The Racing Pigeon Enthusiast
~ Newsletter ~
Table of Contents:

About this newsletter   by John Vance, editor

Welcome to our first issue of the Racing Pigeon Enthusiast, This newsletter is sponsored by and it is hoped that many more issues will follow.

Things are changing so fast in the way folks access information and in the way we in the sport conduct our business. With internet "search tools", a little time and e-mail, it is now possible to reach out and contact fanciers all over the world. There are literally hundreds of website about the sport of racing pigeons that are available for viewing over the internet. Some of these site contain a great wealth of information, covering topics like health, training, loft construction, widowhood, natural, feeding, the history of the pigeon strains, and medical research, to name a few. The internet has become an incredible reference source for all who attempt to access its information.

One of the purposes of this newsletter is to help you find these resources. Every month, we present in condensed format useful information we have "gleaned" from the internet that might be of interest to racing pigeon enthusiasts. From time to time we will highlight websites that we feel offer valuable information to the racing pigeon enthusiast.

It is hoped that this newsletter will become a rich source of original articles about our sport. As you can see by reading the table of contents above, this issue contains several interesting articles covering different aspects of our sport. There is an article about Maurice Delbar and his Golden grizzles, a commentary by Alex Cornella, on the state of futurity racing, the first of a two part series on sex-linkage, a graphical representation of "The life Cycle of E.labbeana and E.columbarum" (The Causative Agents of Coccidiosis), and "Living by the Standard" a lesson we could all learn from Doctor Bricoux.

German Golden Grizzle Delbars   by the "Black Forest Bear"

From the French speaking part of Belgium, is the little town of Ronse, home to one of the most famous racing pigeon fanciers of the 20th Century, his name was Maurice Delbar.

Today many years after his string of great national wins, the Delbar name is well known around the world. Even to this day, in Mainland China, the "Delbar" is still the #1 strain.

What is little known about Maurice Delbar is that he kept an exceptional family of grizzles. The descendants of his "Golden Grizzles" made many a Belgian and German fancier famous after World War II.

During the years of his fame the entire world knew of his world champion flyer "Little Chequer". Born in the year 1932, "Little Chequer" dominated the National St. Vincent races. He placed an amazing 2 X 1st National plus 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 10th National during his racing career. A better racing pigeon probably has never existed.

Around this same time, Mr. Delbar purchased a grizzle hen from an unknown fancier in his area and in 1934 bred the "Little Chequer" with the grizzle hen.

To read the complete article click here

Is the U.S. Going the Way of Taiwan?   by Alex Cornella

This spring I sent three birds to the IF Convention race hosted by the Northern Catskill Racing Club in New York State. Traditionally, these convention races were good tests against the cream of the country and winning was an accomplishment to make any fancier proud.

These are the only birds I entered in a futurity this year, as I am not big on gambling on pigeon races, especially since I am retired and have to watch my pennies. A handler for the convention race informed me that a big pigeon stud has entered 64 birds in this race. This was confirmed to me by an IF officer. Apparently, the owner of the stud has entered 30 birds in his name and 34 birds are entered under other loft names. So what is up with this? Is he trying to buy the race?

I am more than willing to put up three of my birds against 10 or 12 birds from any loft in the country, back them up with a little money, and let the best loft win. But, three against 30 or 64, those are skewed odds. I am wondering how many entries the other big pigeon farms have entered in the IF convention race.

To read the complete article click here

Sex Linkage - What does it mean?   by Tom Barnhart

The term "sex linkage" by itself simply means that a particular characteristic is linked to the sex chromosome, or more specifically, the gene for that particular characteristic lies on the sex chromosome. A "sex-linked mating", on the other hand, is a mating in which sex linkage of a particular gene is used to determine the sex of an offspring based on plumage color.

As is the case with all living organisms, chromosomes occur in pairs, where one member of each pair comes from each parent. Pigeons have 31 pairs of chromosomes, but for our discussion we only need concern ourselves with one such pair, the pair that determine the birdís sex. What makes things a little less complicated when discussing sex linkage - and what makes sex-linked matings possible at all - is the fact that in pigeons (and birds in general), the female has only one active sex chromosome while the cock has two. (The female actually has two sex chromosomes, but the one is so small and insignificant as to be virtually negligible for our purposes.)

In pigeons, the following characteristics are due to genes that are on the sex chromosome and therefore such characteristics can be used to determine the sex of youngsters as soon as they feather out: Ash red (symbol BA), brown (symbol b), almond (symbol St), faded (symbol StF), qualmond (symbol StQ), reduced (symbol r), dilute (symbol d), and pale (symbol dP). There are also a few others, but they are rather obscure and the average fancier need not concern himself with them. Capital letters indicate that a particular gene is dominant to normal (which we consider to be a common blue bar, and sometimes refer to as "wild type"), and the characteristic will be visible any time the bird possesses the gene for that characteristic on either or both sex chromosomes. Lower case letters mean the gene is recessive to normal and the corresponding characteristic will only be visible when that gene is present twice, that is, on both chromosomes.

