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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


C - Checker


Blue CheckThere are four main pigeon patterns: Barless (c), Bar (C+), Checker (C), and T-pattern Checker (CT). Recessive pattern to the T-pattern check is called checker (gene symbol C), showing several triangular checks of light gray or "blue" in the blacker wing shield area (See picture on the left). The word check originates from the so-called checked appearance of the wing. This condition is caused by the presence of two black marks situated respectively in the inner and outer vanes of the wing coverts, the central and proximal portions of which are blue. The rest of the plumage of checked birds is blue with the invariable exception of a black terminal band on the tail and of the not infrequent presence of checks on the upper back. The rump may be either very light, almost white, or a shade of blue uniform with that of the wing coverts, or any shade between these two colors. According to Sarah van Hoosen Jones (1921), somewhat similar checked patterns are found in Columba guinea and many of the doves (mourning doves, ground doves, etc.); in fact a large number of the individuals of the order Columbae exhibit checks. The genetic behavior of the checks of Columba livia and of the doves are probably caused by the analogous mutation at the same spot on the chromosome. Since all Columbae are related evolutionarily, major parts of their genomes expected to be identical. The wing bars on checker pattern are usually wider than the barred birds when some checkers show the wing-bars while some do not. The T-pattern check, check and the bar patterns actually intergraded, possibly from modifying factors or more likely from intermediate alleles. According to Hollander, the checker pattern has been subdivided according to the amount of spreading into several sub-types. Thus, Hollander identified two additional checks in the pattern series: dark checker (CD) which comes inbetween T-pattern check and check, and the light checker (CL), which comes inbetween check and bar patterns. I will purposely neglect these additional pattern alleles for the time being, because not much is known or reported about them. It seems for an allelic series like pattern to have many different phenotypes, where we know of at least six alleles might be caused by not genes and very likely with a large dose of epigenetics. Nevertheless, one can almost always distinguish these different check patterns in pigeons.

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