Lark and Gimpel-Pigeon Bronze

LARK Pigeon BRONZE as a hereditary factor takes its name from the ocher-colored breast of the Coburg larks, which was initially only considered appropriate for the breed in the larked color-class. Only later did bars and barless join them. That against resistance. Since the breed name ‘Lark’ was derived from the similarity in the wing shield with the pattern of the songbird 'Lerche' (Lark).


Fig. 1: Coburg larks larked and silver without bars (genetically diluted lark bronze)

The ocher colored breast can also be found in other breeds. Strictly speaking, the larks have the gene 'Lark Bronze' modified by the dilution factor. Andreas Leiß had symbolized the gene after his tests with Lb.

The undiluted form is revealed during crossings. Breeders and judges usually don't see this at all and exhibit the pigeons as normal blue birds and evaluate them that way, as shown here with the example of the Montauban (Fig. 2). The hen has a diluted color with ocher breast, the cock from the same loft with dark bronze breast color. In the case of Thuringian Selfs, the breast is required as a brown-red or, in the case of the diluted colored ones, as a yellow 'Noster'.


Fig. 2: Montauban: non-diluted Lark Bronze and diluted Lark Bronze from the same loft. Source: Sell, Genetics of pigeon coloring (German language), Achim 2015.

GIMPELPigeon BRONZE: The term 'lark pigeon bronze' is some respect misleading. Because with the 'Nuremberg Lark' there is another breed that goes by the name 'Lark'. And this one has the also dominant Gimpel pigeon bronze, not the Lark pigeon bronze. When diluted it also produces an ocher color. Among the Nuremberg larks, these are the Larks and ‘Mehllichten’ (light like flour) with and without bars. Among Gimpel pigeons, those diluted by 'pale' are called gold. The yellow color of the Nuremberg Larks extends far beyond the chest compared to the Coburg Larks. Up to the head, down to the lower abdomen. However, not as far as well-bred golden Gimpel Pigeons (Fig. 3).


Fig. 3: Nuremberg larks larked and floured with bars (left). On the right, Gimpel pigeons, copper-blackwings and variants of the golden Gimpels. In the background on the left picture is a Coburg lark (source: Schachzabel 1910).

When crossing Nuremberg larks with non-diluted partners, the non-diluted Gimpel bronze is revealed in the copper breasted offspring. This was the case in our own loft when mating a larked cock with a blue-checkered hen. Due to sex-linkage and gender, the young female standing next to it is diluted (Fig.4).

Fig. 4: Nuremberg lark pigeon (diluted Gimpel bronze) and blue-check hen with heterozygous young for Gimpel pigeon bronze. Young cocks from this sex-linked mating not diluted, young hens diluted. Source: Sell, Pigeon Genetics, Achim 2012

DIFFERENCE IN YOUTH plumage: The counterpart to the Lark Bronze without a dilution factor is usually not perceived as a Lark Bronze by breeders or by judges at shows (see above). The blue Montauban pictured, for example, was exhibited and evaluated as a normal blue bar. When Gimpel pigeons are crossed with other breeds, bronze, or diluted gold or ochre, in many of the young can only be seen in the chest area, similar to lark bronze. The position and extent of the bronze or ocher breast are therefore not a sure distinguishing feature. One difference is the moulting process. What is typical for lark bronze is that it only develops during the moult. Shown using the example of a larked hen in our own crosses with diluted Thuringian Selfs (Fig. 5).


Fig. 5: Development of the ocher breast during the moult of Lark Pigeon Bronze in an F1 hen from Thuringian Selfs

In contrast, Gimpel pigeon bronze and, in dilution, Gimpel pigeon gold appear in juvenile plumage and usually extend beyond a spot on the chest (Fig. 6).


Fig. 6: Gimpel Pigeon Bronze show in crosses with other breeds still in the juvenile plumage as bronze (or gold, when diluted).  Own crosses. Source: Sell, Pigeon Genetics 2012.



Schachtzabel, Emil, Illustriertes Prachtwerk sämtlicher Taubenrassen, Würzburg 1910

Sell, Pigeon Genetics. Applied Genetics in the Domestic Pigeon, Achim 2012, https://www.taubensell.de

Sell, Genetik der Taubenfärbungen, Achim 2015