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Pigeon Terms

Both Holland and Belgium are the countries where pigeon sport has its roots.
Pigeons from these countries are still considered to be superior and therefore Dutch and Belgian birds are exported to countries all over the world.
In the old days it was only good birds that mattered but later on ‘the holy pedigree’ made its entry into our sport.
Even the best pigeon in the world became worthless if it did not have a pedigree.
The more impressing that piece of paper was, the more valuable the bird, therefore people that wanted to sell birds had no other choice than to make pedigrees whether they liked it or not.
Foreigners buy a piece of paper and get a bird free Dutch and Belgian fanciers often laugh.
But since not every seller understands English, especially not the older generation, much comment is written in Dutch which often causes problems as you cannot expect every fancier in the world to understand Dutch.
Furthermore pigeon language is a special language with special terms that even native speakers do not understand.
Since Holland and Belgium are still the leading pigeon countries various English speaking fellow sportsmen have subscribed to a Dutch or Belgian pigeon magazine and sometimes wonder what words mean that they often come across.
Below you find words or terms that are often used in Dutch with a translation or explanation in English.

Terms that refer to pigeons and origin.

Stamkoppel Basic pair.
Stamduivin/moeder Basic hen
Stamdoffer/vader Basic cock
Grootvader Grandfather
Grootmoeder Grandmother
Grootouders Grandparents.
Nazaten Off spring
Voorouders Ancestors
Stamkaart Pedigree
Afstamming Origin/pedigree
Duivin Hen
Doffer Cock
Jaarling Yearling (yrl)
Jonge duif Baby, youngster (y.b.)
Oude duif Old bird (o.b.)
Ras Strain
Inteelt Inbreeding
Kruisen Cross breeding
Stam Family
Verwant Related
Kweker Breeder
Kweekhok Stockloft.
Nestduif Cock or hen raced natural.
Vroeg jong Early bred
Zomer jong Summer bred
Laat jong Late bred

Terms that refer to the colour of feathering and/or names of birds:

Geschelpt, Refers to colour > check, checked or checker.
Malie “ “
Tieger “ “
Kras “ “
Blauw (Blauwband) Refers to colour > blue
Vaal of vos Refers to colour > mealy, fox (kind of reddish)
Witpen Refers to colour > white flight
Ooievaar Refers to colour, ooievaar is Dutch for ‘stork’ so a kind of white or whitish bird.
Schalie Refers to colour > Slaty (blue pencil).
Bont or Bonte Refers to colour > Splash. A pigeon with a lot of white.
Sproet Refers to colour > Bird with white speckles on the head.
Donkere Refers to colour > Dark check.
Grijs Refers to colour > grizzle
Schimmel “ “
Geschift of Schift Refers to colour > Pencil. Blue with dark spots.
Witoog Refers to colour of the eye: Pigeon with glass eye.
Geeloog/geeloger Name of bird mostly. Refers to colour of the eye ‘Yellow eye’.
Driebander Refers to colour > Blue with 3 bands in the wing.
Licht(e) Name of bird. Refers to colour mostly. Licht is hen > light checked. Lichte is cock > light checked.
Klein(e) Name of bird referring to size (small) Klein refers to a hen. Kleine refers to a cock.
Grote Name of bird > big cock. (so ‘Grote’ is opposite of ‘Kleine’).

Terms that refers to racing or systems of racing:

Leervlucht, lapvlucht Toss, training
Losplaats/vlucht Release station
Een Hoksrace One loft race.
Weduwschap Widowhood or Double system, only cocks are raced.
Weduwnaar Widowhood cock; bird raced on widowhood.
Weduwduivin Hen of a widowhood cock that is not raced.
Dubbel Weduwschap Double Widowhood, both cocks and hens are raced.
Op de deur Youngsters raced with separated sexes. Loft consists of 2 sections, one for cocks and one for hens. After the race the door in between is open so that birds can mate.
Teletekstduif Pigeon that was on TV as it won in first 10 of an NPO Race
Doping Drugging
Kopvlieger Pigeon that is often on top.
Vooruit Refers to a pigeon that won a 1st ahead of the rest.

Terms that refer to Championships and competition.

WHZB Abbreviation for a ‘National’ Championship in Holland organised by pigeon magazine NPO which is in fact NOT National.
Gouden Duif Championship organised by pigeon magazine De Duif. It is often referred to as National as well but this is not the case.
V.L. (Former) so called World Championship organised by Food Firm Versele Laga.
Aangewezen Nominated or pick birds.
Onaangewezen Non nominated or non pick birds.
Navluchten Autumn races
Algemeen/Generaal. Over All Champion (young birds, old birds, nominated and non nominated)
Kring/CC CC is an abbreviation for Concours Combination > Combine (competition of some clubs together)
Rayon Competition of some Combines together.
Afdeling Competition of some ‘Rayons’ together.
Coefficient The result of a calculation for Championships. Prize x 100 divided by entry. ‘Coefficient 2’ is the same as 2nd prize against 100 birds, 4th prize against 200 birds, 20th prize against 1000 birds.
Fondspiegel Championship Long Distance organised by pigeon magazine ‘De Fondkrant’.

Terms that refer to racing

NPO vlucht Race organised by ‘Afdeling’ sometimes referred to as Semi National, supported by NPO.
ZLU Abbreviation of Zuid Limburgse Union. A committee that organises 2 day Semi National races Long Distance.
Vitesse Short distance. Mostly up to appr 250 to 300 kms.
Halve Fond Middle Distance. From appr 250 to 500 kms.
Eendaags(e) Fond One day long distance races (500 to 700 kms).
Overnacht Two – day long distance races (800 to 1200 kms).
Fond Long Distance.
Dubbel(ing) Double. For example prize won in Combine or Provincial.
Derby Very special race.

Terms that refer to organisation and press:

NPO Neerlands Postduiven Organisatie: Dutch National Homing Union.
KBDB Koninklijke Belgische Duiven Bond: Belgian National Homing Union.
De Reisduif Name of a Belgian pigeon magazine.
De Duif “ “
Duifke Lacht “ “ (Natural Breeding Station).
Vredesduif Name of a former (!) Dutch pigeon magazine.
Fondkrant Name of Dutch pigeon magazine that focusses on long distance.
Duivenkrant Name of Belgian pigeon magazine. BDS Belgische Duiven Sport, Belgian pigeon magazine.
Het Spoor Name of Dutch pigeon magazine.

Good to remember

Tje, je, of Ke behind a propername refers to small size.
So duifJE or duifKE is LITTLE pigeon.
DofferTJE is a small cock.

Birds are often named after the colour of their feathers such as ‘Blauwe’ (Blue bird) or ‘Wittenbuik’ (White feathered belly)

Birds are often named after a sportsman such as Merckx and so on.

Birds are often named after a race they won such as ‘de Limoges’ (bird won race from Limoges.

Long Distance gets all the publicity but less than 10 percent race from long distance, which means that 90 percent of the champions do not get the attention they deserve.

Pigeon magazines organise ‘National’ Championships which are NOT National.

In Holland there are 2 sorts of Long Distance races: One day races and Two day races (Birds released at noon).
In Belgium at long distance all birds are released early morning apart from Barcelona.

In case you often read other Dutch terms that you do not understand feel free to contact A Schaerlaeckens.