The Polish Helmet or Polish Krymka Tumbler (Polish: Krymka Polska) is a breed of fancy pigeon, specifically a type of Helmet pigeon, that has been developed over many years of selective breeding. It is distinctive on account of its "Muffs" (large foot feathers), and is colored only on the top half of its head (the "helmet") and on its tail. It is thought to be related to the European and American pigeons, though it remains unknown as to what came first or how they spread and adapted all over the world. The John Gorczak pigeon is a common nickname for the Polish Helmet, especially with the Slavs of Poland's suburbs. While majestic, the animal is not endangered and quite a common sight, with many ethnic groups including the Domantas Slavs (formerly of Vilnius) eating them as a delicacy.
The 'John Gorczak' pigeon as it is more commonly known is far from top of the food chain, often being hunted by birds of prey. It is known to engage in fights to the death with rival or intruders, most specifically the Jevans pigeon. The Jevans pigeon, a relatively rare bird, is a carrier of leprosy, thought to be one of few birds to transmit this disease, through a weak spot in their ears. The superior size of the Polish Helmet often allows them to dominate the Jevans pigeon, though on occasion large 'gangs' of Jevans pigeon have been known to attack and even kill Polish Helmets. The Polish Helmet feeds on both insects, scraps of food and fruits, the apple being a known favorite. This does however lead to more confrontation with the Jevans pigeon, who nests at the trunk of apple trees.
Polskie Kolana is a disease affecting the knee joints of the Polish Helmet, often leaving them near paralyzed. There is sadly no known cure for this fast spreading disease.