreign pigmy 271 

French 257 

German 260 

Lille 258 

Norwich cropper 241 

Old German 261 

Pied pigmy 253 

Pomeranian 262 

Prague magpie 270 

Prague pigmy 275 

Saxon 269 

Stork 275 

Crossing African owl and 

turbit 208 

Cumulet, Continental 357 

Curly Moor head pigeon ... 106 
Cyprus pigeons of Aldro- 

vandus'... .. 175 



D. 

Darwin's (Charles) " Variation 
of Animals and Plants 
under Domestication" 404 

Delhi, pigeon-flying at 128 



PAGE 
Dewlap pigeon, Chinese ... 136 

Diarrhoea 60 

Diseases : 

Bowels, inflammation of 56 

Canker 57 

Cold 59 

Core 59 

Diarrhoea 60 

Egg-bound 60 

Flesh wen 60 

General remarks on ... 55 

Gizzard fallen 61 

Gorging 61 

Insects 62 

Leg weakness 63 

Megrims 65 

Moulting 64 

Small-pox 64 

Spouts 65 

Vertigo 65 

Wing 65 

Dish, water 19 

Dixon's " The Dovecote and 

the Aviary" 399 

Domestication, effects of ... 11 
Domestic pigeons, varieties of 67 

Domino, the 218 

Double-crested tumbler . . . 325 

Dovecote, wall 15 

Dragoons 295 

Fancy points of 297 

National Peristeronic 

Society's standard of 297 
Origin of name " Dragon" 301 

Value of 300 

Drake pigeons 301 

Drummer pigeon 144 

Dundee fantails ... 166 

Dutch balloon pouter 275 

Pouter 269 

Shell pigeon 330 

Tumbler 317 

Works on pigeons 410 



E. 



Early printed books on 

pigeons 381 

2 o 



418 



FANCY PIGEONS. 



East Indian pigeons : 

Capuchin 134 

Chinese dewlap 136 

Coral-eyed 135 

Flying 127 

Goolee 125 

Goolee, mottled 125 

Lowtan 126 

Mahomet 131 

Mookee 123 

Sherajee 120 

Sherajee, mottled 121 

Eaton's (J. M.) works on 

pigeons 400 

Effects of domestication ... 11 

Egg-bound 60 

Eggs, chipped 39 

Fertility of, determining 38 

Thin-shelled 39 

Without shells , 39 

Egyptian records 1 

Swift pigeon 107 

English books on pigeons . . . 384 

Carrier 282 

Fantails 169 

Fire pigeon 74 

Owl 198 

Pouter 223 

Exhibiting pigeons 50 

Exhibition Antwerps 365 

Pens 54 

System, value of pigeons 

enhanced by 7 

Tumblers 315 

Experience, early, of pigeon- 
keeping 26 



F. 



Familiar pigeons 27 

Fanciers, young, pigeons for ... 27 

Fancy pigeons, colours of ... 44 

FantailClub 173 

Fantails 164 

Birthplace of 164 

Dundee 166 

English ... 169 

Fancy points of 169 



Fantails, history of 
In Calcutta 
Indian 
Lace 
Literature of . 



PAGE 

. 164 
. 164 
. 166 
173 
. 164 



Fattening pigeons in France 71 
Feathering, pigeons of peculiar : 

Egyptian swift 107 

Frillback 104 

Frizzled 103 

Lace 105 

Mane 106 

Swallow-tail 109 

Feeders 40 

Feeding 30 

Boards 17 

Box 17 

Evils of neglecting 32 

Grain, how to preserve ... 30 

Grain, quality of 30 

Grain used in 30 

Ground 32 

Hoppers 32 

Mode of 32 

Times for 32 

Finnikin, the Ill 

Fire pigeon 94 

Pigeon, English 74 

Flesh wen .' 60 

Flights, open-air 16 

Floors of nights, covering for 24 

Florentine pigeon 160 

Flying pigeons, East Indian... 127 
Foods : 

Barley 31 

Beans 31 

Green ... 32 

Indian corn 31 

Maize 31 

Mixture of 32 

Peas 31 

Seeds 32 

Tares 31 

Wheat ... 31 

Foreign literature on pigeons 409 
Pigmy pouters : 

Briinn ... 273 

Dutch balloon 275 

Prague 275 



419 



INDEX. 



PAGE 

Foreign varieties of pigeons... 12 

Wattled pigeons 304 

Form, variations in 9 

Fountains, water 18 

Fowl-like pigeons : 

Burmese 159 

Florentine 160 

Hungarian 161 

Leghorn runt 157 

Maltese 160 

Monteneur 162 

Peculiarities of 157 

Speckled hen 161 

Strasser 163 

French Bagdads 304 

Pouters 257 

Works on pigeons 410 

Friesland runt 103 

Frillback, the 104 

Frill - breasted short - faced 
pigeons : 

African owl 193 

Black -laced blondinette 217 

Blondinette 216 

Blue blondinette 218 

Bluette 216 

Brown blondinette ... 217 

Brunette 215 

Domino 218 

English owl 198 

History of 190 

Italian owl 203 

Peaked turbit 211 

Satin blondinette 217 

Satinette 214 

Shell-crested turbit . . . 212 

Silver blondinette 218 

Silverette 216 

Sulphur blondinettes ... 217 

Turbit 205 

Turbiteen 219 

Turkish 212 

Turkish nomenclature of 222 

Turkish turbit 222 

Vizor 219 

Whiskered owl 203 

Frizzled pigeon 103 

Frontal - crested tumbler, 

Russian .. 325 



PAGE 

Fulton's (Eobert) " Illustrated 

Book of Pigeons " ... 405 



G. 



