"The Uzbekistanian Tumbler"

By Dr. Joachim Schille
Geflugel Borse Aug.'97
Trans from German by K.D. Spurling

       The Uzbekistanian Tumbler, mentioned in the German Standards Of Pigeon Breeds, is only type among a  group of breeds having little resemblence to one another as far as lengths of beak and head, head ornaments and color are concerned. Neither in the former Soviet Union, nor in today's Uzbekistan were they given the name "Uzbekistanian Tumblers" as they are called in the standard. Only of late, but of a different  connection, is the word "Uzbekistanian" attributed to this breed. Saradzhan calls them "Show Pigeons Of  Uzbekistan" in his book, and mentions the following:

"Andishanian"  - which are LF and are muffed, as well as crested.

"Samarkandian" - which are LF, muffed and plainheaded.

"Short Faced" - which are given names according to their markings.

      Romanov and Rasbesov use the term "Tashkentian" for the Short faced. According to our understanding, an almost short beak is meant. The German standard should adhere to that understanding both in breeding and in judging. Saradzhan describes the beak similiarly:

               "The beak tends to be short; it is broad and white, and gray only among a few colors."


     The SF (Tashkents) have varying head features: beak crested, double crested, curly headed (a cowlick  spreads over the entire head) and sideburns which are a twirl of feathers at the corners of the beak (called "moustache" in the german ideal). Or else they are plainheaded, but as such, they are far less valued in their country of origin. The crest can be a small and round one, with or without rosettes, or spade shaped. The nasal tuft can be erect, or be a full or half rose. The combination possibilities lead to a wealth of different  appearences. In addition, there are some 80 colors.


    In the Russian pigeon literature, the Ubekistanian Tumbler is counted among the "Boinije". Literal translation gives this as "fighting pigeons", but what is meant is "flying pigeons".  (note of translator: this interpration is not wholly correct. While the exact translation is "fighting pigeons", what is meant is "Shooting Pigeons"  or "Crack Tumblers.) In the Ukrain, these flying pigeons are called "Noise Makers". In the North Caucasus they are referred to as "Bij". In Azerbaijan as "Playing Pigeons". (Note of trans: this term "Playing Pigeon" is used extensivley in East Europe and the Stans to refer to performing tumblers of varying types). In the Urals  and Siberia, they are called "Crack Pigeons". Vasiliev and Derk write that their flight is reminscent of that of tumblers. They clap their wings together (hence their name "Crack") and they stand like a column in the air. These characteristics are called "Stop". The maneaver ends with wing
clapping and tumbling. These authors too, refer to the Short Faced as Tashkentian.

     Romanov and Rasbesov give a closer description of this style of flying:

          "Pigeons which tumble HEAD FORWARDS and which stand like a column once the height of flight is reached, and which clap their wings so that it can be heard from a distance are called 'Boinije'"

     Both sources, and also Saradzhan, assume that the Boinije is of an Iranian origin. The authors are in agreement also that the fundamental styles of flying have been preserved. Column flights which are repeated and which can reach a height of 10-15 meters have been reported. Such flights can last up to five hours. Until the beginning of this century, flight demonstrations were organized in Uzbekistan under the name of "Sautkani". Saradzhan laments the drastic decline of flight abilities among today's show pigeons.


These pigeons have an interesting history. it cannot be ruled out that the Old Russian Trumpeters with beak structure have played a role. The Emirs of Bokhara collected several breeds in Asia and kept them. Following the downfall of the Emirs, the pigeons came to fanciers in Samarkand and Namangan and were taken care of there. In 1922, the breeder Marshall managed to bring some of the loft of the Emir of Tashkent.

It was he (the Emir) who created a Double Crested pigeon by outcrossing to local birds with a crest and beak crest from Iran. His son continued his work.

Many birds were lost during the Second World War. Rebuilding after the war was difficult. In Tashkent, in 1969, a club was founded which existed for a very short time. 1986 saw the re-establishment of the Club Of The Breeds Of Uzbekistan. A 100 point system for the judging of show birds was established, one with  differing points according to head ornament and color; but with general emphasis on figure, muffs, beak,  head and head ornaments. The plain headed ones are judged more severely  as far as beak and muffs are concerned, than those with head ornaments. Among marked  birds, colors and markings lead to less severe judging on other points. as recognition, diplomas and championships are given.

The first Tashkentians brought to Germany  came in the 70's by Kaiser to Wittenberge on Elbe. His birds were the modest and well known colors of white and silver. The preferred colors of the Uzbekistan tumbler of today at our shows are selfs or those with a red neck.


A multitude of colors contributes to the many images of the breed. It can be of benefit to look into the varying colors, not only because of their beauty, but also because of the genetics of the markings.

Those that are "tschelkar" colored are ash gray when young and become spotted with black flecks as they mature.

Those that are "Tschinny" colored start out red and become more white winged with passing years.

Those of "Gulsar" color hatch out black or dun and become white headed with the moult.

Those of "Gulbadam" color are red or yellow when young and develop into white birds with red or yellow throats and with spots of the same color on the head and neck.

"Awlaki" are white winged and white tailed tigered birds.

"Shirdossy" are tigered on the chest only.

"Kara Nowalty" would be called Almond in Germany.

"Tasman" are of a yellow base color.

"Udy" are Opal.

"Sotchi" have a colored neck.

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