Gimpel Pigeons and Gimpel Bronze

The special features of the Gimpel Pigeon

Gimpel pigeons were admired early on for their unique exotic-looking colors. The contrast of the shiny bronze and gold body color to the color of the wings and tail is impressive. In the case of the black wings, in addition the green shine on the wing covers. One is now well informed about the basic features of the inheritance of the figure, the peak crest, gold versus copper, the black-, blue- and white-wings among each other, the gloss and other factors, although there are still questions. For fine tuning, there are detailed reports from experts (Schröder/Gebhard 2009).


Fig. 1: Gimpel Copper Blackwing (Archangel) and Gold-Blackwing

The inheritance of gimpel bronze in pairings with non-gimpels

The decoding process of coloring and the special contrast between body and wings and tail is associated with errors and confusions. At crossings of blue wings, black wings and also white wings, the bronze factor shows up in the chest area and to different extents in other parts of the body. In the F2 there are some young individuals, in which bronze extends to large parts including the head. When the F1 mated back to pure gimpels, some of the young surprisingly regained widely the appearance of gimpels. You can also explain why it is so.

Fig. 2: Youngsters from Blue bar Racing Homer and Copper and Gold Blue-Wing and youngsters from a heterozygous Copper/Gold Blackwing and a blue check Racing Homer (at the right). Source: Sell, Genetik der Taubenfärbungen 2015 and Sell, Pigeon Genetics. Applied Genetics in the Domestic Pigeon 2012.

The decryption process in fast motion

Some striking points in the decryption process of gimpel bronze and the constrast between gold or copper body and the color of wings and tail.


Fig. 3: Striking points in the decryption process

In 1926/1928, Metzelaar placed bronze of the Gimpel Pigeons in the canon of a series of dominant bronze factors, each of which touched individual feather corridors, e.g. in the case of Gimpels the body, on the other hand e.g. with the 'centrifugal mahogany' (Modena bronze) especially the pattern such as bars and checks. In 1930, Horlacher came up with a recessive factor in his own experiments at crossing black wings (Archangels) with solid blacks. He didn't know that the Spread factor of blacks covered the bronze. As a result, bronze as well as the contrast of body plumage and wings and tail have disappeared in the offspring. Bjaanes, after crossing with red and black, confirmed Horlacher's inaccurate conclusions. He also did not yet know that both the Spread factor and the recessive red can cover gimpel bronze. Therefore, both had not shown the recessive character of gimpel bronze, but the epistatic effect of the recessive red and spread. Quinn returned in 1971 to Metzelaar's perspective and the thesis of dominance. In 1993 Gibson introduced the term ‘gimpel pattern bronze’ and, after his own attempts, which were not documented further, spoke again of recessiveness. ‘Gimpel pattern’ means the different colors of the body plumage and the wings plus tail. If he did not find bronze in the F1, it may be due to other factors blocking the bronze, in a similar way such as spread and recessive red do. In 2005 he only wrote of a recessive gimpel pattern and let out bronze. According to him, the color gradation of basic body plumage on the one hand and wings and tail on the other hand should also exist for other body colors. What it means for Gimpel Pigeons with the gimpel bronze is not clear. The recessive yellow and red, which occasionally are raised from correct gimpels, and the foxes, which are overmarked with bronze, cannot logically be heterozygous gimpel pattern, since they themselves, like the epistatic recessive red and gold, when homozygous, are raised from two homozygous gimpel.

Fig. 4: Self Gold from Gimpel Gold-Blackwing and a Gold Blackwing (upper line) and overmarked young from Gold Bluewings, and a Gold-Bluewing


What happens at the bio-chemical level cannot be resolved through experimental breeding attempts. The picture sketched by Metzelaar and taken over by Quinn of a (partially) dominant factor affecting the body plumage seems to be a helpful idea for understanding and breeding practice. It must be supplemented by recessive supporting factors that have been enriched by centuries of selection. Not unique in pigeon breeding, because in most breeds e.g. even black pigeons successfully shown at the exhibitions are not simply pigeons with a black base color and the Spread factor. Like many other colors, they also need a number of positive and freedom from negative factors to represent their color-class.

Sell, Axel (2015), Genetik der Taubenfärbungen, Achim.

Sell, Axel (2012), Pigeon Genetics. Applied Genetics in the Domestic Pigeon, Achim.