Types of Rollers
by Nick Siders
What should be explained first is the difference between a Tumbler and a Roller. They both a backward somersault that in its initiation appears to be similar, but what happens after that separates the breed categories. Rollers will repeat that occurrence over and over with some of them doing it in an unbroken events for several yards. Some of the breeds fly in kits of several birds; others will fly in a loose assembly of just a few; and others are solo performers. Some roller breeds listed below are rare and may not even exist in the United States or no longer perform adequately if at all. The performance has simply been breed out of them usually for the show pen or for a color not indigenous to the breed.
The following is a list of Roller breeds, while not complete, it touches on the more common types of Rollers.
Birmingham Roller – See page “About The Breed” here are performance competitions held in the United States
Central Asiatic Roller – Primarily a performance pigeon and known for its tumultuous rolling from a considerable altitude. A very old breed that is apparently centuries old. Tail is held slightly elevated and wings droop to the floor. It is plain headed and grouse-footed. The breed has been introduced to the United States, but is very rare. We are not aware of any performance competitions being held.
Galati Roller – A highflying roller; a true performance breed. It is both plain headed and shield crested. Comes clean legged or small muffed. We are not aware of any performance competitions being held.
Majorcan Esbart Roller – Flies in a group or kit. It is a good performing roller that flies high and fast. The head is plain and is clean legged. Not aware of any performance competitions being held. Oriental Roller – Is not a kit flier. It is a performance breed that is starting to be exhibited in the United States. It is a good flying roller breed. It is plain headed and clean legged. Oriental Rollers are believed by many to be the progenitors of all Rollers. There are performance competitions being held in the United States.
Parlor Roller – It is not a flying breed, but performs the roll on the ground sometimes a continuous unbroken performance of hundreds of feet. There are performance competitions being held in the United States.
Rakovnik Roller – An excellent roller and nicely built for acrobatic flight. It is plain headed and clean legged. In 1960 a club was started to revive the breed, but it probably does not exist in the United States as of now. Not aware of any performance competitions being held.
Spanish Roller (Sometimes called the Fish Eyed Roller) – Bears a strong resemblance to a capped American Domestic Flight. Is an excellent roller, but is starting to become very rare even in Spain and it may not even occur in the United States. Not aware of any performance competitions being held.
The performance of the Catalonian Tumbler was also once considered by many to actually perform to the standards of a roller and not a tumbler. It is rare now days to find a Catalonian Tumbler that performs in any manner or fashion what so ever. Breeder’s breeding practices was its doom as a performer and that is something we must think about each time you or someone else decides to breed for any other reasons than performance.