About Me

Hi, I’m Sophie

Also known as Sophie the Pigeon, Sophie The Office Pigeon, Pigeon Sophie and by my ‘internet handle’ PigeonSophieXNL.

I’m a fancy pigeon and live with two humans indoors as their pet (well they are actually my pets, but just let them think they are calling the shots πŸ˜‰ ).

My ‘shorter’ Bio

For those with limited time, those who don’t really like to read or for any other reason, me and my pet humans have written a ‘summarized bio’ about me. If you would like to read the full story anyway, you can skip this part because it’s basically just a short summary of everything below πŸ™‚

I’m a pigeon of a breed called Oud Hollands Meeuwtje in Dutch, in English my breed is often called Old Dutch Turbit. I’m a non-releasable rescue pigeon. I was hatched somewhere around July 2022, but we celebrate my birthday on January 9th (for personal reasons). I have two pet humans which I really love a lot and do almost everything together with. I have bonded to one of my pet humans (by my own choice, they did not enforce me at all to do so, and they even tried to avoid it where possible). I’m “not suitable” to live with another pigeon, but that is just fine by me because I’m super happy with my pet humans and they give me all the attention I want.

I’m always tagging along with one of them, and spend most of my day either free roaming the house we all live in, or I even go along with one of my pet humans during bike (bicycle) rides. I love discovering new things, love to listen to music (mostly 80’s like Dire Straits etc) and I love to play with packaging materials. Currently I’m trying to learn my pet humans all kinds of new tricks which will cause them to give me treats πŸ˜›

I’m very curious, and always want to know what my (bonded) pet human is up to. Whenever I get the chance, I will following him everywhere around the house, sit on his shoulder to closely observe all the ‘strange human things those pet humans do’, or I will observe him from a distance from a higher vantage point like a door for example.

Me and my pet humans try to make sure that I go outside at least 3 to 4 times a week for some fresh air and flying time. When I’m going outside I will be (safely) on a very long leash with a harness which my pet humans custom made for me. This is to make sure I don’t accidentally get lost or get caught off-guard by any of the dangers in the big open world.

Next to all these activities going on, I also “work” for XNL Future Technologies, where I’m a supervisor, 3D Designer, programmer, product designer, IT Pigeon and anything else I can get my claws on or beak in πŸ˜› In my spare time I’m a photo model and ‘Social Media Bird’, where I like to engage with other birds and humans on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and of course my own blog πŸ™‚

Well that was my ‘short’ bio, if you would like to know much more about me and by breed after all, you are of course welcome to read the rest of my About Me page bellow πŸ™‚

My Full Story, background, breed and more

I’m what most humans call a ‘Rescue Pigeon‘, my pet humans have rescued me from a very bad situation of which I won’t go too much into detail (because I don’t like that past and rather look at the much brighter and happier future I have now πŸ™‚ ).

But when my humans rescued me from the bad situation I was in, I was not able to fly at all, I did now knew how to bathe, was very scared of (bathing) water, and neither did I knew how to eat the appropriate food for my breed. All I (thought) I could eat was very small (millet sized) seeds.

With lots of love, patience, help and practice from and with my lovely pet humans, I am now able to fly completely normal, I love to bathe, and eat all the things a normal pigeon of my breed should eat (and more πŸ˜› ).

The thing’s I’ve been through have left their marks a bit though. I’m very scared of trees (often freak out when I get too close to their branches). Me and my pet humans are working on this, and despite it’s going slowly, it is progressing gradually πŸ™‚

I do not do well with other birds at all. I do love to play or chill with some other (pet) bird friends I’ve made (like a few budgies). But if it’s anything bigger (even other pigeons), and I would be around them for too long, I would feel like they are ‘invading my private space’ or when they come near my bonded pet human, I will (unfortunately) become very defensive (and that is even putting it mildly).

