Circus Lofts

Home of the aerial performers

Picas (Deportivo)

The Spanish Sporting Pouter

None of these birds on this page are for sale. To see what we currently have up for sale go to our sale page.


New Pica Page ---> Pica Reference Guide

Originating in Spain the Palomas Deportiva or Pica for short are flown in competitions known as Sueltas. They have caught on on other Spanish speaking countries, Holland some sections of the United States and other nations as well. There is no show standard for the Deportivo, it is strictly a performance breed, although at some shows, their performance is exhibited.

They are a medium sized bird but are full of passion. The Suelta which is a competition where a hen is flown with a white feather tied to one of her tail feathers. Sometimes 100 cock birds or more, all brightly painted, are flown to try and "score points" (literally and figuratively) with the selected hen. There is big prize money in many places. 10,000 Euro for the winner is not uncommon.

All the cock birds are painted in the competition with each owner having his own set of patterns and colors. All the colors are logged with the Suelta organization and on printed cards so everyone can see who each bird belongs to. 

The object of this competition is for the cock bird to win by getting as close to hen as possible and impressing her with his "Casanova" type abilities, which makes him making him a great lover and worth a lot of money. Once released, a judge with a two-way radio follows the birds and he reports back to the Suelta head quarters each bird that gets close to the hen and points are given to that cock. The cock with the most points is the winner. Some Sueltas last for days.

Part of the Suelta in Seville, Spain 2005 (photo by Rene Kruter)

Blue Bar hen


In training for the Suelta. The hen (Blue Bar) is given a white feather in the tail to train the cock to seduce a hen with a white tail feather. (Photo by Abel Diaz)

Before the Suelta competition each cock is colored in distinctive and unique colors so the judge can tell the cocks apart in keeping score. Notice this cock treding the hen with the white tail feather. (Photo by Abel Diaz)

Just before the Suelta the cock birds are "pumped up" by teasing them with a hen in the center cage by making them look at her without being to go to her. (Photo by Abel Diaz)

During the Suelta, the hen is released and all the competitor's cocks are released and they immediately fly after her. Notice the hen in the photos with the two white tail feathers. (Photos by Abel Diaz)

The cocks follow her very closely wherever she goes, each one scoring points with the judge as to how close he can get to her as he tries to seduce her etc. It's a complicated scoring system. The cock must be highly driven, clever, smart, strong, brave and in a very good shape. After the Suelta is over the owners pick up their birds. (Photos by Abel Diaz)

The hen lands in a tree to try and shake some of the cocks. Seville 2005 (photo by Rene Kruter)

After the competition, the birds are collected and returned to their owners. Seville 2005 (photo by Rene Kruter)

These two Picas both have an interesting history. They both belong to my friend Rene Kruter in Holland. 

The White bird pictured on the left is named Fighter. Rene tells me he was not afraid of anything, not even the hawk that tried to eat him one day. His neighbor watched the whole ordeal. The hawk attacked him and they tumbled down to the neighbors lawn and the Pica started to fight back, believe it or not. He slapped the hawk with its wings and even held it by its neck, Pica style. The fight lasted for more then one hour and then his neighbor told him they went into the bushes of Rene's garden and he thought it was over for the Pigeon but Rene found him later that evening in his box. He was bleeding profusely and with a lot of muscle missing from a big hole in his back. But he survived and completely recovered. That's why he named him Fighter.

The Black Splash Pica on the right is Rodio. Rodio was born in Seville, Spain. He is the son of Mont Blanc the national Champion. Rodio was given to Rene by his friend Juan Rubio. Rene says Rodio rules the Dutch skies, the Master of his territory! A few years ago Rodio returned to his nest with two broken legs and a broken breastbone after having been lost for one full day. How it happened no one knows. Rene brought him to the vet who didn't have high hopes for his recovery, but still put casts on his legs and reset his broken breastbone. For two weeks he had to hang Rodio in a cut-up pair of pantyhose. He hung him above his nest with two babies, with food and water within reach. Believe it or not, he continued feeding the babies and survived!

Picas are truly amazing creatures!

This is Rene promoting the Pica sport at his local fancy pigeon club. He flies them free in the audience, completely controlling them by holding and showing the hen. Rene said, "The Pica's are my big hobby now. It is still so special to bring your bird to a friends place and just fly them for one or two hours! Last weekend I flew in Almere with my pigeons, 250 km from home."

Picas are excellent parents. This is a photo of a nest this pair built without human help. There is a nest bowl under there but the pine needles and feathers are so deep you can't even see it! This is 960, he won best young cock at the Pageant of Pigeons hand show, beating one of Orlando Moya's best birds. He also won a Suelta competition in '05. Bred by Abel Diaz, now residing at Circus Lofts.

New Pica Page ---> Pica Reference Guide

Click on the link below for a Video of the Pica competition at the Nationals in California. It's not a Suelta but an exhibition at a Pigeon show. This video takes a long time to download. Thanks go to Mike Hughes for the video!

It needs to be viewed with Quick Time, go here for a free download if you don't have it.

Interested in Spanish Pouters? Join us in The Pouter Loft Discussion forum

Circus Lofts Home