Mangile’s Pigeon Pages

American Pigeon Review
Volume 4,  Number 1
January 1986,  page 29.

Comparing Almond Pigeons to Broken Beer Bottles!?

by Robert J. Mangile

The highly variable almond is perhaps the most written about plumage coloration in domestic pigeons. Descriptions of so-called "classic-almond" can get quite lengthy and breeding methods described to produce it are equally long and uncertain.

To gain insight into the matter, try to envision a broken beer bottle!  Crazy!,. you might be thinking; but try to follow along?

The words "broken beer bottle" instantly produce an image in your mind.  Characteristically, the mind envisions a brown bottle, held by its neck after being broken on a tavern bar.  Now..., that's a broken beer bottle!

But, beer bottles come in a variety of colors, sizes and shapes (not to mention the more modern glass-cans).  They can be broken with a tire-tool, dropped on concrete, shot through with an air-rifle or pulverized into a fine dust with a hammer; and all qualify as broken beer bottles.  And just like almond, their final descriptions are endless, i.e., no two are identical.

Typically, almond plumage grows darker with age.  Combining the genetic unit (gene) that produces almond, with a bluebar (wildtype) plumage, usually produces a mostly white plumage with scattered flecks and patches of the blue bar plumage showing.  With age and each successive molt the pigeon becomes darker or displays less white.  A ten year old almond may appear as a blue bar with little white in its plumage.  Now..., that's an almond plumage!

The old question of whether a Zebra is black with white stripes or white with black stripes is a dilemma for the mind.  Is almond a blue pigeon with white or a white pigeon with blue?  Fortunately, we know it to be a blue pigeon with white.

However, to produce the "classic-almond" appearance, other genetic units must be included into the genetic make-up (genotype) of almond birds.  Kite-bronzing, recessive red, spread and T-pattern checkering are said to enhance almond.  In other words, we must include things that affect the end result or we simply wind-up with a blue and white pigeon.  "Classic-almond" is an assembly of traits, not just one.

As for the comparison of broken beer bottles to almond plumage, we have been made aware that other elements were brought to bear towards the final result.  A tire-tool will produce quite a different affect on a beer bottle than an air-rifle projectile.  Likewise, kite-bronzing genes will alter the appearance of  almond more than the normal non-kite genes will.  Check it out.  mate any almond to a heavily bronzed T-pattern for starters.

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