This means that I’m officially what humans call a “Non releasable pigeon”. I’m also not able to be paired up with another pigeon as mate either due to my history. This is however no problem for me, because I have bonded to one of my pet humans, and luckily for me it is possible that I’m able to be around this pet human nearly all day long, and every day πŸ˜€

So this means that I’m not ‘left alone’ in a cage most of the day. I’m actually out of my cage(s) most of the day and travel with my pet human wherever he goes. Sometimes there are exceptions to this of course, and then I do need to stay at home for a while, but that luckily doesn’t happen often at all πŸ™‚

My breed

I’m a as my name already suggests a pigeon, however when asked in Dutch (the language of the country where I live and originate from), it can be a bit confusing for non-bird-keeping-humans when they are told what my breed is.

The name of my breed (in Dutch) is Oud Hollandse Meeuw, the ‘issue’ here is that Meeuw in Dutch is actually the name of a different type of bird. Meeuw is the Dutch name for Gulls. The reason that my breed has this name is due some resemblances between my breed and actual gulls. However I’m nowhere near being a gull (at all), it’s just how my breed is called πŸ™‚

Funny thing is that in English my type of breed is often called an Owl Pigeon. Well I guess that I don’t have to explain that I’m not an owl either? πŸ˜‰

Other names used or known for my breed
There are many different names which are used for my breed whereas some are more common than others. They all (in most cases) just refer to my breed.

πŸ‡³πŸ‡± Some Dutch Variants:
OudHollandse Meeuw, Oud Hollands Meeuwtje (my preference in Dutch) and Boerenmeeuwtje.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ The most commonly used English Variants:
Old Dutch Turbit (my preference) or Old Dutch Owl.

Breed age and origin

Some sources claim that my breed is the oldest breed of owl pigeons in Europe, however me and my pet humans aren’t completely sure about that to be honest. What we do know is that my breed is known in Europe since the 1400s. My breed originates from the Netherlands.

Breed size and treats

My breed is very sociable by nature, we’re calm and often very affectionate. We’re a true ‘human friend’ which will often stay (very) close to home. Many even say that once we’ve created a trustworthy bond (not to be confused with actual bonding) with our human(s), that there seldom is a different bird type which shows the same kind of affection and interests in their human(s). We are a medium sized pigeon breed, although to many people whom are primarily used to ‘wood pigeons’ (the famous grey ones you often see on the streets) my breed might actually look rather small. Funny thing here is that many people we encounter on the streets often make remarks like “Awww how cute, that’s quite a young bird isn’t she?” (At the time of writing I’m about 10 months old and fully grown).

Our heads are as they call it ‘flat shaped’. we have an jabot on our chest, which is sometimes also called a ‘frill’. On the back of our heads we have a peak crest (sometimes also called a ‘kuifje’ in Dutch). We also have a fairly short and small beak compared to most pigeons, but it is not that short that it would be problematic to feed our own young (as is the case with certain breeds where it has ‘gone to far’). Our ‘Wing shields’ are often seen in the colors: Grey, light brown (also called red), or dark brown (other variants are also possible), while our wing’s flight feathers (the long feather of our wings) are often full white. The legs of my breed should be medium length (not too short or too long). And our feathers for most part feel very very soft like down feathers (with the exception of our wing and tail feathers).

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My Breed Lifespan

When asking how long does the Old Dutch Turbit (or Oud Hollands Meeuwtje) live?, you could basically just ask “How long does a pigeon live?”. The lifespan for my breed is the same as that of any other domestic pigeon. Pigeons in the wild may life up to 15 years, but a more realistic life expectancy for ‘wild pigeons’ (also often called feral pigeons) is between three and six years, where three to five years is the average. However, when taking good care of us pigeons when in ‘captivity’, we can reach an average (normally to be expected age) of 15 years and more. Where it is not uncommon to hear about ‘captive pet pigeons’ which have reached ages of 20+ years or even over 30 years. These high(er) ages in captivity of course also depend on genetics and how well you humans care for us. The reason us pigeons often have a much shorter life in the wild, is that we are exposed to all kinds of dangers like the elements, predatory animals and even things like human traffic etc.

