Tumbler Pigeons: Size | Loft conditions | Breeding | Diet | Guide

Of all the pigeons which are petted and live in the wild, one of the fascinating species of pigeons is the tumbler pigeon. These pigeons are known for their tumbling abilities, which they often show off when chased.

Intro Video - Backtobirds
Intro Video - Backtobirds

This guide contains every piece of information about tumbler pigeons. If you are planning on getting a tumbler pigeon or are just curious, you need to read this.

What Is A Tumbler Pigeon?

A tumbler pigeon is a breed of pigeon that can tumble backward in flight. You can see these pigeons tumbling backward while flying and continuing on their way. During the flight, they perform a backflip, and it seems as If they are falling.

These tumblers have been a part of various shows and exhibitions and are quite popular among pigeon fanciers for their unique tumbling capability.

History Of Tumbler Pigeons

Tumbler pigeons can be traced back to Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Turkey.

As per research by M. Ashraful Kabir in 2015, tumblers were found in Bangladesh, chequer and pied and of the color blue. They are expected to have originated in the east and were brought to Europe later. But they got recognition because of their unique flying abilities.

So tumbler pigeons are very ancient. The tumbling pigeons are domesticated. In many countries, these pigeons are still easily available, as they are used in pigeon shows.

Earlier, they were also called highflyers, but today, they have lost the capability of flying for a long time due to crossing with different breeds, but their tumbler genes are still intact.

How To Identify A Tumbler Pigeon?

A tumbler pigeon is a descendant of a rock dove. There are several breeds, and each one looks different. But certain physical traits make them different from others and help you to identify them. These physical traits are-

Plumage

Tumbler pigeons have a variety of colors in their plumage. There are blue, white, black, brown, etc.

Eye Color

Pigeons have different eye colors, but a tumbler pigeon has either yellow eyes or pearl-colored eyes.

Head

Their head is different and can be differentiated as it is slightly protruded. They have a forehead that other pigeons lack.

Neck

They have a thick neck that is not too short.

Feathers

The feathers of a tumbler pigeon are long and winged and strongly built to allow long hours of flying.

Cere

They have a fleshy and round cere.

Beak

They have a small-to-medium-sized beak.

These characteristics are not unique. As tumblers have numerous forks, the physical traits are also different and vary slightly. 

Tumbler Vs. Roller Pigeon

When tumbler pigeons are mentioned, the roller pigeons also become a part of the discussion.

Many people believe that Tumbler and Roller Pigeons are the same, but it is not true. These pigeons are differentiated by the number of somersaults they can perform in one go, be it on the ground or during the flight.

There are several breeds of the tumbler and roller pigeons, but the four categories are- flying tumblers, parlor tumblers, flying rollers, and parlor rollers.

Their genes eventually wake up, and after weeks of normal flying, the species start tumbling and rolling.

Parlor tumblers and parlor rollers are the pigeons that stop flying after some time but keep tumbling and rolling on the ground. Flying tumblers and flying rollers are wonderful in flying and tumbling and continue doing so.

The difference between tumblers and rollers is that tumblers can roll once or twice in one go, while roller pigeons can tumble quite a several times in one series.

Thus, tumblers lose only a little altitude while rollers can fall 50 feet or so. Some pigeons roll until they hit the ground, no matter at what altitude they were rolling down.

Parlor tumblers and parlor rollers keep tumbling and rolling on the ground when they stop flying altogether. It has become a habit.

They tumble after covering even little distances. Their flying capability gets reduced to only tumbling and rolling.

Related Read: Do pigeons fly at night?

Why Do Tumbler Pigeons Tumble?

Tumbler pigeons use their tumbling as a way of survival. They get rid of a bird of prey by tumbling downwards at a great speed. If you have seen a roller tumbling down, you will understand it.

In addition, it is genetic in tumbler pigeon breeds. It is not a new concept, but Darwin also discussed it.