Gallinaceous pigeon 160 

German ancient 327 

Bagdads 307 

Pouter, old 261 

Pouters 260 

Tumblers 326 

Works on pigeons 410 

Girton's "New and Complete 

Pigeon Fancyer " ... 388 

Gizzard fallen 61 

Goolee pigeon 125 

Gorging 61 

Grain hopper ... 18 

Greasy fairy pigeon 90 

Grecian authors, reference by 2 

Green foods 32 

Ground tumblers 312 

Gull pigeon, black-backed . . . 142 

H. 

Handicaps, tippler 314 

Helmet pigeon 334 

Pigeon of Germany ... 80 

Hevernick, Herr William, on 

the Pomeranian cropper 263 

Hill's, Captain Norman, black 

pied pigmy pouter . . . 254 

Himalayan carrier 309 

Hirondelles fauve etincele ... 89 
Siam 89 

Historical : 

Aldrovandi, Ulyssis ... 6 

Almond, the 335 

Anacreon 2 

Anacreon's " Ode to the 

Carrier Pigeon " ... 355 
Annals of Barneses III.... 2 
Annals of Thothmes III. 1 

Aristotle 3 

Barb, the 276 

Carrier, the 282 

Charlemagne's Edicts ... 5 
Egyptian records 1 

2 o 2 



420 



FANCY PIGEONS. 



PAGE 

Historical : 

English pouter 223 

Fantail, the 164 

Grecian authors reference 

by 2 

Homer 2 

Jacobin, the 175 

Juvenal 4 

Latin authors,reference by 4 

Middle Ages, the 6 

Moore's" Columbarium " 6, 384 

Norwich cropper 242 

Pigeon-breeding in Asia, 
North Africa, and Eu- 
rope 7 

Pigeon-flying, early ... 5 

Pliny 4 

Recent history 6 

Short-faced frill-breasted 

pigeons 190 

Socrates 2 

Tibullus 3 

Vataces John Ducas ... 5 
Willughby's " Ornitho- 
logy" 6,384 

Windsor, pigeons at ... 6 

Homer, show, the 366 

Homers, judging, Mr. W. B. 

Tegetmeier on 366 

Homing pigeons : 

Antwerp carrier 357 

Belgian, M. V. la Perre 
de Eoo's account of the 

origin of 364 

Books on 407 

Breeds used as 29 

Exhibition Antwerps . . . 365 

London beard 356 

Long-faced Antwerp ... 372 
Medium-faced Antwerp 373 
Short-faced Antwerp ... 370 

Skinnum 356 

Hoppers 17 

Horseman, Moore's description 

of 295 

House, pigeon 14 

Tumblers 312 

Hungarian magpie tumbler ... 327 
Pigeon ... ,. 161 



Hyacinth pigeon ... 
Pigeon, speckled 



I. 



PAGE 
99 

100 



Ice pigeon 

Indian fantail 

Insects 

Italian owl 

Works on pigeons 

J. 

Jacobin 

Fancy points of 
History of 
Literature of ... 

Jacobins, foreign ... 

Japanese work on pigeons 



76 
166 

62 
203 
410 



175 
180 
175 

175 

188 
411 



Judging homers, Mr. W. B. 

Tegetmeier on 366 



K. 

Keeping several varieties of 

pigeons 28 

Kokah pigeon, Akbar's, prob- 
able identity of 154 

Konigsber'g Moorhead 326 



Laced birds 48 

Lace fantail 173 

Pigeon 105 

Lahore pigeon 122 

Lark pigeon 93 

Pigeon, Niirnberg 94 

Latin authors, reference by . . 4 

Latz pigeon 80 

Shell pigeon 80 

Laugher, the 153 

Voice of 155 

Leghorn runt 157 

Eunt, Moore's description 

of ... 157 



421 



INDEX. 



PAGE 

Leg weakness 63 

Lille pouters 258 

Lime required by pigeons ... 35 
Literature : 

Adams' (H. G.) "Our 

Feathered Families "... 403 
Aldrovandi's " Ornitho- 

logia" 382 

American 410 

American serial 410 

" A New and Compleat 

Treatise on the Art of 

Breeding and Managing 

the Almond Tumbler" 392 

" A Treatise on Domestic 

Pigeons" 386 

Bignold's (G.) " Pigeon 

Fancier's Assistant"... 398 
Books on homing pigeons 407 
Boswell's (Peter) "Bees, 
Pigeons, Babbits, and 
the Canary Bird Fami- 
liarly Described" ... 397 
Brent's (B. P.) "Pigeon 

Book" 402 

Cresswell's (0. E.) essay 

on pigeons 406 

Darwin's "Variation of 

Animals and Plants 

under Domestication " 404 

Dixon's (Eev. E. S.) " The 

Dovecote and the 

Aviary" 399 

Dutch 410 

Early printed books ... 381 
Eaton's (J. M.) works 

on pigeons 400 

English 384 

Foreign 409 

French 410 

Fulton's (Eobert) " Illus- 
trated Book of Pigeons " 405 
" Gardener, Florist, and 
Agriculturalist" ... 408 

