April 05, 2009
Several years ago Jay gave me a book on different breeds of domestic pigeons. It's full of beautiful color photos of many of the different varieties including: Pouters, Trumpeters, Tumblers, Frillbacks, Jacobins, and Capuchines. Most scientists, including our friend Charles Darwin, have believed that this breed diversity can be traced back to one species, Columba livia. For thousands of years, humans have selectively cross bred, and manipulated certain physical characteristics to yield the range that can be found today; everything from a long necked Maltese pigeon, to the flamboyant feathers of a Fantail or Jacobin. My favorites are the fluffy collared Jacobins and Capuchines. Everytime I see a photo of a Capuchine, I think of a 16th century noblewoman and her elaborate, high collared dress.