The Catalan Tumbler or Flying Pigeon is a small breed of pigeon, of very simple type and free from any exaggerations of type or feather BUT they are found in a phantasmagoria of colour often described as "a wardrobe containing a thousand robes".
I had seen pictures of the breed on many occasions but first encountered the breed when I obtained a 'wholecolour' (with no white) 'Suau' hen simply to use as a feeder for my Ancients. I was very taken with her colour, and her parental skills, so I obtained a further two pairs to use as feeders ........ then it struck me that I could use them as dual-purpose show/feeders ..... and so they seem to have become a bit of a fixture!! More than just feeders ........
They are to me the perfect parent, they build a good nest , sit tightly and though protective are quite calm. They go to nest again early but, even though they may be sitting eggs in another nestbox, continue to feed and tend to the squeakers in the first nest. It seems that unlike some breeds theylook after both youngsters in the nest equally with the result that they are both identical in size when they are weaned.
The 'Toy Stencil' series Ts1, Ts2 & Ts3 plays a large part in the many colours of the Cats, the fabulous Suua variation is a combination of Ts and Gimpel bronze.
Head: Small and slightly square. Front prominent and upturned with respect to the beak. The top of the head is flat and a little dented. As a whole it is known as “cap d’avellana” (hazelnut head).
Beak: Short, fine and narrow, creating a 120º with its forehead.
Wattle: Very small, fine and rectangular.
Eye Ceres: Slightly wide but fine and without prominent. the color varies, from rosy in the lighter feathers to black to the darker feathers.
Eyes: Big and lively. They are placed in the middle and ever so slightly towards the front of the head. Pearl white in all the feathers. In the “Cap de frare” and “Cap blanc” varieties, both with White heads, it is allowed bull eyes. This is not the case in the “Mongins” and “Blancatxos” varieties even though they head zone is white the eye will be pearl.
Neck: Long and vertical. Narrow at the top and quite wide when it reaches the breast. The feathers in this zone will be very fine and extremely bright.
Frill: In the color group it is possible but not essential the appearance of a tuft at the front and half way down the neck. This is called “venera” “rofil” or“corbata”(frill).
Breast: Wide, prominent and round. In alert position the keel will form a 45º angle with respect to the floor.
Back: Strong and triangular. Wide between the shoulders and narrow in the rump. Also forming a 45º angle with respect to the floor.
Wings: Middle size, but very strong, thick and well attached to the body. The primary feathers are fine, sharp, and close together, resting on top of the tail in a parallel motion to the floor. They should not cross nor hang underneath the tail itself.
Tail: Narrow, close together and of medium length. Formed by 12 feathers. Rump not very prominent, lined to the back and tail. Underneath and at the beginning of the tail there is plenty of long down, this is called “tapacua”.
Legs: Medium, fine, lightly separated, red in color and very bright. The feathers in the thighs scantly cover the elbows. The tarsi are completely bare of feathers.
Plumage: Fine, strong, and silky to touch. All the colours will be very bright giving it a velvet and oily appearance, with intense iridescent reflexes in green and purple, called “d’escarbat” (beetle).
Varieties: This pigeon has been known as the pigeon with most beautiful and varied plumage of all existing pigeon races. All colours and pictures of plumage are accepted, as long as they are clean, bright and they follow a particular pattern in terms of distribution across the whole body. It is said that there is over a thousand colours, since there are basic colours and also their combinations with different patterns of distribution, and also with a White mark appearing in different parts of the body, resulting in an infinite number of combinations.
They are divided on two big groups, depending on the preponderance and the distribution of the white colour :-
“Blancatxos": Combination of colours (black / dun, red / yellow, wild type / silver bar, kite / sulphur) and coloured areas on a white base body.
Colours: Colourful base (all the possible colours) where there are other colours combined, patterns and distribution areas.
Character: It is a tame breed, good at breeding and one that prefers to live in a group. Very aware in character and alert to minimum movement
Defects: Large body, big and/or round head, yellow or red eyes, long beak, dropped wings, tail with more than 12 feathers or less than that.
Judgement: Small size, upright posture, quality and distribution of color, head of"avellana" (hazelnut), pearl eye, short beak and fine, orbital skin apparent but not thick and shinny dawn, and with highlights of an oily appearance.
Ring: 7 mm.
© John S Harrison
The Catalan Tumbler falls within the remit of
The Rare Variety Pigeon Club
Secretary - David Richardson