German 410 

Girton's " New and Com- 
plete Pigeon Fancyer " 388 
GoodfeUow's (A.) "The 
Little Boy's Own Book " 396 



PAGE 
Literature : 

Hill's (Capt. Norman) 
"The Pouter Pigeon" 405 

"Home Pets" 403 

Homing pigeons, books on 407 

Italian 410 

Japanese 411 

London's (Mrs.) " Domes- 
tic Pets " 399 

Lucas' (Eev. J.) "The 
Pleasures of a Pigeon 

Fancier" 406 

Ly ell's (J. C.) "Fancy 

Pigeons" 407 

Martin's (W. C. L.) " Our 
Domestic Fowls and 

Song Birds" 398 

Moore's " Columbarium " 384 
Moub ray's (Bonington) 
" Treatise on Domestic 
Poultry, Pigeons, and 

Eabbits" 395 

Musari's (Sayzid Moham- 
med) History of pigeons 

404, 412 

" Mustertaubenbuch," the 410 
" New and Complete Bird 

' Fancier" 390 

Persian treatise on pigeons 

404, 412 
" Pigeons for Exhibition 

and Profit" 406 

Piper's (Hugh) " Pigeons : 
their Varieties, Man- 
agement, Breeding, and 

Diseases" 404 

Pliny's "Natural History" 381 
Priitz's " Mustertauben- 
buch" 410 

Eogers' " Pigeon Fancier's 

Guide" 397 

Selby's (P. J.) "Natural 
History of Pigeons "... 397 

Serial 408 

Smith's (G.) "How to 
Breed, Eear, and Train 
the Macclesfield Tippler 
and the High-flying 
Tumbler Pigeon " ... 406 



'422 



FANCY PIGEONS. 



PAGE 

Literature : 

Spanish 410 

Tegetmeier's (W. B.) 
" Pigeons : their Struc- 
ture, Varieties, Habits, 
and Management " ... 403 
"The Bird-fancier's Be- 
creation : being Curious 
Eemarks on the Nature 

of Song Birds" 390 

" The Boy's Own Paper " 409 
" The Cottage Gardener " 408 

"The Country" 409 

"The Field" newspaper 409 
" The Kabutar Namah " 412 
"The Little Boy's Own 
Book of Sports and 

Pastimes" 396 

" The Management of 

Pigeons" 406 

"The Pigeon" 409 

" The Poultry and Pigeon 

Keeper's Companion" 396 
" The Poultry Chronicle " 408 
" The Poultry Review "... 409 
" The Standard of Ex- 
cellence for Judging 

Pigeons" * 410 

" The Young Angler, 
Naturalist, and Pigeon 
and Babbit Fancier" 396 
lire's (G.) "Our Fancy 
Pigeons, and Bambling 
Notes of a Naturalist " 406 
Willughby's " Ornitho- 
logy " 384 

Windus' (W. P.) " A New 
and Compleat Treatise 
on the Art of Breeding 
and Managing the 
Almond Tumbler " ... 392 
Wright's (Lewis) "Prac- 
tical Pigeon Keeper " 405 

Loft, pigeon 14 

London beard 356 

Long-faced Antwerp carrier... 372 

Lowtan 126 

Choteen 127 

Kulmee . ..127 



PAGE 

Lowtan, sadhee 127 

Lucas' (Bev. J.) " The Plea- 
sures of a Pigeon Fan- 
cier" 406 

M. 

Macclesfield tipplers 317 

Magpie, the 333 

Mahomet pigeon 131 

Maltese pigeon 160 

Management ... 30 

Mane pigeon 106 

Manure, pigeon 72 

Market, pigeons for tho ... 71 

Martin pigeon 122 

Matching for breeding 36 

Mating, how effected 36 

Meal pigeon 76 

Measuring pouters ...230,232 
Medium-faced Antwerp carrier 373 

Megrims 65 

Melanoids 47 

Messengers, pigeons formerly 

used as 356 

Middle Ages, the 6 

Miroite, the 98 

Modena, pigeon-flying at ... 115 

Modern show system 50 

Monk pigeon 88 

Montauban pigeon 141 

Monteneur pigeon 162 

Mookee pigeon 123 

Moon pigeon 77 

Moore's (John) "Columbarium" 

6, 384 

Mottled tumbler 318 

Moubray's " Treatise on Do- 
mestic Poultry, Pigeons, 

and Babbits" 395 

Moulter pigeon 87 

Moulting 64 

Mourning pigeon 82 

Musari's (Sayzid Mohammed) 

History of pigeons 404, 412 

N. 
Narrow-tailed shaker 167 



423 



INDEX. 



PAGE 

Narrow-tailed shaker, Wil- 

lughby's 123 

Nesting 37 

Boxes 21, 22 

Pans, earthenware 23 

Pans, wood 23 

Neumeister and the origin of 

fancy pigeons 68 

Norwegian pigeon 141 

Norwich cropper 241 

Cropper, fancy points of 243 

Nnn, the 330 

Niirnberg lark pigeon 94 

Swallow pigeon : 90 



0. 



Odd birds 42 

Open-air flights ... 16 

" Original " pigeons 67 

Origin of fancy pigeons 8,68 

Oude's, ex-king of, pigeons ... 128 

Overcrowding 42 

Overlaying 41 

Owls, African 193 

African, fancy points of 194 
Description of, by Moore 191 

English 198 

English, fancy points of 199 

Italian 203 

Tunisian 193 

Whiskered 203 



P. 



