Article 1. 

Making a start.

For the sake of consistency and accuracy one needs to purchase a strong optometrists light, which does not radiate heat. Many lights are so hot they can burn or damage the corneas of the eyes. Many use the natural sunlight which has many disadvantages, as the earth is exposed to the sun from different angles during the course of the day, it gives one considerable variations in light refraction. The light refraction in the eye must always be constant if all birds are to be rated in equal conditions, and accurately.

To rely on natural sunlight also restricts a person to only operating in bright sunlight, this is a very hit and miss situation and very unprofessional. We must take care not to examine a bird that is thirsty or an anti-biotic as this can also cause a bad critique, as these symptoms cause dilated pupils. I am surprised at how many people are charging for a critique of this kind and totally ignore the statements I have just made. My advice to people who may engage these types of operators, is to ignore their critique, as their observations are very unprofessional and will be of very little use to you at all.

The quality of the eye fluctuates with the health of a pigeon, and sometimes cannot be restored to its natural rating ever again, whilst others are only a temporary bad reading. This urges me to state that a so called eye sign expert that says the eye rating stays constant throughout the birds life is not in possession of all the facts, neither is that person very reliable when one is searching for a reliable rating on a bird.

We must also remember to look in both eyes, illness or weakness may only show in one eye, and it is important you rate a bird to its worst eye. Most healthy intelligent pigeons have both eyes more or less equal in quality. To examine only one eye is to do but half the job.


Many fanciers complain that they can't see the fifth circle in the pigeons eye. It never ceases to amaze them when I hand them my Loupe and the fifth circle is visible where it was none existent with there own glass. The reason for this is that one must never use a Loupe or magnification stronger than 15X. This distorts the eye magnification and your glass must be kept in one constant position when viewing the eye to get a true reflection of equal magnification. I am convinced that the reason that many eye sign people reject the fifth circle is because of inadequate equipment that did not permit the viewing of the fifth circle at all.

Suggested method of Operation.

My No 15 Loupe is attached to my spectacles with one spectacle lens taken out. This enables me to handle the bird with both hands, and I am this way able to position the focal point of the eye to glass perfectly. I then put the birds eye close to the light and looking over the top of the glasses with the naked eye check for the all important contraction of the pupil. If there is no or very little reaction from the light, I reject the bird in its entirety. A bird with a none- reactive pupil is of no use at all, as a racer or a breeder. This is the function of the muscle within the pupil, which some incorrectly refer to as the adaptation, it is nothing of the kind, but the pupil muscle, which acts very similar to the shutter on a camera. This is the first step and you can then start using your glass to examine the other sphincter muscles in the eyes. Do not forget to look in the pupil for pigment floaters on the move, or the phenomena know as the Star Cluster.

All these good and bad qualities will be explained as we go along, there is much to look for and familiarize ourselves with, in this fascinating art. There will be pictures and diagrams and much more to get one started. Make sure to make a monthly visit to my site where I will present a step by step professional instruction on this fascinating subject. Article 2. is about the circle of Adaptation and it's Composite Signs.

Yours in Sport,
Jack Barkel
The Pigeon Iridologist.

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Jack Barkel