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Ron Huntley's Rare Color Homing Pigeons

Ya that's me.

A young Indigo t-pattern asleep in my apple tree left, A Blue Qualmond right.

Basic Pigeon Genetic Information with photos of rare colored homing pigeons.

Hi:   My name is Ronald Huntley.    I’m both a lover of pigeons and an amateur genetic nut.   I wanted to understand why some pigeons are one color while others are so different.   In the process of learning the answer to this puzzle I read pigeon books, pamphlets, made phone calls and yes I did send tons of e-mails searching out the answer to my questions.    In so doing, it became obvious to me that good clear color photos with accompanying information were needed to aid in the description process.   At about the same time my lovely wife Patricia gave me a digital camera.   With camera in hand I was off to the pigeon loft where I begin taking photos to go along with the information I was complying.  

I decided not to make a private journal but rather to display it here on the web so others, like you, could also benefit from it.    This gave me three more hobbies to pursue; photography, web site design and genetics.

You could say this web site is my book report on pigeon genetics.   Just putting it together has helped me to understand this subject more fully.    I hope you too will find it just as helpful and interesting.   For me, it’s an ongoing project; so stay tuned.  This web site will grow slowly but grow it will.    I hope you find it to your satisfaction.

Now before I begin, I want to thank all the genetic researchers for their keen insights and hard work in documenting their many studies and findings.     Their untiring efforts have made it possible for a layperson like me to share in this knowledge.   

I want to thank the late Dr. Willard F. Hollander for his lifetime of dedicated genetic research; for his many books and articles published; and for personally taking the time to answer my phone calls, letters and emails.  Doc., as his admirers so affectionately called him, passed away in January 2004 at the age of 90.    All that knew, respected and loved him will miss him.  I feel honored to have been able to introduced my Grandson Michael to such a giant pigeon legend as Doc.

To the late Joseph W. Quinn for his many observations, books, CD’s volumes of research data and personnel time so freely given.  To his lovely wife Mary for allowing Joe to spend time chewing the fat with so many of us pigeon nuts.  Joe is truly missed by all who’s lives he touched and he touched so many both within the sport of pigeons and elsewhere.  A combat infantry officer, Korean War veteran, teacher and pigeon nut; a  true legend of a man.   

To the late Dr. Paul P. Cook, Jr. for his book Genetics Made Simple.   

To Bob Mangile for his research data and pigeon genetic web site.   

To Frank Mosca for sparking my interest in this subject through his written articles, genetic web site and many emails.

To Dr. Axel Sell, for his excellent book on pigeon genetics.   

To my friend and fellow genetic nut, Dr. Randal Herring for his generous donation of rare color homers and answers to my endless questions.

Last but not least, to my good friend Tom Barnhart who started the whole ball rolling by encouraging me to start this web site project.    I think Tom’s exact words to me were   “Ron your killing my email in-box!!”    “You need to set up a web page for those photos so I can simply log in and see what you’re asking”.    To make a long story short, I did as Tom asked and this is the result.    I hope you all enjoy it.

These fine gentlemen and others, conducted the long years of research needed to determine what we now know about pigeon genetics.    It is from their hard work that I began to compiled these next few pages.    I would encourage anyone who desires to learn more about our birds’ genetics to make an effort to obtain copies of their works.


Information found on this web site was obtained from the following reference source publications:

Origins and Excursions in Pigeon Genetics by Dr. W.F. Hollander.
Breeding and Inheritance in Pigeons by Dr. Axel Sell
Genetics Made Simple with special reference to Pigeons by Dr. Paul P Cook, Jr.
The Pigeon Breeder's Notebook: An Introduction to Pigeon Science by Joseph W. Quinn
The Pigeon Breeder’s Notebook Feather, Form, and Flight by Joseph W. Quinn
Franks Mosca's Pigeon Genetics web site
Tom Barnhart's Pigeon Genetics web site
Bob Mangile's Genetic site web site

That's my Grandpa John R Huntley on the left back in 1916 with one of his prize racing homers.    I'm the guy in the center with my prize show winning hen.    She won best overall flown racer in the Carolina Pigeon Club 1999 show as well as best flown old hen.    My eldest Grandson Michael Bingham is on the right with his recessive red Russian Tumbler.  Its an old photo; he is all grown up now.  Michael, a graduate of Clemson University with a BS degree in Civil/Structural Engineering is currently working as a Project Engineer in Pennsylvania.   For the time being, Michael has given up his birds, but I hope that in time, he will start again.    Between the three of us, we made 100 plus years of pigeon flying, handling and showing.   It skipped every other generation. I think that's kind of neat.  My other two grandsons Cory and Jake also like pigeons but they live in an area where they sadly cannot keep them.   So just to make sure they don't miss out on all the fun I always save some of the loft cleaning duties just for them.