Pairing ... , 35 

Parisian powter, description of, 

by Moore 101 

Pearl pigeon 104 

Peculiar feathering, pigeons of 103 

Voice, pigeons of 144 

Pens, exhibition 54 

Walking 54 

Persian work on pigeons 404, 412 

Piedmont pigeon 160 

Pigeon aviary 14 

Bagadais 304 



PAGE 

Pigeon cavalier 259 

Chanteur du Soudan ... 154 

Coquille barbu 79 

Coquille etourneau ... 82 

Coquille Hollondais ... 330 

Coquille Souabe 82 

Coquille tete de morte ... 80 

Flying, antiquity of ... 355 
Flying at Calcutta ...128 

Flying at Delhi 128 

Flying at Modena, anti- 
quity of ... 5,116,117 

Flying, early 5 

Flying, modern, at Delhi 5 

Flying on the Continent 363 

Grosse gorge 258 

Heurt<5 73 

Hirondelle 89 

House 15 

House, sawdust for the 

floor of 23 

Houses, cleaning 23 

Lillois 112,258,259 

Lillois elegant 259 

Loft 14 

MaillS 100 

Miroite" 99 

Moine a bavette 93 

Nonnain 188 

Petit miroite 99 

Polonais 277 

Eomain 139 

Shows, antiquity of ... 50 

Soie 105 

Suisse 77 

Suisse bai Dor6, ou bis 

Dor<5 79 

Tambour glou-glou ... 144 

Tournant Ill 

Trembleur de la Guyane 174 

Trembleur paon ... 106, 173 

Turc 307 

Volant cou-rouge 357 

Voyageur de Beyrouth ... 137 
Pigeonry, plan of author's 20-23 

Small ... 19 

Pigeons boulans 258 

For the market 71 

Mailles , , 99 



424 



FANCY PIGEONS. 



PAGE 

Pigeons mondain 71 

Patu 71 

Young 39 

Pigmy pouter, pied 253 

pouters, foreign 271 

Pilferer pigeon 87 

Piper's (Hugh) " Pigeons : 
their Varieties, Ma- 
nagement, Breeding, 

and Diseases " 404 

Pliny's " Natural History" ... 381 
Plumage, pigeons of varied and 

striking 28 

Polish lynx pigeon ; 101 

Pomeranian cropper, Herr 
William Hevernick's 

lecture on 262 

Pouter 262 

Porcelain pigeon 77, 100 

Pouters, measuring ... 230, 232 

Showing 240 

Pouting horseman 242, 251 

Or cropper pigeons : 

Austrian klatcher . . . 269 

Bengal 271 

Breslau 261 

Briinn 273 

Cavalier 259 

Dutch 269 

Dutch balloon ... 275 
English pouter ... 223 
Foreign pigmy ... 271 

French 257 

German 260 

Lille 258 

Norwich cropper ... 241 

Old German 261 

Pied pigmy 253 

Pomeranian 262 

Prague magpie ... 270 
Prague pigmy ... 275 

Saxon 269 

.. Stork 275 

Powter, Parisian, Moore's de- 
scription of 101 

Prague magpie pouter 270 

Pigmy pouter 275 

Preparing birds for showing 53 
Priests, common 85 



Priests, double-crested 86 

Starling - barred, white - 

flighted and tailed .. 86 

White-barred 86 

White - flighted, barred 

and tailed 86 

White - flighted, white - 

barred 86 

White-stockinged 86 

Printed tippler 317 

Progenitor, probable, of tame 

pigeons 8 



Quarrelsome pigeons 27 



E. 



" Bace " pigeons 68 

Racing pigeons 29 

Bed Indian pigeon 102 

Eiga tumbler 326 

Eingbeater Ill 

Neumeister's description 

of 112 

Eock pigeons 70 

Wild blue 44 

Eollers, Birmingham 317 

Colours of 318 

Turkish 324 

Eoman pigeon 141 

Eunt 141 

Buff pigeon of Moore 1 76 

Eunts, almond and blue- 
grizzled 142 

Antiquity of 138 

As table pigeons 142 

Black-backed gull 142 

Blue 139 

Blue and silver, weight of 139 

Common 71 

Fancy 139 

Friesland 103 

Leghorn 157 

Montauban 141 

Norwegian 141 



425 



INDEX. 



PAGE 

Bunts, Roman 141 

Silver 139 

Spanish 138 

Russian frontal-crested tum- 
bler 325 

Trumpeter 145 



S. 



Sacred bird, pigeon a 3 

Salt a necessity for pigeons ... 33 

Cat 33 

Earth box 34 

Earth mixture 35 

Satinette 214 

Blue 216 

Brunette 215 

Silver 216 

Saxon pigeon 75 

Pouter 269 

Scanderoon, the 307 

Scheme of work 67 

Scraper, steel 24 

Seeds, pigeons fond of 32 

Selection of stock 26 

Separating sexes 42 

Serial literature on the pigeon 408 

Sexes, separating 42 

Sex of young pigeons 41 

Shaking tumbler 327 

Sherajee 120 

Mottled 121 

Shield pigeon 84 

Short, erect-tailed pigeons : 

Burmese 159 

Florentine 160 

Hungarian 161 

Leghorn runt 157 

Maltese 160 

> Monteneur 162 

Speckled hen 161 

Strasser 163 

Short-faced Antwerp 370 

Antwerp, properties of ... 371 

Tumbler, history of ... 335 
Tumblers : 

