The Roller Pigeon and The Tumbler Pigeon – The Main Differences (Plus The Similarities)

The Birmingham Roller Pigeon

In a few words, the Birmingham Roller pigeon is noted for its exclusive ability to turn over backwards and rotate with inestimable speed for considerable distances downwards. This is the only aerial performer which can boast of a standard. The most talented of them all, it has no rival and is the King of all high flying acrobats. The standard is contained in a few simple words and its importance is so great it should never be allowed to be lost sight of. The standard reads as follows: The true Birmingham Roller pigeon which turns over backwards with inconceivable rapidity through a considerable distance like a spinning ball. It has always given me great pleasure to quote this descrip­tion because, not only does it place the pigeon in a class of its own, but because it was evidently held in high esteem early in the last century, when this standard of quality was published. This performance is carried out at frequent intervals during flight, from the time they are liberated until they return to their loft. They excel as fliers, in fact there are none better. They possess a high degree of intelligence and they will live a useful life to a ripe old age. I have owned and seen many birds between the ages of nine and fifteen years which could fly and roll in first class order, and also produce prog­eny equal to themselves.

The Plate Roller Pigeon

The peculiarity of this pigeon is the manner in which it gyrates. The bird follows a course which is identical to that followed by a dinner plate when pressed with the finger and rotated in a not too rapid motion. Their wings are outspread and they do not follow a direct course. A backward somersault is a rare occurrence with these pig­eons. The plate roller is about the least accomplished tumbler there is, although a flock properly selected and trained to perform in unison, will gyrate downwards for considerable distances. This type of performer has very few followers.

The Medium Roller Pigeon

This title is my own to serve the purpose of trying to illustrate another kind of popular performer. This bird is noted for its ability to roll in good style for sever­al feet, and without stopping, add to this performance a series of erratic movements in all directions. They also have an apparent ability to stop performing at will. A kit of these pigeons, when performing simultaneously, present an amazing spectacle which even the most preju­diced of fanciers could not ignore or fail to give a lot of credit to.

The Tumbler Pigeon

This term can mean anything, but it refers mainly to such individuals which are capable of doing anything but rolling and spinning. Their quality is wanting and they have nothing to commend themselves. Their performance is extremely limited and for this reason they lend them­selves very ably to making concert performances. Since the results of competition flying depend upon the amount of ‘turns’, they are ideal for the purpose for winning prizes. The less performing ability an individual pigeon has, the more frequent will a number of the same perform in unison. At the same time, the depth of the ‘turn’ or simultaneous performance, besides the quality of same, will be very short. The better quality as an individual, a performer is, so much more will the depth and quality of the ‘turn’ become, when made up of higher quality birds.

Roller pigeons and tumbler pigeons truly are a beautiful sight!