Home of the aerial performers
of England Tumblers
These are the old time flying type West of England Tumblers. I had them as a kid and have searched for them for many years but just now found them again. Most people have told me are extinct because they are now all show birds. I have heard obscure reports of one or two other fanciers still keeping the flying type but they are very elusive.
I bought them from Vito Felise out of NJ, he has had this strain for 43 years. The east coast still has a lot of these guys that are die hard flyers of different flying breeds. He only keeps high flying breeds as they are supposed to fly, so that's what he bred them for through the years.
They are all Baldheads, almost all Cream Bars and Silver Bars. He said with proper training they will fly 10 hours up in the clouds and do 1-4 flips. They are best known for real high flying (most of the times out of sight) and for many many hours. Back in England before they started to breed them for exhibition they used to have endurance flying contests with the winners having their birds in the air for the longest period of time. They also tumble, but not like a roller, they do 1-4 flips at a time and not as frequent. Most of the tumbling happens on the way up and the way down. They fly in a tight kit and circle the area.
Vito said he has culled them hard over
the years for performance only. In fact the name of his loft is "Fly
or Die Lofts." The loft name came from his culling methods, he said
if they didn't fly right, the Raptors got them and the ones that Raptors
didn't cull, he would. He came highly recommended as having the real
flying type by the West of England Club.
The following three pictures are Vito's West of England's flying at his place
Way back when, West's and Tipplers
in England were on par with each other flying, time wise. They were both
developed from the same basic breeds, only the whims of the fanciers
differed in which way the two breeds were developed as time went on.
Birmingham Rollers too were from the same basic parentage. How they
performed, or I should say how the fanciers of the Tippler, Birmingham
Roller and West wanted their birds to fly and perform dictated which way
the three breeds developed. All three were once called just Flying
Tumblers or more properly English Flying Tumblers.
Photo of High Flying West of
England Tumblers. From Pigeons Illustrated 1909.
The following are from supplements of Pigeons & Pigeon World magazine from 1913 and 1928
July 11, 1913
Mr. Bell on one of his lawns, with a range of
twenty-seven single- pair breeding houses in the background.
A kit of Mr. Bell's West's on one of his lofts. This photo is from the 1928 supplement.
Winning kits flew 4-9 hours with five hours being the average time. One kit flown by a West fancier in Coventry, England flew for 12 hours and 20 minutes.
Dudley Schumacher and his flying West's 1938. Highland Park, CA.
Dudley Schumacher's flying mottles in 2004. He say's they go up to dot high and stay there hours on end. Yah folks these mostly white mottles are typical of those that first came over from England in the early 1900's. They go dot high and tumble two three or more tumbles, he flies now out of a kit box that hold thirty birds on each side. Heppner's son in law brought him the kit box a year or so ago and talked him into feeding them a table spoon of feed each. Dudley said now they fly longer and tighter together. He was flying out of a loft about 8' X10'.
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