Almond 335 

Baldhead .. 353 



PAGE 

Short-faced tumblers : 

Beard 353 

Blue 352 

Mottle 349 

Frill-breasted pigeons : 

African owl ... ... 193 

Black laced blondi- 

nette 217 

Blondinette 216 

Blue blondinette ... 218 

Bluette 216 

Brown blondinette ... 217 

Brunette 215 

Domino 218 

English owl 198 

History of 190 

Italian owl 203 

Peaked turbit ... 211 

Satin blondinette ... 217 

Satinette 214 

Shell-crested turbit 212 

Silver blondinette ... 218 

Silverette 216 

Sulphur blondinette 217 

Turbit 205 

Turbiteen 219 

Turkish frilled ... 212 
Turkish nomencla- 
ture of 222 

Turkish turbit ... 222 

Vizor 219 

Whiskered owl ... 203 

Shovel 24 

Show baskets 52 

Boxes 51 

Homing Antwerp 365 

System, modern 50 

Tumblers 315 

Showing, preparing birds for 53 

Shy pigeons 28 

Silesian swallow pigeon ... 90 

Silken-haired pigeon 105 

Skinnum, the 356 

Small-pox 64 

Smerle, the 357 

Smiter, the Ill 

Smyrna runt 142 

Soot pigeon, or russtaube ... 76 

Spangled birds 48 



426 



FANCY PIGEONS. 



Spanish runt 138 

Sparkling fawn-coloured swal- 
low pigeon 89 

Speckled hen pigeon 161 

Hyacinth pigeon 100 

Spiteful pigeons 27 

Spot, copper-winged white ... 74 

Pigeon 73 

White 74 

White-barred 74 

White, common 73 

White-scaled 74 

Spouts 65 

Starling pigeon 80 

Stock birds, selecting ... 26, 36 

Stomacher pigeon 80 

Stork pigeon 92 

Strasser pigeon 163 

Styles of tumbling 312 

Suabian pigeon 82 

Swallow pigeon 88 

Pigeon, Bohemian 90 

Pigeon, Niirnberg 90 

Pigeon, Saxon ... ... 90 
Pigeons, varieties in 

colouring of 90 

Tail pigeon 109 

Swan-necked Egyptian pigeons 306 
Swiss pigeon 77 



T. 



Table pigeons, runts as ... 142 
Selecting for 72 

Tailor pigeon 122 

Tails, pigeons with short 
erect : 

Burmese 159 

Florentine 160 

Hungarian 161 

Leghorn runt 157 

Maltese 160 

Monteneur 162 

Speckled hen 161 

Strasser 163 

Tame pigeon, probable pro- 
genitor of 8 



PAGE 

Tegetmeier's (W. B.) "Pigeons : 
their Structure, Varie- 
ties, Habits, and Man- 
agement " 403 

Tippler handicaps 314 

Macclesfield 317 

Printed 317 

Triganica pigeon 115 

Pigeons, colours of ... 118 

Triganieri, pigeon-flying by ... 115 

Terms used by 116 

The 115 

Trumpeters 144 

Altenburg 151 

Altenburg, voice of ... 153 

Bokhara 145 

Buff Altenburger 152 

Fancy points of 147 

Lavender Altenburger ... 152 

Russian 145 

Sub-varieties of 151 

Voice of 149 

Tumblers 311 

Air 312 

Almond 335 

Baldhead ... 320 

Baldhead, short-faced ... 353 

Beard 322 

Beard, short-faced ... 353 
Birmingham roller ... 317 

Blue, short-faced 352 

Brander 327 

Brunswick beard 326 

Coloured-tailed 326 

Colours of 315 

Common 314 

Common, a suitable breed 
to commence pigeon 

keeping with 27 

Double-crested 325 

Dutch 317 

Exhibition 315 

Foreign 324 

German 326 

German ancient 327 

Ground 312 

House 312 

How and when to fly ... 31 3 
Hungarian magpie ... 327 



427 



INDEX. 



PAGE 

Tumblers, Konigsberg Moor- 
head 326 

Macclesfield tippler ... 317 

Mottled 318 

Mottle, short-faced ,.. 349 

Eiga 326 

Russian frontal- crested... 325 

Shaking 327 

Short-faced 335 

Almond 333 

Baldhead 353 

Beard 352 

Blue 355 

History of 335 

Mottle 349 

Show 315 

Training, for flying ... 313 

Turkish roller 324 

Varieties originally ... 330 

Vienna gansel 329 

White-barred Prague ... 327 

White-tailed 326 

Tumbling, styles of 312 

Tunisian owl 193 

Turbiteen, the 219 

Turbits 205 

Description of, by Moore 191 

Fancy points of 206 

Peaked 211 

Shell-crested 212 

Turkish 222 

Turkestan pigeons 374 

Turkish Bagdads 307 

Frilled pigeons 212 

Roller 324 

Turbit 222 

Turks 304 

Turner, the Ill 

Tyrolese pigeon 85 



U. 



Uploper, the .. 
Ural ice pigeon 



242 
77 



V. 



