Of or having to do with birds.

Angel Wings

While the pigeon is standing, this term is used to describe the wings set too high on the back.


Generic term used to describe a pigeon amongst roller fanciers.


A rolldown; also bumper.


When 5 or more rollers in a kit roll at the same time. In kit competition 5 of more rollers must roll more than 10 feet to be considered a break.


A bird that is used for breeding. Also known as stock

Bull Eye

Description of the eye of a pigeon when it is all dark (iris & pupil). Pigeons can have one or two bull eyes and usually found in birds with light color on or around the head. Related term: odd site


To rolldown or hit an object while rolling.


A roller that bumps; rolldown.


Used to describe an excellent quality roller. Sometimes used with the word breeder as in “champion breeder” when it has reproduced similar or better to itself. A stable Birmingham Roller that has excellent character and rolls a reasonable amount of feet with great velocity, quality and style. Also used to describe a roller that has won a performing roller show competition or a category in a show.


The ‘personality’ of a pigeon. Differs in individuals but is said not to differ so much in the best quality rollers. This is usually found or rated by existence or non-existence of behavior or physical aspects such as correct posture, correctly designed head and the brilliance in the expression of the eye, kitting ability and homing ability.


Used to degrade a roller pigeon; a feral, wild or street pigeon that doesn’t roll or rolls very little.


A cage or loft.


Short for Cooper’s Hawk.

Cooper’s Hawk

A medium size hawk native to North America. One of the most common roller pigeon predators. Crow sized accipiter, it hunts low compared to other predators.

Crooked Neck Disease

Used to describe Paramyxovirus virus or a pigeon that has been infected with such and showing symptoms.


Descriptor for a roller that rolls a long distance vertically (typically more than 30 feet at once).


The distance a roller falls downward while rolling; it is almost always estimated in feet.


Used to describe the roll a roller displays when it resembles a donut. Typically, a roller displaying “the donut” is said to look like a circular ball with a small hole at center (when viewed from one side). Similar description is “showing/displaying the hole”. This roll style is considered very high quality. See “Hole, The”.

Flight feather

Any larger feather of the wings or tail.


Refers to a color pattern in which the pigeon is a base color with patches or small dark marks known as ticks and flecks. Usually found around the head, neck, crop area and wings.


Used to describe a rollers high impulse to roll. It can be used both positively and negatively. If a pigeon has lot of heat it may mean that it rolls very good or too much. It can also be used to describe the background of the pigeon in regards to the genes and rolling abilities of ancestors. I.e.: That pigeon doesn’t roll much now but has lots of heat behind it.

Hole, The

Displaying an optical illusion that looks like a small hole at center when viewed from one side and resembling a donut; see donut. If a roller rolls fast enough, this will typically appear.


The process a pigeon goes through to familiarize itself with its home and become “home-returning”. Once a pigeon is “homed” it can be freed/ flown and will in most cases return to its home.

Individual Loft Arrangement

Describes a breeder loft arrangement wherein each individual pair is kept in a single compartment vs. open loft arrangement. There is no shared space or resources such as water, feed, grit, etc. Typically, each compartment will include its own water, feed, etc. dispensers.


Breast bone; starts below the crop and ends near or at the vent bones


A group a roller pigeons that are usually flown daily consisting or 11 – 25 pigeons

Kit Chemistry

The degree at which rollers will kit and/ or roll together

Kitting ability

The ability of a roller to keep up with its kit when in flight and/ or the degree at which rollers compactly fly

Lock Down

When kit birds are no longer flown for a specified period of time. This usually is due to predators or weather conditions.


Opposite of grizzle; refers to a color pattern in which the pigeon has base color with small patches of white, usually in the wings area and head. Sometimes referred as a “Spangle”.


A bird that is mixed breed. One that is the offspring of two separate breeds of the same species.

Nest Mate

The full brother/sister of a pigeon that was born during the same hatch.

