Pigeons were trained on a matching-to-sample task in which sample hue and required sample-specific observing behavior provided redundant, relevant cues for correct choices. On trials that involved red and yellow hues as comparison stimuli, a fixed-ratio 16 schedule (FR 16) was required to illuminate the comparisons when the sample was red, and a differential-reinforcement-of-low-rates 3-sec schedule (DRL 3-sec) was required when the sample was yellow. On trials involving blue and green hues as comparison stimuli, an FR 16 schedule was required when the sample was blue and a DRL 3-sec schedule was required when the sample was green. For some pigeons, a 0-sec delay intervened between sample offset and comparison onset, whereas other pigeons experienced a random mixture of 0-sec and 2-sec delay trials. Test trial performance at 0-sec delay indicated that sample-specific behavior controlled choice performance considerably more than sample hue did. Test performance was independent of whether original training involved all 0-sec delay trials or a mixture of 0-sec and 2-sec delays. Sample-specific observing response requirements appear to facilitate pigeons' matching-to-sample performance by strengthening associations between the observing response and correct choice.