Vandelli' s description of pigeon- 
flying at Modena ... 116 



PAGE 

Variations in form 9 

Varieties of fancy pigeons : 

African owl, the 193 

Almond, the 335 

Runt, the 142 

Altenburg trumpeter, the 151 
Ancient, German, the ... 327 

Annatalozia, the 102 

Antwerp carrier, the ... 357 
Long-faced, the ... 372 
Medium-faced, the ... 373 
Short-faced, the ... 370 

Archangel, the 95 

Austrian klatcher, the ... 270 

Azure blue, the 76 

Badge of Honour, the ... 78 
Bagdad, Batavian, the ... 305 
Batavian, lace- 
feathered, the ... 306 
Batavian, little, the 306 

Carrier, the 294 

Great wattled, the ... 304 
Mushroomed, the ... 304 

Niirnberg, the 307 

Short-faced Turkish, 

the 307 

Turkish 307 

Baldhead tumbler, the ... 320 
Tumbler, short-faced, 

the 353 

Barb, the 276 

Bavette, the 92 

Beard, Brunswick, the ... 326 

London, the 356 

Tumbler, the 322 

Tumbler, short-faced, 

the 353 

Bearded pigeon, the ... 79 
Bengal pouter, the ... 271 
Birmingham roller, the ... 317 

Blaze face, the 74 

Blondinette, black-laced, 

the 216 

Blue, the 218 

Brown, the 217 

Satin, the 217 

Silver, the 218 

Sulphur, the 217 

Blue Brunswick, the ... 86 



428 



FANCY PIGEONS. 



PAGE 

Varieties of fancy pigeons : 

Blue grizzled runt, the ... 142 
Eock, the ... 8, 44 
Short-faced tumbler, 

the 352 

Bluette, the 216 

Bohemian swallow, the ... 90 

Bokhara trumpeter, the ... 145 

Brander tumbler, the ... 327 

Breast, the 75 

Breslau pouter, the ... 261 

Bristle, the 104 

Brunette, the 215 

Briinn pigmy pouter, the 273 

Brunswick beard, the ... 326 

Bullfinch, the 95 

Burmese, the 159 

Capuchin, the 134 

Carmelite, the 91 

Carp-scale, the 102 

Carrier, Antwerp, the ... 357 

Bagdad, the 294 

English, the 282 

Himalayan, the ... 309 
Chinese dewlap, the ...136 

Gull, the 203 

Coloured breasted pigeon, 

the 75 

Headed pigeon, the 79 

Tailed tumbler, the 326 

Coral-eyed, the 135 

Crescent, the 78 

Cropper, Norwich, the . . . 241 

Pomeranian, the ... 262 

Stork, the 275 

Cumulet, Continental, the 357 

Curly Moor head, the ... 106 
Dewlap, Chinese, the ...136 

Domino, the 218 

Double-crested tumbler, 

the 325 

Dragoon, the 295 

Drummer, the 144 

Dutch balloon pouter, the 275 

Pouter, the 269 

Shell, the 330 

Egyptian swift, the ... 107 

English carrier, the ... 282 

Fantail, the 164 



PAGE 

Varieties of fancy pigeons : 

English fire pigeon, the ... 94 

Owl, the 198 

Pouter, the 223 

Fantail, the 164 

Indian, the 166 

Lace, the 173 

Finnikin, the Ill 

Fire pigeon, the ... ... 94 

Pigeon, English, the 74 

Florentine, the 160 

Friesland runt, the ... 103 

Frillback, the 104 

Frizzled pigeon, the ... 103 
Frontal-crested tumbler, 

Eussian, the 325 

Gallinaceous pigeon, the 160 

Gansel, Vienna, the ... 329 

German ancient, the ... 327 

Pouter, old, the ... 261 

Goolee, the 125 

Mottled, the 125 

Greasy fairy, the 90 

Gull, black-backed, the... 142 

Helmet, the 334 

Himalayan carrier, the ... 309 

Homer, show, the 366 

Horseman, the ... ... 295 

Hungarian magpie tum- 
bler, the 327 

The 161 

Hyacinth, the 99 

Speckled, the 100 

Ice, the 76 

Indian f antail, the 166 

Italian owl, the 203 

Jacobin, the 175 

Konigsberg Moorhead, 

the 326 

Lace f antail, the 173 

The 105 

Lahore, the 122 

Lark, the 93 

Nurnberg, the ... 94 

Latz, the 80 

Shell, the 80 

Laugher, the 153 

Leghorn runt, the 157 

Lille pouters 258 



429 



INDEX. 



PAGE 

Varieties of fancy pigeons : 

London beard, the 356 

Long-faced Antwerp, the 372 

Lowtan, the 126 

Macclesfield tippler, the 317 

Magpie, the 333 

Mahomet, the 131 

Maltese, the 160 

Mane, the 106 

Martin, the 122 

Meal, the 76 

Medium-faced Antwerp, 

the 373 

Miroite, the 98 

Monk, the 88 

Montauban, the 141 

Monteneur, the 162 

Mookee, the 123 

Moon, the 78 

Moorhead, Konigsberg, 

the 326 

Mottle short-faced tum- 
bler, the 349 

Tumbler, the 318 

Moulter, the 87 

Mourning, the 82 

Norwegian, the 141 

Norwich cropper, the ... 241 

Nun, the 330 

Niirnberg lark, the ... 94 

Swallow, the 90 

Owl, African, the 193 

English, the 198 

Italian, the 293 

Tunisian, the 193 

Whiskered, the ... 203 

Pearl, the 104 

Piedmont, the 160 

Pigmy pouter, pied, the . . . 253 

Pilferer, the 87 

Polish lynx, the 101 

Pomeranian cropper, the 262 

Porcelain, the 77,100 

Pouter, cavalier, the ... 259 

English, the 223 

Lille, the 258 

Old German, the ... 261 
Pigmy, pied, the ... 253 
Pomeranian, the ... 262 



PAGE 

Varieties of fancy pigeons : 

