Does 'Eyesign' make the difference?
Some say that the main difference between Dutch and Belgian fanciers and foreigners can be combined in two words: 'Names' and 'eye-sign'.
People who read my articles know my thoughts about 'name birds' and foreigners who are familiar with Dutch and Belgium fanciers know how we feel about eyesign.
'We' just do not know what eyesign is.
The reason is simple: You do not have a word for something which does not exist.
At least that's how we think here.
When foreigners ask what we think about the eyesign we just shrug our shoulders or laugh. We do not know what they are talking about.
Many foreigners believe that eyesign has something to do with quality, while most of us simply deny it.
The question remains: Who is right?
The fact that the pigeon sport originated here does not give us the right to think we know everything.
I myself do not believe in eyesign either, although there are moments that I have doubts.
And I do not think there will come a moment that I will change my mind and will also have those funny glasses which make fanciers here smile when they see foreigners 'weapened' with them.
Coincidently I recently read and article by Professor van Grembergen who 'whiped the whole eyesign theory from the table'.
The pigeon crazy Professor:
'Scientifically there cannot be any correlation between eyesign and orienteering and no scientist in the world would agree with the idea of eyesign and homing ability'.
When he had found out what foreigners understood by eyesign his conclusion was this has everything to do with heredity.
The knowledgeable professor:
'Pigeons have a long or short tail, a certain colour, a deep keel and the eyesign because of their forefathers'.
What soccer trainer has ever looked in the eyes of David Beckham to see if he would be a good soccer player?
It is a contestable comparison but there is some truth in it.
The eyes of Beckham (alone) would never make him a good soccer player.
The colour of the eye is of no importance either. It refers to the colour of the feathering and to heredity.
Dark feathered pigeons mostly have dark eyes, light feathered pigeons have light eyes with some exceptions of course.
But dark checkers with glass eyes are real rare.
Eyesign is the same story. It has some connection with the colour of the bird and the forefathers.
Eyesign is more a matter of wishful thinking.
As humans, we tend to find an explanation for something we can't explain. With pigeons we want to see the difference between good and bad but we cannot!
Character and the ability to orientate are of vital importance.
These things however cannot be seen, though we would like it to be so.
What we can see in the eye of a bird is its health and condition.
I (A S) know what is meant by eyesign.
What I found was that there are many bad birds with good eyesign and good birds with bad eyesign.
Remember 'Paula' the world famous hen of the late Remi de Mey from Belgium.
Long way back it represented Belgium at the Olympiad in Dortmund Germany.
The hen was reported as the best racer ever in the Belgium history of the sport.
There the birds were graded by many of the best 'connoisseurs' of the world.
This hen got THE LEAST POINTS OF ALL PIGEONS ENTERED.
According to the judges this hen was worse than the worst bird from Cuba, Hungry,Poland, Russia and so on.
'A main defect' of Paula were the eyes!
Let's be serious: If eyesign would be decisive those who could judge eyesign would be the great champions.
But is that a fact?
I know of such prophets of eyesign.
For 5 dollars they will tell you which birds are good and which are bad.
I made some inquiries about their race results; they were so poor that they only strengthened my disbelief in eyesign.
If you are a champion and have built your own family of good birds with your belief in eyesign, please go on.
Do not believe me in this matter.
But you should realise that the majority of the great champions in Holland andBelgium absolutely deny the subject of eyesign.
W de Bruyn even says: 'I do not know how the eyes of my best birds look.'
Maybe he exaggerates a bit but it is clear what he wants to say.
If there is a person who could pick out quality birds simply by looking into the eyes he would become a millionaire soon.
In hard currency!