The Damascene pigeon, also known as the Istanbullu pigeon, is a breed of fancy pigeon that has been developed over many years of selective breeding. Originating in Damascus, Syria, these pigeons are named after their place of origin. They belong to the Columbidae family and are cherished for their distinctive wing and tail patterns.
Damascene pigeons are predominantly white or silver-grey, adorned with a black tail tip and striking wing bars. Their neck feathers and skin are dark grey, and the primary flight feathers darken towards their tips. Some Damascene pigeons exhibit grouse-legged features, sporting a short layer of leg feathers, although breeders prefer clean legs.
This breed has become popular among pigeon enthusiasts worldwide due to its unique pattern, mild temperament, and easy breeding. This guide aims to explore the history, physical characteristics, behavior, and breeding of damascene pigeons in detail. So keep reading to learn more!
Origin of Damascene Pigeon
The Damascene Pigeon, also known as the Istanbullu Pigeon, is believed to have originated in the vicinity of Damascus, Syria. But there are also debates suggesting Turkey or Persia (Iran) as possible birthplaces.
The name “Damascene” reflects its connection to Damascus. The ancient Egyptian stone carvings and papyrus scrolls prove its existence dating back thousands of years.
In 1667, it was referred to as “Mahomet” in “The Ornithology of Francis Willughby of Middleton,” with its dark eyes likened to those of people from the Middle East. An alternative theory for its name was presented in John Moore’s 1765 work, “A Treatise of Domestic Pigeons.” It proposed that the “Mahomet” name stemmed from the belief that this pigeon symbolized the Holy Spirit, said to have communicated with Muhammad, the Founder of Islam.
As these pigeons arrived in Europe, the name shifted from “Mahomet” to “Damascene.” They were first introduced to Europe in 1868 when James Wallace of Glasgow imported them from Constantinople (Istanbul). By 1879, they were officially recognized as “Damascene” in Europe.
Appearance and Characteristics
The damascene pigeon is a beautiful breed known for its unique appearance and characteristics. This breed is one of the oldest domestic pigeon breeds, originally hailing from the Middle East. Let’s explore the key characteristics and traits of the damascene pigeon breed, including its physical appearance, behavior and temperament, and life expectancy.
Damascene Pigeons are medium-sized birds, typically weighing between 300 to 450 grams. They present a plump and well-rounded figure. Their distinctive physical traits include a short and broad beak, a relatively short neck, a rounded head often adorned with a small crest, and striking large, dark eyes.
Their broad and rounded chest, well-developed wings, short yet sturdy legs, and a range of color patterns, such as black, blue, dun, and red, contribute to their overall appearance.
Behavior and Temperament
In terms of behavior, Damascene Pigeons are recognized for their calm and gentle disposition. They are known to be easy to handle, displaying a friendly demeanor that makes them a favored choice among hobbyists and bird enthusiasts.
Typically, these pigeons exhibit a docile nature, spending much of their day in a relaxed state, occasionally cooing and engaging in brief bursts of activity and flight.
Damascene Pigeons enjoy a relatively long life span, with an average of 10 to 15 years. However, as with any bird breed, various factors such as diet, environmental conditions, and overall health can influence their longevity.
Proper care and attention are key to ensuring a fulfilling and extended life for these captivating pigeons.
Damascene Pigeons Care Requirements & Breed Guide
Damascene pigeons are beautiful and friendly birds that make great pets. They have a warm disposition and love being around humans. If you are planning to own or breed these pigeons, you must understand their specific care requirements and consider some factors.
- Damascene Pigeons need room to move, so a spacious cage or loft with adequate ventilation is essential.
- Use durable materials for their housing like galvanized iron or wood.
- The cage should be placed in a well-ventilated area, away from rain, wind or direct sunlight.
- Add perches and nesting boxes for their comfort.
- Avoid overcrowding, as this may lead to stress and diseases.
Feeding and Nutrition
- Offer a balanced diet with grains, seeds, and pellets, along with fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Ensure access to clean water and establish a regular feeding schedule.
- Do not feed them toxic foods like avocado or chocolate.
Health and Grooming
- Regularly clean their cage, food, and water bowls, and nesting boxes
- Maintain a clean environment to prevent disease outbreaks
- Keep an eye out for any signs of illness such as respiratory problems, unusual behavior, or changes in appetite and weight.
- Bathing your pigeon regularly can help prevent skin diseases.
Considerations for Breeding
If you want to breed damascene pigeons, you must know the factors to keep in mind:
- Choose compatible mating pairs with good genetic traits to produce good-quality offspring.
- Provide a suitable environment and ensure the breeding area is large enough, well-lit, and properly ventilated.
- Provide a well-balanced diet with the required nutrients for healthy growth and development.
- Check the nesting boxes regularly and supervise the breeding process.
Tips for Choosing a Damascene Pigeon
Damascene pigeons are among the most striking and visually appealing breeds available. Due to their aesthetic appeal, many bird enthusiasts are attracted to this breed and want to own one. However, before deciding to bring a damascene pigeon home, it is essential to consider a few factors.
Here’s what you need to know when choosing a damascene pigeon.
Where and How to Buy Damascene Pigeons
When buying a damascene pigeon, finding a reputable supplier is crucial to ensure that you get healthy birds.
- Try to find a supplier with a good reputation who has been in the business for a long time.
- You can also attend pigeon shows, where sellers and breeders showcase their birds.
- If you opt to buy damascene pigeons online, make sure you buy them from a reputable source like a registered breeder.
Tips for Selecting Healthy Birds
When buying damascene pigeons, it is essential to choose healthy birds.
- Watch for any signs of abnormal behavior such as wheezing, coughing, sneezing, or abnormal feces.
- Check if their feathers are clean, soft, and bright. Their skin should be smooth and healthy-looking.
- Their eyes should be bright and clear, and there shouldn’t be any discharge.
- Check their head, neck, and vent area for any signs of mites or lice.
What Are the Differences Between Silvery Pigeons and Damascene Pigeons?
When comparing silvery pigeons and Damascene pigeons, it is important to understand the distinguishing characteristics of each breed. Silvery pigeons are known for their beautiful silver plumage and distinctive patterns, while Damascene pigeons showcase a mesmerizing mix of colors and intricate feather designs. To delve deeper into these distinctions and learn more about the unique features of silvery pigeons, refer to the complete guide to silvery pigeon breed.
The damascene pigeon breed is a unique and fascinating bird species with a rich history and dedicated following of breeders and enthusiasts. They are known for their distinctive coloration, graceful movements, and gentle temperament. As pets, they are low-maintenance and make excellent companions.
As show birds, they are highly valued for their beauty and rarity. If you’re interested in owning a damascene pigeon, do your research and find a reputable breeder who can provide you with a healthy and well-cared-for bird.
With proper care and attention, these birds can live long and happy lives and bring joy to their owners for years to come. So, whether you’re looking for a new pet or just interested in learning more about these amazing birds, the damascene pigeon is definitely worth considering.