The Budapestian Highflier (Budapesti Magasroptu Keringo) or "Poltli" as it is sometimes called, is throughout the world regarded as one of the best races of high endurance flying birds. With 2000 registered fanciers in the city of Budapest alone, the breed is easily the most popular breed in its native Hungary. When it comes to highflying and endurance flying breeds, only the Old English Flying Tippler is more popular throughout the world.
Contrary to the common thought, the true Budapestian HIghflier or "Poltli", is actually a rather young breed of pigeon. Many are the fanciers in English speaking countries who would have us believe that this breed is several centuries old, but this is simply not true. As there are several other races of somewhat similiar flying breeds native to the Budapest area, such as the Budapest Muffed Highflier (Budapesti Tollabslu Keringo), the Budapest Kiebitz (Budapesti Bibic), the Budapest Whiteflighted Highflier (Csapos), the Budapest WhiteShield (Budapesti Tukros), the Budapest WhiteBarred Highflier and of course the Budapest ShortFaced Tumbler (these are simply breeds that bear the name of the city of Budapest and they are not just simple color variations of one breed); also included in the Budapest family are the Hungarian Grizzle Highfliers, the Old Austrian Highflier, the Csepel Snow White Highflier and also the Pest Blue Highflier (Pesti Kek), possibly, English writers such as Levi have confused many of these breeds, resulting in great misinformation.
This breed was actually first created around the period of 1907 by the Poltl brothers of Budapest, hence this breed is also reffered to as "Poltli", after its original developers. The brothers crossed together the Vienna MF Tumblers, Szegedin tumblers and also the Danzig Highflier of that time. The result of this cross were birds that could fly in large and close kits with a fast wing action and remain aloft for several hours.
The Budapest Highflier is medium sized pigeon of good proportions and is slenderly built. The medium erect body tapers gradually to the tail. The head is free of any ornaments with a well arched topskull and the forehead steepens towards the beak. The beak is of a blue grey color, downfaced and of a medium length. The eyes are gravel grey in color and showing well defined blood vessels within the iris to a spectacular effect. The neck is of a medium length and is carried vertically with a well carved and rounding throat. The breast is carried proudly, slightly prominent and showing a good width and musculature. The wings are strong and carried atop a well packed tail of 12 retrices. The legs are of medium length with blue grey toenails and coming either clean or with grouse.
The first standard for the breed was put up in Hungary in 1943, but despite the breed's immense popularity, it is seldom seen in the showroom since its primary function is that of strictly a flying pigeon.
There are five colors or marked sub-varieties accepted in the modern Hungarian standard, which are as follows:
Storked (Goylas): These birds have a white ground color with the tails and flights laced in a grey-black. Birds with self white tails are also accepted.
GrizzleNecked (Koszorusnyaku): The head is a blue-grey or splashed with grizzled feathers, The neck and breast is heavily colored with blue-grey feathers showing a metallic sheen. The so called "ring" often contains some white feathers. The flights are grey, the tail white, but birds with grey laced tails are also accepted.
GrizzleNecked Whites (Koszorusnyaku feher): Like the above, but the flights and tail are always white.
Snow Whites (Ho feher): The birds is self white and any colored feathers are regarded as a fault. The eyes are gravel opposed to being bull.
Barred (Pantos): The ground color is white with the flights and tail feathers being a light grey. The wing shows two narrow grey bars. The head is blue-grey and the neck shows grey feathers in the plumage which are called "pearls". This marking is very rare in the breed. This writer has seen only one; Hellmann (pers. com.) writes that he has seen this variety only in a single photograph.
Also, even though they are not reported in any previous literature, Ash Red and Ash Yellow Grizzlenecks do exist. Let me just say that we were more than irritated after breeding one in 1996 and people calling us liars or insisting that the bird was an accidental crossbreed. However, the birds do exist in Hungary, even if not well known. This writer went to a great effort to uncover the truth and in a letter from Thomas Hellmann of Germany came the required information. He too, had been more than irritated after seeing some Red, and also Yellow Grizzlenecks brought to a show in the back of a truck by Hungarian breeders to sell in Germany. If one goes to the effort, they can always uncover the truth and many new and important facts can be aquired. This situation is no different. The Red and Yellow series are said to be produced from the matings of Grizzlenecks to Barred Budapests. While our first Red Grizzleneck was actually produced by a pairing of a Stork to a Grizzlenecked, there does seem to be some truth in it as this Red Grizzleneck's first youngster was a Barred Budapest, where as previously we had never seen a Barred Budapest, let alone bred one. These Red series birds are regarded as being very wild and erratic. Fanciers who have tried to fly entire kits of Red series Budapests have lost them due to their inate nervousness. These Red series birds are typically used as "markers" in Hungary, in that a certain bird may be flown with several Red or Yellows to guage its individual abilities since they can be readily told apart in this manner.
Flying standard: 5 hours flight with 1 hour in invisible high