To read the complete article click here

The Life Cycle of E.labbeana and E.columbarum   by John Vance

Coccidiosis is an intestinal disease widely distributed among pigeons. Coccidia inhabit the small intestine of nearly all pigeons. I have prepared a graphic that depicts the life cycle of the agents that cause Coccidiosis. To see the graphic follow the link below.

To see the lifecycle graphic click here

Living by the Standard   by John Vance

Doctor Bricoux, from Jolimont, Belgium, will always be remembered as a Great Champion. During the ten year period from 1930 - 1939, the good 'Doctor' was unstoppable. Without duplication he amazing record was: 14 X 1st National, 12 X 2nd National, and overall ~ 124 times in the Top 20 on national races. He was without a doubt the most influential pigeon flyer of his era.

The doctor had strong ideas about what qualities a racing pigeon must possess. In fact, he along with several other equally respected fanciers were instrumental in creating the French - Belgium standard for "grading" or "rating" racing pigeons.

Even though Bricoux was a strong proponent of the standard, he also was a pragmatist. If one were to visit his lofts, there would be found one or more outstanding pigeons that a strict adherent to the standard-theory would never have allowed to remain in his loft; birds that simply did not meet the criteria of the standard - neither as a racer nor as a breeder.

Dr. Bricoux, preferred a well built pigeon with a sound constitution, possessing a broad and rounded back, and displaying no weakness in the firmness and strength of the vents. However, he was also in the habit to keeping at least one pigeon every year that did not come up to standard.

He realized that a standard is just that 'a standard' and not 'the answer' to what qualities a racing pigeon must possess in order to become a winner or exceptional breeder. He was never surprised when on more that one occasion these reject pigeons turned out to be an exceptional racer or breeder.

We could all learn from the late Dr. Bricoux and remember that a standard for a sport like racing pigeons must be a changing 'theory' capable to adapting to the realities of the competition we find ourselves competing against. Often the greatest break-through in our breeding and racing programs comes from a bird that does not fit our understanding of the dynamics of flight.

I first came to realize this truth, when the late Dale Flemmer handed me his 650 mile race winner from Reno, Nevada, and asked me if I noticed anything different about the bird. No sooner had I opened the bird's wing then I saw it. There was no step between the primary and secondary flights, none, not even the hint of a step, just a perfectly aligned butter knife curve from the first secondary feather to the 10th flight.

That my friends was an 'eye opener'. I had heard repeatedly, that a good distance bird must have 'the step' and the greater the step the better. But, there in my hands was a 650 mile race winner, the absolute opposite of what I had come to believe as true. From that moment on, I began to question all the rules (standards) by which I 'graded' my birds.

Let Dr Bricoux be a reminder to us all not to become a slave to 'the standard' but the master of it! One does not become the master of a standard by rigorous application, one becomes the master of a standard by understanding both its strengths and its inherent weakness.

Math Problem Submitted by DJ Cline


This sounds about right:

Ever wonder about those people who say
they are giving more than 100% ?

We have all been to those meetings where
someone wants over 100%.

How about achieving 103%?

Here's a little
math that might prove helpful.

What makes life 100% ?

is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.


H  A  R  D  W  O  R  K
8  1  18 4  23 15 18 11 = 98%

K  N  O  W  L  E  D  G  E
11 14 15 23 12 5  4  7  5 = 96%


A  T  T  I  T  U  D  E
1  20 20 9 20 21 4 5 = 100%


B  U  L  L  S  H  I  T
2 21 12 12 19 8  9 20 = 103%

So, it stands to reason that hard work and
knowledge will get you close,
attitude will get you there,
but bullshit will put you over the top.

And look how far ass kissing will take you.

A  S  S    K  I  S  S  I  N  G
1  19 19   11 9  19 19 9 14 7 = 127 %

What's Happening at RacingPigeonMall?

First off, we have started a new relationship with several fanciers in Europe. One of the benefits of this relationship is that articles will be submitted from time to time by our European friends, telling us about the sport in Europe and about many of the top flyers there as well.

A new feature that we have created on the website, is that we will be listing European Imports for sale. That is right, we now have agents in Germany, Belgium and Holland that can acquire birds of interest for our USA readers.

Currently, we have the following listings:

"Superduivin" ~ She has a very good race record and descends from "Malandro", one of Holland's top race birds in the 1990's. She carries the blood of the core of Van de Pol's famous breeders, "De 8000", "Fondman" Schaerlenkens' famous cock "Good Yearling" and "Holle Rug".

Sixteen Flor Engels bloodline Yearlings many are grandchildren of Engel's famous "de 231".
Mr. Engels is one of the top flyers in Belgium.

2 X Mid fond Champion ~ Here is the best record hen we have offered this year. Have a look!

All these listing can be accessed from the website. Click Here for listings

Feedback from our Members

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