The Rostov Statnije Tumbler
By Kelley D. Spurling
In the February 1999 issue I wrote a feature about the Kazan Trjasun tumblers. The many calls and letters were so great in number and the demand was so great for a second article on a Statnije breed, that this month I will write upon the Rostov Statnije tumblers. I have chosen the Rostovs because I am very often reluctant to write about breeds which are not yet available in North America, as my late partner Gary Blain once told me that I should refrain from writing about breeds not yet (or no longer) available to American breeders due to the fact that it will drum up interest from the common breeder and they will be very, very, disappointed to learn that the pigeon is not yet available in the United States. On the other hand, writing about breeds not yet available in America may encourage a few breeders to import them from the continent. One thing that is most pleasing for me as a result of writing articles on Russian breeds is the feedback that I often receive from Russian immigrants who I did not previously know, especially when they commend me on what is written. (Which is proof that I didn't "blow it" as a researcher since often these are people who grew up in the city where the breed in question originated and they know the breed) Hearing from the immigrant fanciers is not only a treat because they can often answer some unanswered questions that I have; but, after all, I am over 90% Russian and each letter helps me to connect to where my ancestors came from. As well, we have exchanged alot of info., some birds, a few books and I even been given a few gifts along the way. All to which I can say "Thank You". As well, it is of equal pleasure to hear from the everyday fancier, quite irregardless of heritage. It makes a person feel not only appreciated, but that they are making a difference and enlightening or at least entertaining people. (Hopefully the former'.) As a writer by trade, I am very much used to not hearing from my readers as a rule and despite it, I do not stop writing because it is my job. On the other hand, in a publication like this, it is very, very, important that if a reader is enlightened or entertained, that he or she give some sort of feedback or encouragement to the writer. These people are not being paid or receiving any benefits to write, but do it because they want to give something to pigeons. Without them, you will have no magazine. If they do not receive your encouragement, maybe they will stop writing articles. They will appreciate your feedback and encouragement and they will continue to write for you. On that note, I have to say that the '"Pigeon Debut" is becoming very impressive content wise thanks to a devoted few writers like H.P. Macklin, my good friend Thomas Hellmann and others. I used to say that the APJ was the best content magazine in Pigeon history, but I think I am changing my mind very quickly.
The breed generally known as the Rostov tumbler is another Statnije breed this time originating from the city of Rostov in Southern Russia along the Black Sea. The full name is "Rostovski Katchuni Statnije" in Russian. The Germans refer to the breed as "Rostower Positure Tummler" and I have seen them shown in the USA as Rostowers.. Technically, this is not correct and it is offensive to Russian fanciers when people use German names for Russian breeds. While "Rostower" is a correct term in Germany since the Germans speak German, "Rostower" is not a correct translation from Russian to English and suggests that the birds originated in Germany. Consider your feelings if East Europeans imported American ShowRacers from Germany and started calling them "ShauBriefTauben". So let us use the actual translations people; it is Rostov!
In the article on Kazans, I have discussed alot of the general information about the types and performances of the Russian Statnije breeds and see no need in repetition and to keep this one short. In this light, if you want a more in depth look on the Statnije breeds, please refer back to the Kazan article. The Rostovs are members of the Katchuni sub-variety of the Statnije family, meaning they are part of the group with the very shortest backs and whose necks shake or zitter when the bird is in motion. The Rostovs are fully muffed, where as the Kazans are to be groused. As well, the tail of the Rostov is to be slightly vaulted and is actually larger and broader than that of the Kazan. Additionally, the back is even shorter than that of the Kazans. Otherwise, the breeds are nearly identical, but it is my opinion that the Rostovs are higher developed than the Kazans from the outlook of carriage and action due to higher station and a more solid station. As well, the zittering action is far more severe than the Kazans and high quality birds may nearly never be seen not zittering. One major area where the Rostovs do differ greatly from the Kazans is in their sub varieties. They can be plain headed or shell crested, where as the Kazans come only plainheaded and are never crested. The shell crested birds come in two varieties; self Whites and Black White Breasted. The WhiteBreasts are, in my opinion, the most impressive in beauty, but this variety is barely existent in the USA at this time and not fairing well reproduction wise. The tail, muffs, wings, and head (to the inseam of the crest) are Black. Crested Rostovs of other colors do exist, and I have seen Ash Reds, but are to be considered faulted on account of color and are not featured in the standard. These birds come about from crossing crested birds to plainheads and may appear in future generations since the crest is a recessive factor. The plainheaded birds come White, Black, Rec. Red, Rec. Yellow, Blue, Silver, Ash Red and also Black WhiteBreasts. Self colored birds are more the rule, but at this time I am working on some Red Whitesides from Rec. Red Selfs that showed Migrational White.
I have included a few accompaniments to this paper. Unfortunately, no actual photographs of the breed as at the present time, all of mine are breeding and I have found it best to trim the tails for maximum fertility.