Darwin's Pigeons

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darwin victorian pics 22nd Jan 2009 009 eng pouter fade edge

Frillback

The Frillback is an ancient breed and is said to come from Asia Minor but no clear country of origin can be located. The Frillback is an unusual looking pigeon with its covert wing  feathers on a good example curled all over, the flights  and tail are only slightly altered and although crinkled the bird has a strong power of flight should they need to. Both white and black colourations can have a shell crest although today it is rare to see a black Frillback showing this ornament. By their  nature they like to walk about and if allowed liberty will wander around the pigeon loft or garden, getting into all kinds of places it should not and on more than one occasion I have had to shoo them out of the kitchen, in this they are very comical running rather than flying off down the garden, if allowed their liberty when unattended a meeting with a cat is a very likely outcome. They can become very tame with their owners but I have noticed this depends on colour with blacks and  whites being the friendliest, blue grizzles sometimes being wild and the reds being very combative with each other but not with other breeds.

 

Charles Darwin did mention Frillbacks in his list of the pigeon breeds he kept. He was sent an Indian specimen from Madras by Sir W. Elliot, this bird being smaller and short beaked like the Short-faced Tumbler whereas the Frillbacks Darwin calls the Common Frillback have a longer beak length. I am sure he would have struggled with breeding them as they are an autosomal dominant mutation. All the chicks from a cross of a double dominant Frillback to another breed would produce slightly frilled F1 offspring. Reversion to wild type would be possible in F2's however there is also the single dominant slight grizzle gene,  recessive shell crest and feathered legs to take into account.

The white Frillback is not recessive pied but is infact  ash red,two parts  grizzle with spread factor hence the orange eyes. The white Cumulet pigeons also  has this colour combination although this breed has pearl eyes.

   The Frillback gene has in recent years been transferred to a Pouter breed in Holland and has been accepted as a new show  variety in that country.

2003 Frillback Cock Yellow Frillback hen Frilbacks  red yellow white on aviary Frillback white with twig black%20Ffrillback%20hen%20path_edited Frilbacks Lewis Wright  Feb 2009 003