Odd Side

Describes a pigeon with a bull eye and non-bull eye

Open Loft Arrangement

Describes a breeder loft arrangement wherein all pigeons are within one open area sharing the space, feed, water, etc. vs. individual arrangement. Typically each breeder has access to one or two breeding nest boxes that are not shared.


Refers to the loss of 1+ rollers to a kit due to over flying. Over flying may be caused by predators or weather.

Pepper Head

Used to describe a pigeon (mostly selfs) that has white grizzle like specks on his head.

Perch or Stand

Usually designed with small board about 7 inches by 4 inches shaped and nailed together to form a backwards V or small box shaped/shelf like arrangements in which the pigeon stands/roosts/sleeps on.

Primary flights

Most important flights; outermost flights.


When a roller from the kit is moved from a lower performing kit to a more active esteemed kit. The kit bird is moved usually because it displays good aerial performance better suited for a greater performing kit. Also used when a kit bird is moved to the stock/ breeder loft to breed.


Used to describe the form in which the pigeon rolls, associated with wing position and style of delivery. Quality can be bad (sloppy roller) or good (showing the hole or H wing position)

Red Tail

Short for Red Tailed Hawk.

Red Tailed Hawk

Is a bird of prey, one of three species colloquially known in the United States as the “chicken hawk,”. The most common and widespread hawk in North America; large; wings long & broad.


A roller with little or no control/ stability that is so overwhelmed with its impulse to roll, it will not stop and hit the ground, roof, etc. from almost any distance (height) once it begins to roll.

Secondary flights

Of secondary importance, innermost flights.


Used in conjunction with a color to describe a pigeon that is all one color. For example, a black self would be all black with no other color or very little of another color present.

Show Pen

Wire cages (app. size per pen is 1ft. x 1ft. x 1ft) usually displayed in sets of 3 or more and used for showing or exhibiting birds.


A word used to describe a fast or great performing bird. Ie: “… that roller was smoking today”.


Sometimes used as a nickname to refer to a mottle. See Mottle.


Also velocity; refers to the number of backward somersaults (rolls) executed either per a specified distance, for example feet, or per a specified time such as seconds. The higher the number of rolls per feet or per second, the better.


Baby pigeon, young pigeon which usually still squeaks.


A pigeon that has traps in a loft not owned by its owner


Term used to mostly describe a roller or kit that is not very frequent or as frequent as it should or has been.


A bird used for breeding or sometimes used to refer to all breeders in a loft. It can also be used as verb to describe promoting a young or kit roller into the stock loft.



Switch Wings

When a roller changes angles while rolling; twisting and turning during performance.

Tail Ride

The action that a young roller or roller that hasn’t been flown much displays in the air during their first few weeks/ months. The pigeon appears to be trying to touch its tail with its head while going almost straight down anywhere from a couple feet to 20 feet. This action is usually preceded by a wing clap. Some rollers (mostly young) may come out of a roll and continue to tail ride.

Tail Set

Same as Tail Ride


Roller which rolls very fast and high number of rolls per feet or seconds. 7-10 rolls per feet is considered tight.


Short for pigeon displaying the color pattern termed tortoiseshell; usually colored white, bronze (red) and black.


Usually refers to the composition of the roller’s body and is a term that can be used to rate body quality from poor to excellent type. According to the article “Balance of all Things” written by Ken Easley, a roller with excellent body type is “wedge shaped when viewed from the top. They will be shorter legged or closer to the ground with a ready to go look. They are not too wide in the chest, with strong wing buts prominent. They have the feel of an apple in the hand, with a light one- piece feel. Not too deep in the keel and not too shallow, with a nice curve going up fairly tight to the vent bones, more so in cocks than in hens. A one feather tail or at the very least tight. I really like those cock birds with the spoon tail. The fastest birds I have ever seen had tight hard feathers that felt soft or silky in the hand.”

Waterfall Break

While breaking, when a group of rollers do not roll at the same time but a second or more after each other resembling a waterfall. This type of break should not get scored in competition.


A standard based on the Rock Dove, Columba livia.

Wing Position

The placement of the wings while a pigeon is rolling. Examples include: Axle, Low X, High X, Tight H.