The Komorner
Distance played a vital role in the past where the development of a breed was concerned. Nowadays, as the world is getting smaller with the modern ways of traveling, it is interesting thing to watch, how the type of a breed developed without any large scale contact between the fanciers over vast distances . The subject of this little article is the Komorner Tumbler and as indicated, its type and color classes on both sides of the Atlantic. I saw for the first time a photo of an American style KT in one of our German magazines. I was quite impressed by the large differences between the Komorners I have seen on German shows.

When comparing old pictures of KTs taken after WW II here in Germany and the pictures in Levi's book "The Pigeon" the difference is not that large, after all the pictures hail from the same era. But the breed has under-gone great changes here in Germany and other European countries because of standard desires and therefore strict selection towards a certain aim. The desire of European KT breeders leans towards full, round heads, the beak blending into this gentle arc.

Some American breeders have stated, that the head of the European KT would resemble the head of an ELFCL, but this is for sure not true. The eye is rather large for this head surrounded by an intense red colored cere. The Magpies always have bull eyes, the other varieties must have eyes of pearl color.  An exception to this rule are the self white birds: the are accepted with either bull or pearl eyes.  American KTs are longer in the beak and also the head, which is of elongated round shape. For the European KT the US KT breeders have put out a name of its own: Shortfaced Komorner.  A true name, because feeders are used in most European KTs. Another difference lies in the crest of the birds: the American standard drawing shows a bird of upright stance, with blocky body and an enormously large crest with rosettes. It seems to me like the crest complex of the American KT goes near the ornaments of the Old Dutch Capuchine, even if this comparison might be a bit extreme.
The German standard drawing is more realistic in this point. When comparing the US standard drawing to birds I have seen on photographs, the birds on the photos all look rather long in the back part of the body, all not sloping down that steeply as shown on the desired ideal. The birds I have seen on photographs seem to me like they still lean towards the type of bird shown in Levi's book, even if there are differences. For sure, the standard drawing represents a desired ideal, an aim which has to be accomplished by the breeders in their selection process. Other differences are of course found in the colors, this is in my opinion also caused by a different "state of mind" on behalf of color breeding and the introduction of new factors into a present breed in for example America and Germany.

The American standard speaks of the following patterns: self, magpie, mottle, tiger and white flighted, so does also the German standard. A German Komorner of tiger marking has to have fully colored flight and tail feathers, while a German mottle bird is also alternating white and color but also marked in flights and tail. Recently been created here in Germany are almond Komorners, already looking very nice in color and already looking like a Komorner. We will have to see, if this variety will find its way to the hearts of German KT breeders. A thing I have never seen here are Grizzle KTs, also magpies in brown or khaki are not known here. These are only three examples of the different "state of mind" on behalf of color breeding I have mentioned before.

Birds of the Komorner type can be found also in other South East European countries, apart from Hungary and Czechoslovakia where the breed was created. In Hungary there have been local varieties of the Komorner, the Györ type of the breed and the Szekesfchervar Tumbler are examples. These local types do not play a role any-more, they have dissolved in the present Komorner. In Romania you can also find two breeds of the KT type, these are the Arad Magpie Tumblers and the Satu Mare Spangled Magpie Tumbler. While the first breed heavily resembles a common magpie KT, the Satu Mare is highly interesting, as this breed combines a magpie marking with an attractive spangling or tiger marking. That means, that the parts which would be solid colored in a normal magpie are in this breed alternating white and colored. In what used to be Czechoslovakia you can find the Kosice Tumbler (Kosicky Kotrlak), a breed which resembles in magpie marking very much a KT of different style. Finally Poland is home to a breed named "Polish Gansel Tumbler" (Koroniarz Sercaty), which seems to be the smallest member of the KT family, being developed to meet the taste of the Polish fanciers.

Credits for this article belong to Thomas Hellmann, Ketsch/Germany, and to Ingolf Jungnickel, List/Germany for supplying the (black and white) photos of European type KT illustrating this article. I have edited the document only slightly to take advantage of the unique properties provided by web browsers, and have added several additional color photographs from Levi's Encylopedia of Pigeon Breeds, and private sources to highlight some of the points being made by Mr. Hellman. Any errors or omissions are uniquely mine.