Pouter, Saxon, the ... 269 

Pouting horseman, the, 242, 251 

Prague magpie pouter, the 270 

Pigmy pouter, the ... 275 

Priest, the 85 

Printed tippler, the ...317 

Bed Indian, the 102 

Eiga tumbler, the 326 

Eingbeater, the Ill 

Eock, the 44, 70 

Eoller, Birmingham, the 317 

Turkish, the 324 

Eoman runt, the ... ... 141 

Eunt, the 138 

Friesland, the ... 103 

Leghorn, the 157 

Norwegian, the ... 141 

Smyrna, the 142 

Spanish, the 138 

Eussian frontal - crested 

tumbler, the ... 325 
Trumpeter, the ... 145 

Satinette, the 214 

Saxon, the 75 

Pouter, the 269 

Swallow, the 90 

Scanderoon, the 307 

Shaking tumbler, the ... 327 

Sherajee, the 120 

Mottled, the 121 

Shield, the 84 

Short-faced Antwerp, the 370 

Tumbler, the 335 

Siberian ice, the 77 

Silesian swallow, the ... 90 
Silken-haired pigeon, the 105 

Silverette, the 216 

Skinnum, the 356 

Smerle, the 357 

Smiter, the Ill 

Smyrna runt, the 142 

Soot, the 76 

Spanish runt, the 138 

Sparkling fawn-coloured 

swallow, the ... 89 

Speckled hen, the 161 

Hyacinth, the 100 

Spot, the 73 



430 



FANCY PIGEONS. 



PAGE 

Varieties of fancy pigeons : 

Spot, white, the 74 

Starling, the 80 

Stomacher, the 80 

Stork, the 92 

Cropper, the 275 

Strasser, the 163 

Suabian, the ... 82 

Swallow, the 88 

tail, the 109 

Swiss, the ... .' 77 

Tailor, the 122 

Tippler, Macclesfield, the 317 

printed, the 317 

Triganica, the 115 

Trumpeter, the 144 

Altenburg, the ... 151 

Bokhara, the 145 

Russian, the 145 

Tumbler, the 311 

Short-faced, the ... 335 

Tunisian owl, the 193 

Turbiteen, the 219 

Turbit, the 205 

Turkish, the 222 

Turcs 307 

Turkestan pigeons ... 374 

Turkish Bagdad, the. ... 307 

Roller, the 324 

Turbit 222 

Turner, the Ill 

Tyrolese, the 85 

Uploper, the 242 

Ural ice, the 77 

Veiled, the 79 

Velvet fairy, the 90 

Victoria, the 100 

Vienna gansel, the ... 329 

Vizor, the 219 

Voyageur, Belgian, the ... 357 
Whiskered owl, the ...203 
White-barred Prague 

tumbler, the ... 327 

Whitehead, the 87 

White spot, the 74 

White-tailed tumbler, the 326 

Wing, the 92 

Yarkand pigeons 374 

Veiled pigeon 79 



PAGE 

90 

, 65 

. 27 
100 

, 80 
219 

151 
145 
153 
145 
144 
357 



Velvet fairy pigeon 

Vertigo 

Vicious pigeons 

Victoria pigeon 

Vienna bodice pigeon ... 

Vizor, the 

Voice, pigeons of peculiar : 
Altenburg trumpeter 
Bokhara trumpeter 

Laugher 

Russian trumpeter 
Trumpeter 

Voyageur, Belgian 



W. 



Walking pens 54 

Wall boxes 14 

Boxes, disadvantage of... 14 

Water 33 

Bathing 33 

Bottle 19 

Dish 19 

Fountains 18 

Wattled pigeons : 

Bagdad carrier 294 

Barb 276 

Batavian Bagdad 305 

Dragoon 295 

English carrier 282 

Foreign 304 

French Bagdads 304 

German Bagdads 307 

Great wattled, or mush- 
roomed Bagdad 304 

Himalayan carrier 309 

Lace-feathered Batavian 

Bagdad 306 

Little Batavian Bagdad 306 

Niirnb erg Bagdad 307 

Short-faced Turkish Bag- 
dad 307 

Turkish Bagdads 307 

Turks 304 

Wen, flesh 60 

Whiskered owl .. 203 



431 



INDEX. 



PAGE 

White-barred Prague tumbler 327 

Whitehead pigeon 87 

White-tailed tumbler 326 

Whole colours ... ... ... 47 

Wild blue rock, the 44 

Willughby's " Ornithology " 383 

Wing disease 65 

Pigeon 92 

Pigeons that look best on 

the 27 

Woodhouse's, Mr., baldpate... 10 
Works, minor, in which fancy 

pigeons are mentioned 392 



Wright's (Lewis) " Practical 
Pigeon Keeper" 



405 



X. 



Xenophon 



Y. 



