Pigeon Talk – Eye Sign

January 30, 2018

Eye of Bold Ruler

By Alex Bieche
www. biechelofts.com

The eye of a pigeon is one of my 6 common denominator tools I use to grade pigeons for my clients.  The eye of a pigeon is one very powerful tool and holds true each and every time, if used properly. On the other hand, it can also be one of the most over rated tools if one is too obsessed with it. If the eyes alone were the almighty tool that the experts would want you to believe, then they would be winning all the races. Several years back, Mr.  Fleming from Australia, the author of a great eye sign book moved to California to show the top flyers of Southern California how to fly pigeons.  After 3 years of frustrating results he decided to quit. I don’t think he ever had a first combine winner. There is something to the eye that seems to attract most flyers to some degree at some point in their flying career.  I remember visiting the Holland loft of Leen Boers back in 1983.  Staying at his home for three days we had several discussions about pigeons in general. When I asked him if he place any importance on the eye of a pigeon. He said” I personally like to have a pigeon with two eyes rather than one. “With some laughter also claimed that he was not aware of many flyers in Holland that placed much importance on the eye.  He further stated that “ You do not see people selecting their mates by matching dark eyes with light eyes do you “  All this sounded fine and dandy from a great flyer that believes in only common sense but before I left I just happened to spot an eye glass on one of his counters. So you see even when some don’t want to give the eye any credit the attraction is still there.  I myself went through several stages of placing a percent of importance on the eye as a whole.  Yes I went through the use of an eye glass and without question it can be very interesting looking for the lying or standing sign, clusters, circle of correlation, clarity and contrast and speed lines just to name a few. Contrast In the eye is composed of many blood vessels scattered about in the iris the largest portion of the eye. These small blood vessels act the same way a radiator in a car works to cool the engine. If the blood vessels are very thin and close together then the cooling is not the same. The eye in this case looks very plain with no contrast or granulation.  Today, I have condensed it down to a few  factors or tools that I consider most important and hold true each and every time, If I cannot see what I am looking for without a glass then it is not important enough to bother with.  For example, for every bird that is a good breeder having a cluster or possessing speed or distance lines I can also show you birds that have these tools that are just average breeders. This means there are several tools that are of interest but do not hold true each and every time helping to pick out that great breeder.  If that is the case why would you place a great deal of importance on them! Concentrate on the eye factors that are important.

No.1 Pupil Size. The pupil of a pigeon is very important, controlling the correct amount of light at any given time.  A larger pupil may work for   short races but a smaller pupil will not tire as quickly with too much light being exposed to the eye.  In Taiwan flying race birds over the ocean the larger eyes do not seem work AS WELL.  The glare of the sun being reflected over the water enhances the amount of light being exposed to the eye.  Several years back I had several Taiwan flyers wanting to purchase my birds.  Believe me they know what they are looking for. The pupil size for them was of the utmost of importance.

No.2 Circle of Correlation. This is the ring around the outside of the pupil. If this ring is not present in the family as a whole, in my opinion is on its way down. Every impact family of pigeons that you and I talk about and personally have seen have a good or excellent circle of correlation.  I have seen great racers without this ring, but they normally are a flash in the pan. I want the winner to be from a family that has generations of winners in the background and more important brothers and sisters to the champion that are also winners themselves. If that’s the case then I will guarantee this family has great eyes with good or excellent circle of correlation.

Magic Maker (1)

No.3 Granulation and Clarity.  No matter what the eye color, the eye of a great breeder needs to be alive with plenty of contrast and clarity. You want peaks and valleys along with plenty of granulation. This is very easy to see with an eye glass but the best breeders have it to a degree; an eye glass is not necessary.

No. 4 Eye Movement   What passed American grader Brad Lavern Calls HLREO   I had Brad grade a few of my birds back some 40 years ago.   In general he was spot on and used several tools such as character, muscle, balance including the eye. Coming home that day and always wanting to learn more, I decided to check the eye movement of all my breeders along with my new Verbruggen Imports.  One Verbruggen Import hen had a great deal of eye movement, more than all the rest so I named her Dancing Eyes.  Keeping great breeding records over a 5 year period, from the original 26 Verbruggens She did turn out to be a good breeder but not to the level of 3 of the original Imports   One hen and one cock from Verbruggens “ De Fighter “ Bred down from him, produced one of the best race records ever. This cock flew all 10 Old Bird races and won 7 x 1st Club 3 x first Comb. In the last 600m race with 2 combines going up together and there was only one day bird.  Yes it was the same Cock.  The other cock in the group and best overall I named “De Gommaire “. A once in a live times breeder. So all this being said  the eye movement  is also a good tool but in all cases use all the tools in your tool box to find that next great breeder. Along with the article 2 Eye pictures of my latest Foundation cocks  “ Bold Ruler “ My Janssen Family  “ Magic Maker “ My own Bieche family.

Your American friend in the Sport,

Alex Bieche



One Response to Pigeon Talk – Eye Sign

  1. Joel Sampang on February 1, 2018 at 11:14 am

    I fly under Thunder Birds Breeding Loft. I bought 2 birds directly from Alex a few years back and I am highly satisfied how those birds breed for me. I don’t fully believe in the eye sign but I find it interesting what Alex revealed in this article! More power to the Loft Report!

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