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1. Basic Genetics 1

2. Basic Genetics 2

3. The Pigeons & Humans

4. Mutation & Natural Selection

5. Pigeon Colors 1

6. Pigeon Colors 2

7. Pigeon Patterns

8. Pigeon Eye Colors

9. X-Pigeons


~ X-Pigeons (the mutants) ~


The rock-dove (Columba livia), is the wild-type (the standard against which we judge every other mutations) in pigeon genetics. The Scientific name "Columba livia" is Latin for dove or pigeon; "livia" means blue or blue-gray color. Every other color and pattern or every other trait from the wild-type is considered to be a mutant.

"The basic standard spelling of a gene–the one that exist in the wild–is called, logically, wild-type, and a mutation can change a wild-type to something strange and new (“forward mutation”) or from something strange and new back to the standard wild-type spelling (“reverse mutation”). Mutations can occur both somatic cells, the cells that make up the parts of the body (soma in Greek for “body”), or in germinal or sex cells, the ones that become sperm and eggs" (Chandler Burr, A separate creation, p. 144).

The word mutation comes from the Latin word meaning "to change". In pigeons the mutation could happen in the phenotype (The physical appearance of the pigeon) as feather color and patterns, feather ornaments, and the size of the pigeon. It could also happen in flight speed and flight style like racing homers, various tumblers and various rollers. In addition, mutation can change their voice as we see it in trumpeters, etc.

The genetic symbol for the wild-type is (+). We use the + sign for the wild-type because it is the unknown where we compare every other mutations. We normally use the English names of the mutations to provide the genetic symbols for them. Bh for baldhead, C for checker, cr for crest, d for dilute, r for reduced, G for grizzle, etc. However, all the symbols we used in genetics are not English. Norwegian scientists were to first ones on reporting on almond color in pigeon genetics and to report their findings they used the first letters St, which became the symbol used worldwide. In pigeon genetics al represents the albino, where St is the symbol for the almond.

When we find a new mutation, we compare it to wild-type and determine if it is recessive, dominant, or co-dominant. If the new mutation is recessive to the wild-type, we indicate this with a lower case letter. Any particular mutation is dominant or co-dominant to the wild-type is indicated with a capital letter. Ash red BA, is dominant to wild-type (+), but brown b is recessive to wild-type. In addition, we use superscript for allelism where St is the symbol for almond, but its allele faded is represented as StF and similarly qualmond is represented as StQ.

The list of known Pigeon mutations

ac - achondroplasia (lethal) dsc - deutsch scraggly my - milky t - extra outer toes
al - albino e - recessive red n - no oil gland tH - hasz' lethal
am - amputated er - erratic o - recessive opal tr - pearl iris
at - ataxic F - frayed Od - dominant opal Ts - toy stencil
b - brown fb - feed-blind p - porcupine Ug - undergrizzle
BA - ash-red fg - fringe pd - pink-eyed-dilute V - dirty
Bh - baldhead pied fr - frillneck py - polydactyly w - outer-toe web
c - barless fs - frill stencil r - reduced wo - wobbly
CL - light checker fz - frizzy ro - rolling, tumbling wl - web-lethal
C - checker G - grizzle ros - rose, beak crest Wt - white tailed
CD - dark checker GT - tiger grizzle S - spread z - gazzi
CT - T-pattern GW - white grizzle Sb - sideburns zPc - penciled
ca - cataract Gp - gimpel pattern sc - scraggly zwh - recessive white
cl - clumsy gr - grouse skpy - show-king polydactyly  
cr - crest ic - ice sl - slipper  
cy - crazy In - indigo so - sooty  
d - dilute K - kite-bronze St - almond, magnani  
dP - pale L - lace or silky StF - faded  
dE - extreme dilute ma - mahogany StQ - qualmond  
ds - davis syndrome mi - microphthalmia sy - smoky  


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