Yarkand pigeons 

Young fanciers, pigeons for 

Pigeons 

Pigeons, sex of 



374 
27 
39 
41 





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DOGS, DISEASES OP : Their Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment ; 
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GRAPE GROWING FOR AMATEURS. A Thoroughly Practical 
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GUINEA PIG, THE, for Food, Fur, and Fancy. Illustrated with 
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HAND CAMERA MANUAL, THE. A Practical Handbook on all 
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HANDWRITING, CHARACTER INDICATED BY. With Illus- 
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HOME MEDICINE AND SURGERY: A Dictionary of Diseases 
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HORSE-KEEPER, THE PRACTICAL. By GEORGE FLEMING, C.B., 
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INLAND WATERING PLACES. A Description of the Spas of 
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LAYING HENS, HOW TO KEEP and to Eear Chickens in Large 
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LEGAL PROFESSION, A GUIDE TO THE. A Practical 
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LIBRARY MANUAL, THE. A Guide to the Formation of a Library, 
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MICE, FANCY : Their Varieties, Management, and Breeding. Ee-issue, 
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MODEL YACHTS AND BOATS : Their Designing, Making, and 
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NATURAL HISTORY SKETCHES among the Carnivora Wild and 
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NEEDLEWORK, DICTIONARY OF. An Encyclopaedia of Artistic, 
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ORCHIDS : Their Culture and Management, with Descriptions 
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FAINTING, DECORATIVE. A practical Handbook on Painting and 
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PARCEL POST DISPATCH BOOK (registered). An invaluable book 
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PARROT, THE GREY, and How to Treat it. By W. T. GREENE, 
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PARROTS, THE SPEAKING. The Art of Keeping and Breeding 
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PATIENCE. GAMES OF, for one or more Players. A very clearly- 
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PEN PICTURES AND HOW TO DRAW THEM. A Practical 
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PERSPECTIVE, THE ESSENTIALS OP. With numerous 
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PHEASANT-KEEPING FOR AMATEURS. A Practical Hand- 
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PHOTOGRAPHY (MODERN) FOR AMATEURS. By J. 
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PICTURE-FRAME MAKING FOR AMATEURS. Being Practi- 
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FIG, BOOK OF THE. The Selection, Breeding, Feeding, and 
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FIG-KEEPING, PRACTICAL: A Manual for Amateurs, based on 
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PIGEONS, FANCY. Containing Full Directions for the Breeding and 
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POKER BOOK, THE. How to Play Poker with Success. By E. 
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POLISHES AND STAINS FOR WOODS : A Complete Guide to 
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FOOL, GAMES OF. Describing Various English and American 
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POULTRY AND PIGEON DISEASES : Their Causes, Symptoms, 
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POULTRY FOR FRIZES AND PROFIT. Contains : Breeding 
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PYROGRAFHY OR POKER WORK. By MRS. MAUD MAUDE. 
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RABBIT, BOOK OF THE. A Complete Work on Breeding and 
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RABBITS, DISEASES OF: Their Causes, Symptoms, and Cure. 
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RABBIT-FARMING, PROFITABLE. A Practical Manual, show- 
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RABBITS FOR FRIZES AND PROFIT. Containing Full 
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Exhibition Rabbits. Being descriptions of all Varieties of 
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REPOUSSE WORK FOR AMATEURS : Being the Art of Orna- 
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ROSES FOR AMATEURS. A Practical Guide to the Selection and 
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SAILING GUIDE TO THE SOLENT AND FOOLE 

HAEBOUE, with Practical Hints as to Living and Cooking on, and 
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SAILING TOURS. The Yachtman's Guide to the Cruising Waters 
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ST. BERNARD, THE. Its History, Points, Breeding, and Bearing. 
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ST. BERNARD STUD BOOK. Edited by HUGH DALZIEL. Price 
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Vol. I. Pedigrees of 1278 of the best known Dogs, traced to their 
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Vol. II. Pedigrees of 564 Dogs, Show Eecord, &c. 

SEA-FISHING FOR AMATEURS. Practical Instructions to 
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SEA-FISHING ON THE ENGLISH COAST. A Manual of Prac- 
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SEASIDE WATERING PLACES. A Description of nearly 200 
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SHAVE, AN EASY : The Mysteries, Secrets, and Whole Art of, laid 
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SHEET METAL, WORKING IN: Being Practical Instructions for 
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SHORTHAND, ON GURNET'S SYSTEM (IMPROVED), 
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TAXIDERMY, PRACTICAL. A Manual of Instruction to the 
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WAR MEDALS AND DECORATIONS. A Manual for Collectors 
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WHIPPET AND RACE-DOG, THE : How to Breed, Eear, Train, 
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1 Football, Lawn Tennis, Golf, 

and other Sports and Games ; 
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2 Billiards, with its Rules. With 
Diagrams, New and Revised Edition. 

4-Cricket, and How to Play. 

Edited by ROBERT ABEL. 
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By W. PATTERSON. 

6 Fishing (Handbook of the Art of). 
For River and Sea. By G. C. DAVIES. 

8 Indian Clubs, Dumb-bells, and 
Sword Exercises. With Diagrams. 
By the late Professor HARRISON. 

9 Magic Lantern. By J. ALLEN. 



10 Stuffing and Preserving 
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11 Rowing, Sculling, Canoeing, 
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13 Art of Attack and Defence; 
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14 The Handbook of Boxing. 
With the Marquis of Queensberry and 
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Gloves. By JOHN C. EARL, Ex-Cham- 
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16 The Art of Swimming. By 
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