The Greatest Show on Earth
Amazing Intelligence of Oriental Rollers
By Ulrich Reber
Reprinted from the July 1971 APJ
Whoever works with pigeons knows that these birds are not simple minded, clumsy creatures. Especially the Racing Homer fancier, who often experiences wondrous performances by his birds. Sometimes bordering on the Impossible. The intellect of these pigeons is at times astonishing.
The human mind is always thinking new ways to do things and while at times it is limited, again it will take off in a new direction and something wonderful will happen. It has been known for a long time that the high-flying pigeons exhibit remarkable intelligence. The old oriental potentates were well aware of this.
In July 1969 Heinz Komfeld made a tour of South Germany, visiting many high flyer fanciers and demonstrating his famous "white flying box" loft to promote the Oriental Roller. After the birds had a1ready demonstrated their flying skills at three separate places in South Germany, which is many hundred ki1iometers distance from their home loft, they were taken to the sportfield at Dachau at 10 a.m. in their "flying box." Twenty or thirty interested fanciers were invited to assemble there by Mr. Walter of Mitterndorf. They did not want to miss the opportunity of witnessing this demonstration.
The four Rollers were young birds, from April and May 1969. One was a yellow hen which was only six weeks old. Herr Kornfeld released the birds. They remained in sight for 45 minutes and demonstrated to all of the audience their flying skills. After this they climbed higher and higher. None of the assemb1ed fanciers held any hope of ever seeing them again. They had to be written off. The loss of all the birds seemed certain. At 12:30, as a consolation prize, fancier Friedrich showed the visitors his 1oft setup. Until this time we were still waiting for a bird to come into sight. Of course no one wanted to miss out on Herr Friedrich's invitation. One could admire a unique collection of colorful and wonderful Oriental Rollers at his 1oft. Moreover, Herr Friedrich's Rollers flew into the air and displayed their expertise.
At 15:30 Herr Komfeld returned to the sportfield and found that three of his birds had returned. Already inside the flying case was the yellow young hen. This bird had been in the air for five hours! One of the other hens was still out.
In the meantime, one of the spectators had seen her sitting on a roof with other pigeons about 6 kilometers from the field. So the "'flying box" loft was quickly folded, put in the car and in short order was reassemb1ed near where the hen was sitting on a building. Now we saw a remarkable demonstration! The little hen immediately dropped on her familiar box loft and joined her companions inside. Now all four Rollers were accounted for! In that moment's demonstration our Roller Club had won three new members, including sporting-friend Friedrich!
When one sees such definite intelligence one begins to understand that in all probability, the performance of these Oriental Rollers is indeed an hereditary right. One is ever astounded at the qualities that lay slumbering in our pigeons. How is it even possible that a six weeks old little pigeon can give such a performance? Also one is repeatedly astounded at the visual performance of these flying pigeons. Out. of unending heights they immediately plunge down to their loft when one gives them their cue -- like releasing a white "drop" pigeon.
Today's people live in an unreal world of technology, in fact, many have small businesses and most all have forgotten how to be amazed or to wonder at things. Especially the young people, only sensational reports make some impression. The Pigeon hobby offers much to such people, an outside interest, consideration of other material things, discretion and peace of mind, mostly forgotten in this day and age.
Training Rollers From The White Flying-Box
By Ulrich Reber
Reprinted from the Dec 1971 APJ
In the last five years Heinz w. Komfeld of Muelheim, Ruhr, Western Germany, has made many experiments with his Rollers and his White Flying-Box. This White Flying-Box is a transportable loft than can be placed in a car. This loft has a closed box for the Rollers and a part with lattices to orient the Rollers and for the setting for the "dropper".
Each year Mr. Kornfeld takes Birmingham Roller and Oriental Roller youngsters and accustoms these Rollers to the White Flying-Box. Each day he flies the Rollers.. After some weeks he changes the location of the Box some meters. The Rollers then get accustomed to the new place. Sometime later Mr. Kornfeld takes the White Flying-Box in his car and drives some kilometers away. At an open field he releases the Rollers again and the youngsters come back to their loft.
Next time he gives the Rollers only food when he places the "dropper" in the Flying-Box. The Rollers are to come from the air when Mr. Kornfeld shows the "dropper". After some months of training he can go to each locality to fly the Rollers. The pigeons always find their loft.
During the last five years Mr. Kornfeld has visited nearly 100 towns in Western Germany with his traveling Rollers. Thousands of people have seen him release the Rollers and their air acrobatism. During the Year 1971 he drove to the German coast with his White Flying-Box. The press gave it enthusiastic publicity. The high point was the transmission by TV. In September 1971 millions of people were able to see Mr. Kornfeld's show with his Rollers and the White Flying- Box. More transmissions followed in October over TV. When the cameraman is ready to make the film for TV Mr. Kornfeld starts his Rollers. While the Rollers are in the air doing their acrobatism, Mr. Kornfeld carries the Flying-Box more than one kilometer to another location where the Rollers end their flying. They find no difficulty in locating the Flying-Box. We hope Mr. Kornfeld will be able to show this pigeon acrobatism at the Olympic games in 1972 at Munich.
Mr. Kornfeld is the President of the German Flying Roller Club. We hope that he will be able to continue for many years the nice Roller Sport and give many people joy and pleasure with his show with the White Flying-Box.