When finished looking over my site’s material, please take a minute and visit my Links Page.   There you will find links to all the major pigeon organizations, supply outlets, pigeon publications, pedigree software and of course other pigeon genetic sites.    In addition, you'll find several pigeon clubs and individual flyer's web sites.    Don’t forget thou to come back to this page when you're finished so you can choose one of the other links.

Now with your mouse pick a pigment color or a genetic subject and click on it.    It will take you, to that selected page:

Glossary of Genetic Terms
Genetic Symbols

Chapter 1 - Sex, Chromosomes and Genes
Chapter 2 - Cell Reproduction, Mitosis, Meiosis and Crossovers
Chapter 3 - Genetic Terms and Meanings
Chapter 4 - The Ten Commandments of every Pedigree
Brown (b).....the least dominant of the three true base colors
Blue (+).....the next dominant of the three and the original or wild type form
Ash Red (BA).....the most dominant of the three true base colors
The Pattern Series - every pigeon carries two genes for these.
Pale (d P) Dilute (d) and Extreme Dilute (d ex) - sex linked dilute color modifiers.
Lemon or Extreme Dilute (d ex) - an article jointly authored by Larry Davis and myself on this new mutation.
Are Anne Ellis's “Odd Yellow” Monks Really Lemons?  by Tim Kvidera
Reduced (r) and Rubella (rru) two sex linked color modifiers
Almond (St); Faded (StF); Qualmond (StQ); Hickory(StH); Sandy(StS); Frosty(StF) all sex linked color modifiers.
Opals(Od)Dominant Opal and (o) Recessive Opal   color modifiers
Grizzle(G)   color modifier
Indigo (In)   color modifier
Smokey (sy) also called Slate; Sooty (So) and Dirty (V)   color darkening modifiers
Spread   color modifier
Other Reds such as Recessive Red, Ash Red and Indigo red mimics
Mosaic - What is a Mosaic?
Chimeras   by Richard Cryberg
Ember   color  modifier
Eye  colors
Frequently asked questions.

Hyperflexible Wrist Joint in the Domestic Variety Serpastie Derived From C. livia by Richard Cryberg and Grigoriy Zilberg
Genetics of Hyper Flex Wings in Skycutters by Grigoriy Zilberg
Microscopic Examination of the Pigment Found on WildType C. livia by Richard Cryberg
Modena Bronze   by Richard Cryberg
Statistical Calculations Applied to Genetics    by Richard Cryberg
Biosynthesis of Eumelanin and Pheomelanin by Richaed Cryberg   A link to Bob Mangile's web site for Richard Cryberg paper
How Does a Roller Roll   by Richard Cryberg
The Blue Question   by Richard Cryberg

Drizzle  by James Gratz dvm and Larry Long (posthumously)
Light Sensitivity of Pigeon Feathers   by Tim Kvidera
CIELAB Color of Pigeons   by Tim Kvidera
Effects of dilute locus mutants on blackwing Archangels   by Tim Kvidera
Naked Neck Nn//Nn   by Dina Mergeani
Baldhead Pied - Bh   by Arif Mumtaz

Mrs Mary Quinn has given me permission to put her late husband’s “Pigeon Breeders Notebook: An Introduction to Pigeon Science” up on this web site. With the help of Paul Hollander, who did all of the hard work by developing the pdf file of Joe’s book, I am now able to do so. Below is the link where you can download Joe’s book for free as a pdf file. You can read the notebook there or you can save it to your hard drive for later use.

The Pigeon Breeder's Notebook: An Introduction to Pigeon Science   by Joseph W. Quinn

Click on this link for a Free Download of Quinn's Pigeon Breeder's Notebook: An Introduction to Pigeon Science

In addation; Andrey Kuznecov, Konstantin Razhaisky and Grigoriy Zilberg have kindly translated Joe Quinn's Notebook into Russian; it too can be downloaded free in PDF format. Russian Translation    provided by Grigoriy Zilberg.

Fulton’s Book of Pigeons with Standards for Judging (Edited by Lewis Wight) - 1895 is now on pdf format. Click on this link for a Free Download
You can read the book there or you can save it to your hard drive for later use. This is a very large file with 525 page.    As such it will take a few minute to download so be very patient; go get a cool one while you wait.

Sorry but I have no "Birds For Sale".


