Wings of Passion: The Inspiring Story of Sonia Van der Maelen and Her Love for Homing Pigeons

Wings of Passion: The Inspiring Story of Sonia Van der Maelen and Her Love for Homing Pigeons

Jan de Wijs

Welcome, pigeon lovers and enthusiasts! Today we delve into the fascinating world of homing pigeons through the eyes of a true pigeon whisperer: Sonia Van der Maelen.

With years of experience and an inexhaustible passion for these winged athletes, Sonia shares her journey, successes, and the lessons she has learned along the way.

How it all began:
In 1982, Sonia met her current husband, opening a new world for her: the world of homing pigeons. She quickly became involved in basketing and clocking the pigeons, and helped out locally. In 1987, she took the big step to start with 60 young pigeons, together with her husband. And what a start it was! In her first race, she won no less than the first 13 prizes and ended the season as the 2nd National champion among the Beginners.

The allure of homing pigeons:
For Sonia, it's all about the pigeons' performance and the joy of seeing them come home from their flights, regardless of the distance. She shares with us that the drive to perform and the satisfaction of a successful return motivate her anew every day.

The pigeon family:
Sonia proudly talks about her current number of about 280 pigeons, ranging from breeding pigeons to flying pigeons and reserve pigeons. She emphasizes that, like many other enthusiasts, she has her favorite pigeons, which do not necessarily have to be the best, but hold a special place in her heart.

B.96-4000618 Ronaldo, Sonia van der Maelen, racing pigeons for sale

Challenges and Triumphs:
Keeping and training homing pigeons is not without challenges. Sonia candidly talks about the envy that can sometimes arise within the community when someone achieves exceptional performance.

The incredible story of "Het Crackske" and the patience of angels!
What a phenomenal adventure we had with our pigeon 4352219-94, better known as "Het Crackske"! Back in 1994, when she was still a young one, she had the habit of wandering around a bit and popping into another loft. But what a go-getter! We picked her up time and time again, until she decided she'd rather stay with us. And from that moment on, folks, the sky was the limit!

Then came the grand finale in October of her birth year. Even though she already had some prizes to her name, she stayed behind that time. But who would have thought? In early February 1995, she was back, stronger than ever, ready to show us what she was made of!

We had a cozy nesting box free in the loft, and we thought: "Why not? Let's give it a try!" And oh, are we glad we took that chance. "Het Crackske" transformed before our eyes from the pigeon that occasionally dropped by the neighbors, into a true champion!

With no less than 11 times the 1st prize to her name and a spot in the top 20 of the Provincial ace pigeon middle distance KBDB East Flanders in three different years, she has amazed us time and time again. So for everyone who is doubting: have a little patience, and who knows what hidden gems will emerge! "Het Crackske" is living proof that with a little love, care, and patience, any pigeon can grow into a true legend!


14-05 Noyon (156 km)
202 Yearlings: 2-4-12-17-19-28-38-47 (12 entered)

20-05 Toury (329 km)
786 Old+Yearlings: 1-5-6-11-13-15-22-23-28-34-35-37-44-50-56-59-60-63-73-80-81-111-135-140-173-182-183-191-210-220-229-242-246-249 (68 entered)

454 Yearlings: 1-2-6-7-8-12-13-14-17-22-26-27-28-37-38-57-72-77-78-83-93-100-106-110-111-124-127-134-137-147 (56 entered)

27-05 Toury (329 km)
422 Yearlings: 1-9-18-24-37-40-43-46-62-67-68-72-73-74-75-79-81-83-90-95-117-122 (37 entered)

03-06 Toury (329 km)
648 Old+Yearlings: 1-9-13-19-25-34-36-45-49-54-72-90-113-134-136-154-155-174-208 (32 entered)

410 Yearlings: 1-7-10-15-21-22-25-37-46-58-70-71-83-95-113-122-124-134 (25 entered)

04-06 Quievrain (50 km)
203 Young Birds: 1-7-8-9-10-11-12-15-16-17-18-20-21-22-23-24-25-27-28-29-30-32-33-34-36-37-38-39-41-43-47-48-49-50-52-53-56-59-61-62-63-66 (68 entered)***