Tumbler pigeons are known for their tumbling traits for centuries now. In all those years, selective breeds have been chosen due to their tumbling and rolling capabilities.

The Rock pigeons were bred for it, and eventually, “tumbler pigeons” were born. They don’t know tumbling since birth but start doing it when they are a few weeks old.

Related Read: Pigeon Breeding Techniques | How to Breed Pigeons faster – Detailed Guide:

Do Tumbler Pigeons Make Good Pets?

Yes, tumbler pigeons are good pets. They are domesticated pets known for their tumbling capabilities. All around the world, these birds are bred for centuries.

In Bangladesh, these pets are still available in pet shops and at a very low cost. Many people around the world pet tumbler pigeons as they can be tamed and petted easily. They are easy to train and often used for shows.

Breeds Of Tumbler Pigeons

There are numerous breeds of tumbler pigeons if you ever want to pet them. These are-

  • American Flying Tumblers
  • Ancient Tumbler
  • American Komorner Tumblers
  • Armenian Tumblers: Originated in Armenia
  • Australian Saddleback Tumblers
  • Australian Performing Tumblers: Developed in Australia from imported Tumbler Pigeons
  • Baku Tumblers
  • Berlin or Berliner Long Faced Tumblers
  • Berlin or Berliner Short Faced Tumblers
  • Bokhara Crack Tumblers
  • English Short Faced Tumblers
  • English Long Faced Tumblers
  • Iranian Highflying Tumblers are bred for flying competitions especially.
  • Breslauer Tumblers
  • Komorner Tumblers: Originated in the city Komárno in the Austrian Empire (on the current Slovak-Hungarian border).
  • Buda Grizzle Budapest Short Face Tumblers
  • Budapest Short Faced Tumbler
  • Budapest Kiebitz Tumblers
  • Craiova Chestnut Tumblers
  • English Long Faced Clean Legged Tumblers
  • Danish Tumblers
  • English Long Faced Muffed Tumblers
  • Galati Tumbler
  • European Komorner Tumblers
  • Iranian Highflying Tumblers (aka Persian or Tehran Highfliers)
  • Hamburger Tumblers
  • Jassy Tumblers
  • Kiev Tumblers
  • Kazaner Tumblers
  • Komorner Tumblers
  • Norwegian Tumblers
  • New York Danish Flying Tumblers
  • Old Dutch Tumblers
  • Novi Sad Shortfaced Tumblers
  • Parlour Rollers / Parlour Tumblers
  • Old English Tumblers
  • Reinaugen Tumblers
  • Prager Short Face Tumblers
  • Romanian Magpied Beard Tumblers
  • Rostov Statnije Tumblers
  • Riga Tumblers
  • Royal Snow Tumblers
  • Romanian Naked Neck Tumblers
  • Russian Tumblers (Volga Type)
  • Russian Tumbler Pigeons / Russian Crack Tumblers
  • Shakhsharli Tumblers
  • Schoneberger Streifge Tumblers
  • Rzhev Startail Tumblers / Turmani
  • Serbian Tumblers
  • Stettiner Tumblers
  • Startail Tumblers
  • Szegediner Tumblers
  • Syrian Coop Tumblers
  • Timisoara Tumblers
  • Taganrog Tumblers
  • Vienna Medium Faced Tumblers
  • West of England Tumblers: Developed in Bristol, England
  • Uzbekistan Tumblers (Uzbekistanski Boinije)
  • Yekaterinagrad Tumblers
  • Vienna White Shield Tumblers

Diet Of Tumbler Pigeons

Tumbler pigeons are also pigeons, so they don’t need to be fed anything special. But they need to be fit. You can feed them seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables, and even supplements.

You can also feed them readily available pellets from the market. It is advised to feed them twice a day, one at nine o’clock in the morning and six o’clock in the evening.

You must feed them rice, canary, wheat, corn, linseed, pearl barley, dried peas, etc. If you want to keep them as other pigeon pets, you can feed them as you feed other pigeons, but if you want your tumblers to participate in a tournament, their diet needs to be well thought out.

