White and White

The white coloration in domestic pigeons is due to different genetic factors. The genealogy of the parents, phenotypes of siblings, or offspring can be a help to enlighten the genetic background. Dominant white have as adults orange red or pearl eyes (e.g. Pomeranian Eye Crested Highfliers) and usually a dominant red base color. With a black  color covered by the white they often show darker beaks and black flecks. 

Fig. 208: Pomeranian Eye-Crestedt Highfliers from the book `Pigeon Genetics`


Recessive whites can unexpectedly fall from parents with almost every coloration. They breed under themselves purely, and my be classified by their dark eyes. The recessive white young shown together with two siblings was raised by self parents

Gimpel rezessiv weiß.JPG

Albinos can also fall from all colors, but different to recessive white have red eyes. Shown are Birmingham Rollers raised also from self parents.

Albino Kalthoff.JPG

White or almost white young in strains, in which the genetic factor 'Stipple St' is present, often are heterozygous stipples (or sprenkles in other terminology) even when they are near to white  still as adults. In tumbler breeds they mostly are pearl eyed. That is shown in the Pomeranian Eye Crested Highfliers raised from a Spread Ash cock and his black sprenkle hen.

Stipper rotfahl.JPGSt spalterbig no 5 2013 IMG_8326.jpg

In the mating of two Almonds or Stipple with each other also pure Stipple or Almond-cocks are raised. They are different and  usually are handicapped by eye and movement disturbances.  That holds for the young from two Danish Brown Stipple Tumblers at the right. Shown is a heterozygous Brown Stipple cock, a homozygous St-cock (the whitish one in the middle), a hemizygous St-hen, and finally a homozygous St-cock raised from a heterozygous Stipple cock and a hemizygous Stipple hen.


Whitish-gray are also some youngsters from the mating of isabels or light blues white bars with each other, if they survive the first days at all. The trait in homozygous state is lethal. Shown is a heterozygous Spread Dominant Opal cock and a homozygous Dominant Opal cock, one of the few that reached the adult stage, but he did not produce a young.

Dominant Opal rein und spalterbig.JPG

Also some reduced pigeons like the young hen with German Modena background look like monochrome white in the first time, until one recognizes in the second week at the cheeks, that they will not remain white.

Reduced Weibchen.jpg

The combination of factors such as reduced, dominant opal, indigo, etc. also produces light silver gray colorations, which become even lighter when they are not raised on a black but dominant red ground color. For the almost white young at the last photo one may speculate what it is.

 Frosty 2016 klein IMG_7160.jpg

Immediately recognizable from the parent's coloration it is not.

Literature and Photos:

Photos from 'Pigeon Genetics' and 'Genetik der Taubenrassen', with exception of dominant opal and albino all pigeons were raised in the author's loft.



Pigeon Genetics (english language)                                                            

ISBN 978-3-9812920-3-9

528 pages, hardback, with more than 900 illustrations and a register, it has the character of a reference book. Table of Contents:


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Cover Genetik der Tabenfärbungen IMG_4643.jpg

Genetik der Taubenfärbungen (German)


ISBN 9783981292053

384 pages, hardback

More than 1000 illustration and an index Table of Contents:


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