Turbitology by D. L. White          --              Turbitology von D. L. White  (deutsch)

Turbitology is a sophisticated book of 128 pages by Donovon L. White about the Turbit-Pigeon. It's more than the subtitle 'A Study of the Modern-Type Turbit Pigeon' reveals. The author enters the history of today's turbits knowledgeably using historical literature and the available pictorial material. Keeping and rearing, preparations for the show, a detailed discussion of the standard and an introduction to the heredity relevant for the colors and pattern follow.


The writing has a general significance for the understanding of development processes of breeds in the pigeon fancier in addition to the interest it will find at Turbit breeders worldwide.  Individual breeders develop visions, they communicate them through striking drawings, in which the essential breed characteristics in part voluntary be exaggerated. What has been the 'Simpson Magpie' for the English Long-Beaked Magpies 1909, that was for the Turbits the 'Ideal Turbit' by E. B. Ulrich in 1916, a deviating from the official standard 'with much more frontal reach'. If other breeders and judges also jump on such visions without regard to the official standards, then with courage to experiment and cross-breed, a whole breed can be quickly transformed. Turbits are an example of this.

Turbits were already considered by Willughby 1679 and Moore 1735 next to the Owls as a separate breed. Tegetmeier 1868 shows them with a slightly angular head clearly different than Owls with round heads.


Turbits bei Tegetmeier 1868 und Lyell 1887 aus dem Buch "Taubenrassen. Entstehung, Herkunft, Verwandtschaften", Achim 2009.

At Lyell 1887 one can still read that the question of the ideal Turbit head was controversial. Lyell himself belonged to the section of those who saw in the head of the English Owl and the 'African Owl' also the ideal Turbit head. That is demonstrated in his drawing but did not stop the development of the frontal length of the Turbits.

Particularly impressive in the writing of White are the representations of different head shapes, different approaches of the beak setting, demonstrating the importance of the relative seat of the eye and the frontal length. For other breeds the face is of similar importance. Breeders of other breeds could learn how significant beak setting and face length are for a breed. With reference to his mentor J. G. Muir, Donovon White points out the differences between the Turbit head and African Owls and Orientals. He refers on Muir's graphs from 1949 that were also reproduced in a 'Special' of the American Pigeon Journal on Turbits in July 1976. Impressive at pages 60 ff. the discussion of standard details with illustrations of the relative positioning of beak, eye, peak crest and back of the head. He hesitates not also to give concrete numbers that allow also newcomers a quick orientation.


Werner Assmuss and Werner Hegemann (eds.), Mövchentauben international, Reutlingen 1979

 In a time when hardly any breeder knows the difference between face and beak length in other breeds, this elaborated work could even lead to new insights at other breeds. For the understanding of a breed, not only monographs about that breed are important. It is also important to know their position in the structure of the related races. This is especially true if you think about the development of breeds. This is how the special features of the Turbit heads by White are worked out in comparison to Oriental Frills and African Owls. For those who want to look beyond this horizon, the anthology edited by Assmuss / Hegemann about owl breeds worldwide is indispensable, German-language, but with English summaries Experienced owl breeders will also be able to get from White's book many practical tips for breeding, keeping and exhibition preparation. The depiction of the emergence of the modern type of Turbits gives rise to a feeling for the special nature of the breed. The explanations on the details of the standard provisions and the differences to the related breeds are equally important for exhibitors, judges and the further breeding orientation, so that the writing deserves a great readership.



American Pigeon Journal, July 1976, Issue Devoted Especially to Turbits.

Assmus, Werner, und Werner Hegemann (eds.), Mövchentauben international, Owls, Frills, Turbits, Reutlingen 1979, German with English summaries.

Kleinpell, George J., The Turbit Handbook, Cleveland, Ohio 1968

Sell, Axel, Taubenrassen. Entstehung, Herkunft, Verwandtschaften. Faszination Tauben über die Jahrhundert, Achim 2009.

White, Donovon L., Turbitology. A Study of the Modern-Type Turbit Pigeon, Published October 2017 by Classic Pigeon Books - Hemet, California, USA