09-06 Argenton (502 km)
266 Old Birds: 3-78 (3 entered)

10-06 Toury (329 km)
628 Old+Yearlings: 2-16-25-26-32-33-47-48-49-57-65-74-75-85-92-104-128-153-164-174-188-190 (37 entered)

395 Yearlings: 1-9-11-12-17-18-25-26-27-37-41-42-46-48-55-66-78-87-98-113 (32 entered)

17-06 Toury (329 km)
239 Yearlings: 2-5-11-16-22-23-28-29-38-46-49-51-52-61-63-77 (43 entered)

02-07 Limoges (622 km)
435 Yearlings: 4-44-87-143 (9 entered)

01-07 Toury (329 km)
992 Old Birds: 1-135-234-252-255-267-268-278 (21 entered)***

02-07 Lamotte-Beuvron (386 km)
2405 Old Birds: 2-42-237-529-616-628 (9 entered)

3414 Yearlings: 5-35-525-617-982 (5 entered)

16-07 Noyon (156 km)
120 Yearlings: 1-9-20-21-23-27-34-35-37-39-40 (32 entered)

300 Young Birds: 1-4-10-11-28-29-34-35-39-51-56-69-71-74-77-83-85-99-100 (62 entered)

22-07 Orleans (355 km)
877 Yearlings: 6-20-22-35-36-39-54-69-78-100-104-142-156-201-236-267-271 (28 entered)

552 Old Birds: 1-74-128 (5 entered)

03-09 Noyon (156 km)
406 Young Birds: 1-3-5-18-19-25-26-35-40-41-47-52-53-62-63-69-74-77-84-92-96-99-104-123 (50 entered)

115 Old Birds: 1-2-10-11-12-13-16-21-27-30-33-34-35 (19 entered)

79 Yearlings: 1-2-6-7-8-12-17-20-21-22-26 (16 entered)

270 Young Birds: 4-17-21-85 (9 entered)

01-10 Momignies (89 km)
294 Old Birds: 2-3-4-6-7-9-11-16-19-20-21-22-34-35-36-39-42-43-46-47-61-73-74-88 (54 entered)

BelgaMagix by Belgica de Weerd is an individual treatment against trichomoniasis (canker) infections, infections of the crop, and hexamitiasis in racing pigeons. With a single pill,canker disappears. Unique and very effective treatment.
The Road to Success:
Sonia's achievements are impressive, with numerous victories and recognitions. She is most proud of winning the 1st National Ace Pigeon Speed KBDB in 1997, the 1st National Chateauroux in 2010, and achieving the title 1st Belgian Olympiad pigeon Marathon in 2013.


BE.09-4043004 Grizzle King, Sonia van der Maelen racing pigeons for sale

5 x 1st General Champion KBDB East Flanders !!!! 6th National ace pigeon All-Round old + yearling pigeons KBDB 2022 (1st yearling pigeon!!!) (with Wout 4087354-21)

Her advice to new pigeon enthusiasts is to start small, learn the tricks of the trade, and above all, have patience.

B.21-4087354 Wout, Sonia and Danny van der Maelen, racing pigeon for sale in Aspelare KBDB
Nutrition and Care:
Sonia emphasizes the importance of good nutrition and care for the health and performance of the pigeons. She swears by the products of Beyers and combines this with a range of supplements to keep the pigeons in top condition.

Vision for the Future and Conclusion:
As a veteran in pigeon racing, Sonia realistically faces the future. She expects a decrease in the number of enthusiasts, but an increase in the number of pigeons per enthusiast. Her final advice is clear and from the heart: there are no secrets in pigeon racing. Take good care of your pigeons, stay humble, and enjoy every flight.

Sonia's journey through the world of homing pigeons is an inspiring story of passion, perseverance, and love for these special birds. Her experiences and wisdom are a valuable resource for anyone interested in starting or deepening their journey in pigeon racing. Let us spread the wings of passion with Sonia and celebrate pigeon racing in all its glory.

Until the next blog,

Jan de Wijs
Blogger, Racing Pigeon Expert and Influencer…

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