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Pigeons Breed Old German Owl

Photo of a pigeonOrigin: This breed, the Old German Owl, is the originator of the short faced German Shield Owls. It was the first breed in Germany to be called Movchen, Little Gull, due to the resemblance of color and markings of the Silver Gull. The breed was again formally recognized in Germany in 1956, but the first official standard was not adopted in Europe until 1960. The Old German Owl Club adopted this standard in 1998, and it was subsequently adopted by the National Pigeon Association of America in 1999. No revisions have been made to date.

General Characteristics: Medium sized, compact, charming, gentle, active pigeon with a distinct owl character. The breed has a medium sized beak, nearly rounded head, and well developed frill. It is found in self, shield, and tail-marked varieties.

Head: Nearly round, broad, with a well arched forehead and a small full shell crest, closing with rosettes.

Eyes: Large, bright and lively bull eyes. Cere is light and delicate.

Beak: Medium length, broad, light flesh color, making an obtuse angle with the forehead. The wattle is small and undeveloped.

Neck: Short, stocky, held proudly, slanting slightly backwards and upright. The throat has a slight dewlap and a well developed frill.

Breast: Broad, well rounded and held forward prominently.

Back: Broad in the shoulders, becoming narrower toward the tail, and sloping downward.

Wings: Strong, lying close to the body, covering the back, and resting on the tail.

Tail: held tightly together, as short as possible.

Legs: Short, shanks are scarcely visible. The feet and toes are never feathered.

Feathers: Well developed, lying tightly against the body.

Current Available Colors and Patterns:
Blue, ash red, recessive red, brown, spread, checks, and bars in black, red, brown and white and dilutes of these base colors. Self white and red.

Colors and Markings:
All colors are to be as smooth, clear, and saturated as possible. The body color is pure white. The shield marked variety ideally has 10 white flight feathers with colored thumb feathers. The tail marked variety is pure white except for the colored tail feathers which include a wedge-shaped portion of the back and body under the tail.

Undesirable elements:
Long body or long feathers.
Narrow, flat, long or angular head.
Skimpy, crooked, or too low set crest.
Missing rosettes.
Heavy, smudged, uneven bars or checks.
Long thin beak.
Coarse or dark eye ceres.
Missing frill.
Narrow breast.
Drooping wings.
Too upright a station.
Poor (unsaturated) color.
Noticeably colored thighs.
Colored feathers on the head or body - If shield marked, white feathers in shield. Uneven, unsymmetrical, incomplete shields.
White thumb feathers - If tail marked, white or faulty tail feathers. White plumage under tail area.

Order of Rating:
Overall impression, body form, head and beak, crest, neck and frill, color and markings.

Notes to Breeders And Judges:
These notes are to assist in making decisions. They are intended to clarify, not modify, the set standards. When conflicts appear between the notes and the standard, the standard must prevail.

Since this is a fairly new variety, judges should not expect to find many perfect specimens at this time. This should be especially noted when cross comparing between breeds. Any and all entries that are sick, parasite infested, show manual alteration of features, not showing the overall Old German Owl impression and body form shall be disqualified from competition. No other single element shall be considered grounds for disqualification, but rather judged accordingly.

The overall body impression is of a medium sized owl, standing nearly horizontally, and weighing between 10 and 13 oz. There is no preference for size within the range. The station is almost horizontal, sloping only slightly downward toward the tail. The head is held upright and very slightly backward, providing a slightly protruding appearance to the chest.

There is a preference in shield marked varieties for an even number of white flights. Ten by 10 white flights, with colored thumb feathers is ideal and is desired over 10 by 9. Even 9 by 9 is preferred over 10 by 9. However, colored thumb feathers are more important than an even number of flights because it makes the shield marking more perfect in appearance. A 9 by 10 white flighted bird with colored thumb feathers is preferred over a 10 by 10 without colored thumb feathers on even one side.

The preference for tail marked varieties is for an even line of demarcation between color and white about halfway between the area where the wings first separate from the back and the actual beginning of the tail feathers. An even line, both top and bottom, is more important than the actual location of the line on the back.

The perfect crest is symmetrical, with a smooth arch, ending with small rosettes on both sides. The highest part of the crest will be above the head. This precludes the crest from sitting too far back on the head. The crest line should not be so far forward, however, as to crowd the eyes. The eyes should be about equidistant between the wattle and beginning of the crest line.

The eyes should be dark and large with very small, almost insignificant, eye ceres. Smaller eye ceres are preferred over larger eye ceres even if the larger eye ceres are lighter colored.

Stouter, fuller appearing necks are preferred to longer skinnier appearing necks. A small but distinct dewlap should be present. The neck frill should be as pronounced as possible with feathers going equally to both sides. A shorter frill going equally to both sides is preferred to a longer frill where feathers point in only one direction.

The beak is one of the distinctive characteristics of this particular owl variety. The beak is what provides the pleasant looking face of this owl. The beak does not lie in a smooth arch with the head, but rather shows a distinctive, though shallow, angle. It is short in appearance, which is partly caused by the broad width of the beak in relation to its length. These owls can feed their young readily.

While no preference is given to any one color or combination of colors, all colors should be as bright, smooth and even as possible. In barred, checked, and other marked varieties, the marking should be as distinct as possible.

Judges may wish to consider grouping specimens, when there are enough birds to do so, in the following manner:
- separate selfs, shield, and tail marked varieties, regardless of color or markings.
- separate spread from marked varieties,
- separate marked varieties, i.e. bar and check,
- separate by color.

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