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ABSENCE OF BILL RING IN RINGNECK DOVES,Streptopelia risoria.

by

Wilmer J. Miller

Pigeon Science and Genetics Newsletter 7:19-20 1978

American Dove Association Newsletter (ADAN) July-Aug 1980: 6

 

Some mutant color types like white and albino always lack any sign of a bill ring at hatching. Pied hatchlings also lack the bill ring except very rarely by chance of the variation of position of pigment [when it may occur as a sort of spot].

I have been watching the bill ring of newly hatched squabs for many years for early diagnosis of blond versus dark, and more recently rosy and ivory which have faint bill rings. Suddenly last year on 21 May 1976, I found a blond squab without any bill ring! Its nest mate had a normal bill ring. Some fluke, I thought -- Interesting, but it won't happen again. The next squab, a singleton, was normal. But in the next clutch of the two squabs, one was normal, while it nest mate has a thin or narrow bill ring -- deinitely not normal. Another singleton came along that again had no bill ring! The next full clutch had a normal and another thin bill ring!

This brings us up to date with 3 normal, 2 thin and 2 absent bill rings, all blond color. As they grow up, the bills pigment normally. It looks good for an inherited pattern. It could be a partial dominant and both parents could have been thin bill rings that I didn’t really note as a phenotype until the complete absence stimulated me to look closer at the ring.

I worked up the pedigree to see if some ancestors were held in common. New extreme types usually show up by inbreeding. There were 9 ancestors held in common by the two parents, perhaps more since a few ancestral line colony birds came from pen matings.

Unfortunately the last mouse induced paratyphoid "riddling of the dove ranks" knocked out all these birds, except for one thin bill ring. I have no assurance of maintaining the character. Therefore, I am enclosing a list of family numbers which are likely to carry the condition. I may well have donated some of these birds to various ADA or PS&GN fanciers. The starred matings are those with a sibling, by my hypothesis proven to be a carrier.

This transient hatchling character need not be limited to my birds. Since one must look during the first two or three days after hatching in order to note it for sure, few fanciers will have noted such a condition. So now all you fanciers look for this character and study its inheritance, if you possess such a rarity.

[Added March 2000] I have found the character in many more doves since the original observation. So I think it is an infrequent character, but not a rare one. It seems to fit a codominant inheritance with one dose of the mutant (heterozygous) showing a thin (0.5 mm) ring and two doses (homozygous) showing no bill ring. Normal bill rings are one mm in width. However, my data is still scanty since I spent some years in Brazil. And had to start all over in mid-1997. I am finding frosty and tangerine doves to be confusing as yet with regard to this character. I have found some tangerine doves that exhibited thin bill ring as hatchlings. So more data is needed especially for these colors.

  344  

  404  

  429  

  446*  

  485  

  362*  

  413  

  433*  

  451  

  505  

  364*  

  414  

  438  

  473  

  396*  

  421*  

  440*  

  482  

More recent mating numbers (families) known to exhibit thin or no bill ring are:

  698   

  707   

  716   

  723   

       

  701  

  708  

  717  

  728  

  704  

  714  

  720  

    

 Contributions to ADAN, History of dove color, Production and age of ringneck female, Origins of ringnecks, Fate of the world depends on this dove, Porcelain egg albumin, Minerals, Doves are delightful,

Return to Wilmer's Main Page