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Iris Colour




by Jim Emerton

Each eye of every pigeon is unique in itself. Certain colours may prevail e.g. in related, family birds such as red, brown, orange or bluish. I can see the possibility of a genetic link with performance factors in family birds, yet have no evidence for this. Perhaps repeated, large scale experiments may or may not confirm this hypothesis. Across the pigeon population able racers and breeders can be found in many iris colour types, due in part to the genetic diversity of the ancestors. In my own birds I did like to see pretty, bright coloured eyes, in particular reds and oranges - an aesthetic preference. Many fanciers like a contrasting eye colour in the parents, and frown upon similar eye colours together, yet the main consequence of the eye is vision, and I would favour pure performance criteria for selection e.g. of the immediate parents and beyond. I would never use a bright pretty eye as the sole selection criterion.


Elimar - November 2014