About Biology with Regina Bailey is a learning web site."" Click on this link and learn the “Basics in Genetic” from a non pigeon prospective.


Dr. Willard. F. Hollander always tried to make his pigeon genetics material as inexpensive and as available as possible.   In that spirit, his son Paul Hollander has placed a pdf file of his father's booklet NPA Information Booklet #1, Project on Genetics on the net for all to read or downolad.   Click here to view this booklet or download a free copy.
Download Warning -- 6 MB

During his life, Dr. Hollander, also known as Doc in our pigeon world, was involved in many pigeon related issues and or projects.    One such project was serving as the first editor for “The Pigeon Genetics News Letter” beginning with issue #1 dated January 1957 through issue # 40 dated October 1966.   Doc loved to teach and especially he loved teaching and explaining pigeon genetics.   What follows are transcribed copies of the original issues with only personal addresses and outdated references omitted.    These transcribed copies are made available thanks to the hard work of Dr. Richard Cryberg who took the pains taking steps to reconstruct them from print into computer text.    They are all here for interested viewers to study or copy.   I have grouped them into sets of ten issues per web page.    There is a short forward written by Dr. Cryberg followed by an index of topics for the entire set of 40 issues.    I hope you find them as interesting as I have.   I would also like to thank Dr. Cryberg for making this possible.     It goes without saying that we also owe our beloved late friend Dr. Hollander our deepest gratitude for his life's work in genetics and pigeons.    Thank you Doc, may your legacy and words of knowledge live on.

The Pigeon Genetics News Letter Forward by Richard Cryberg followed by the Index of Issues
The Pigeon Genetics News Letter  Issues  1 thru 10  
by Dr. Willard Hollander
The Pigeon Genetics News Letter  Issues 11 thru 20
 by Dr. Willard Hollander
The Pigeon Genetics News Letter  Issues 21 thru 30
 by Dr. Willard Hollander
The Pigeon Genetics News Letter  Issues 31 thru 40  
by Dr. Willard Hollander

Pigeon Links, National Organizations, Publications and other related pigeon information

Click here for CARE OF A LOST PIGEON and how to find its owner

A PIGEON GENETICS CALCULATOR by Henk Meijers of Holland.     This calculator works out the basic color possibilities for you.     It’s still a work in progress and will be improved over time.      It’s a great help just the same.      Click here and check it out.

Advanced Genetics Wizard        Genetics Wizard"G. Wiz" A little program by Barry C. Nielsen to calculate your statistical probabilities for one or more genetic factors based upon a large number of offspring.   This really does work great and I recommend it to anyone who needs  to work out the possibilities of breeding for genetic traits.

       Chevita Gmbh is a German / Austrian pharmaceutical company engaged in the development and manufacture of animal health products.   They have an excellent web site for pigeon related diseases and recommend treatments.   There you will find a list of symptoms and treatment for just about every medical problem that may arise in your loft.   It’s a great source of information.    I strongly recommend all pigeon breeders become familiar with the services they provide. Click here and check it out.

                Click here for Symptoms for pigeon related illnesses.

       If you have questions related to a pigeons health, flying performance and nutrition, Pigeon Vitality is another great source of information.    I strongly recommend fanciers become familiar with this web site also. Click here and check it out.

 The Medical Formulary compiled several years ago by a group of veterinarians; linked to here at This is an excellent source of information on bird medications and proper dosages.

 Click here for The Alberta Classic an informational web site for the Alberta Classic Young Bird Derby.   It is an excellent source of information on bird Navigation, Health and for those interested in Eye Sign.   I highly recommend reading the information on health issues given there.

My Trip to the 1999 National Young Bird Show in Louisville Kentucky
My Trip to the 1999 Carolina Pigeon Club Annual All Age Show in Greenville SC.
My Military Career

What Darwin Didn't Know.
A 90 min You Tube video (by the BBC) on what Darwin didn’t know about evolution, but what we today do understand. A very interesting documentary well worth the time to view.

Next Page


I have no formal training in the area of genetics so I’m by no means an expert.    However, I do read as much published genetic information on pigeons as I can find and I take pleasure in discussing it with others who are more knowledgeable than I.  In addition, I observe carefully what I’ve seen in my birds and it's these observations and some conclusions along with what I've learned from others that I share with you, here on this site.   It’s done in hopes that it will aid you to both understand and put genetics to good use in your loft.


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Copyright 1999 by Ronald Huntley.
Permission is granted to download or copy for non-commercial individual use only.
The author retains all other rights under copyright.

Ronald R. Huntley
Web Page Designer
Duncan SC, 29334