First, you should not overfeed them. It will make them obese. They will face difficulty in attaining great heights, especially in doing somersaults.

Proper training along with a proper diet is essential. You must make a diet chart for every season. Right before the tournament, the diet must be especially careful.

The most important thing is cleanliness. Always keep the loft clean and dry. Also, provide them fresh food and clean water every time. The infection among pigeons spread very fast.

What Are Popular Breeds of Tumbler Pigeons To Breed Today?

Of all the species mentioned above, only a few species are still popular and can be bred. These are-

Australian Performing Tumbler

If you are looking for a show bird, Australian Performing Tumbler is the right choice for you. This bird has colors close to red, and breeders are still trying to breed Australian tumblers of different colors. This is a beautiful pigeon with a short neck and even colored feathers. As the name suggests, these are only found in Australia. They are quiet birds, which are mainly intended for show purposes.

West Of England Tumbler

This is not as popular as other birds, but this one is a favorite among breeders due to its beauty. The bird has a beautiful white head and rear with light brown plumage. They originated in Bristol and are among the youngest breeds of tumblers. These are small, stealthy birds that are only found in England. Sad for you if you are not English or don’t live in England.

Berlin Long-Faced Tumbler

Are you looking for a show pigeon? Choose Berlin Long-Faced tumbler pigeon. Breeders worked hard to get this bird’s color right. It is small and beautiful with a grey head and rear with white feathers. Though, there are other colors available as well, so you can choose one.

Vienna Long-Faced Tumbler Pigeon

If you have seen ancient scriptures of pigeons, you will find that they look a lot like the Vienna Long-faced tumbler. The pigeon is said to be the oldest breed, as it originated in the 17th century. They are small, with a long neck, face, and beak. They are easily identifiable with their all-white look and long neck. They are found in the United States, Germany, and Austria.

Komorn Tumbler

Evolved from Austria, these pigeons are found in the United States today, and their popularity is only increasing. They are show birds. They are small with only two colors on their body. They have colors scattered over their plumage with a beautiful head and neck.   

Iranian Highflying Tumbler Pigeon

It is needless to say that it has originated from Iran. They are called highflyers as they can fly up to great heights. Sometimes they are even unable to spot. Their feathers are white and bluish-grey, the head covered in scattered colors. What makes them great flyers is the reason that they don’t flap their wings as other pigeons do. It saves a lot of energy and makes them fit for endurance flying.

Related Read: How To Cure Pigeon Neck Twisting | Pigeon Neck Twisting Treatment

Is Tumbling Good For Pigeon’s Health?

It looks good, but it has a negative impact on the birds. The parlor tumblers and parlor rollers, which stop flying but continue to flap, these birds lose their flying capabilities and start tumbling as and when they try. The occasional tumbling, which was a survival skill, has turned into an involuntary action. When bids roll on the ground, they harm themselves. The tumblers crash and get injured. It can also bring prolonged illness.

How Do You Train A Tumbler Pigeon To Come Home?

If you have only started with pigeons, follow the steps.

  • Build a loft. Make a spacious one.
  • Make perches in it, spread sand on the floor of the loft, place hay, straws, etc
  •  Let the bird fly out of the loft every morning and see its habits.
  • After flying, give them food.
  • After a few weeks, let them out in the open, and make older birds bring them to the loft.
  • Feed them after they come back from flying. It works as a lure. They will learn to come back every time, even after long flights.   

Related Read: Do Birds Get Tired Of Flying | How Long Can Birds Fly Without Stopping?

Conclusion

This is it about tumbler pigeons. This tumbling has become their identity. Humans used this trait, and today, these pigeons are bred for this trait, which isn’t right.

Let this natural trait be natural, and don’t turn it into cruelty by breeding them for tumbling. It is harmful to pigeons as they forget flying and keep tumbling and rolling.