So some might think it’s “sad” that pigeons like me are not ‘let out to fly freely’, but in reality we often have a much more comfortable life, are not challenged by extreme weather, we are not in danger of predatory animals like cats, hawks and more of the alike, and we also don’t have to struggle to find good nutritious food. Next to this we are not exposed to many other (biological) dangers to our health like bird deceases or ‘contagious infections’ when we are properly taken care of in ‘captivity’.

My activities, daily routine and more

Most pigeons are really ‘routine creatures’, which means that they quickly get used to a routine of doing things and/or activities. This kinda gives us a feeling of security, we just love it when ‘stuff that happens’ is predictable. A small example of me being used to a routine is when my (bonded) pet human goes to the toilet,
I just know that when he comes out of the bathroom that he will first go to the kitchen to wash his hands before returning to the office or living room. So when he gets out of the bathroom, I already walk towards the kitchen to wait for him πŸ™‚

My daily routine (the fixed morning routine’)
I often wake up around 13:00, this is when my ‘fake sun’ which has been build by my pet humans automatically turns on. I then start to make sure that my feathers are all nice and re-presentable (by fluffing/preening them) before my pet human shows up (and sees me) to take me downstairs.

When he arrives and I will happily greet him and I will get a few neck scratches (which I love a lot). We will then cuddle for a minute or so after which I will then return to my bedroom (night-time cage) and he will take out my drinking bowl and food bowl. Then my pet human replaces the news papers (cage lining) which I might have soiled during the night and/or morning. When he’s done replacing the news papers (which I will coo at if I don’t like the side he has put facing upwards, so he has to turn it around), we will once more cuddle a bit after which he will put me back in my cage again and I will patiently at the exit of my bedroom until he says “Sophie, kom” (meaning “Sophie, come” in Dutch).

I will then jump out of my bedroom-cage, and often I will do one “mega-dropping” (a very big poopie) on their carpet πŸ˜› Sometimes he’s fast enough to ‘shove a paper towel‘ underneath me, other times he has to clean up after me before we proceed downstairs πŸ˜›

When he is getting up I will already walk towards the stairs to go downstairs, depending on my mood I might choose to hop down the stairs myself, fly downstairs or I just grunt and coo a bit while standing at the top of the stairs which means that he has to let me step on his hand so I can use him as my private elevator πŸ˜›

Once downstairs I will walk to a curtain underneath the stairs, and when my human has also arrived there he will open it and get my two bags of food. One is a smaller mix with a smaller dove seeds and the other one a normal pigeon mix (he has already mixed them with additional extra supplements for my health by then). When he is picking up the bags of food, I will already walk towards my smaller ‘day-time-cage’ (which we call my home), and wait (inside) at the entry to get my food.

My Morning eating/feeding routine (fixed routine)
When my pet human finally (pfff πŸ˜› ) arrives at my day-time-cage with my food, he will first give seeds from his hand while we play a bit with a stick and a clicker. Once I or he have had enough of this playing he will put a bit of these smaller seeds in my bowl, and he will then put the large bag (with the regular pigeon food) in front of my home. I can then use his hand as ‘personal step-up’ to get into the large bag, and I’m then allowed to eat from this giant bag for a minute or two 😍. When he thinks “it has been enough” he will take a small portion of this bag and also add it to my food bowl. He will then put both bag back underneath the stairs and close the curtain again.

The Day Itself (when we’re staying at home/the office)
If we stay at home (or work from home) I will mostly just hang around my pet human, sit on his shoulder supervising everything he does (making sure he doesn’t mess up his work for example πŸ˜› ), I might just peck around on the floor and lay down where ever I please. Sometimes I like to play with the Robot Vacuum/Pigeon Taxi Thingy by “racing” on-top of it through the office (I just recently figured out how I can turn it on my self haha πŸ˜› ). I will play games on my own Pigeon Computer, play with my toys (I have a lot of different toys and things I like to play with), perch on the door and fluff (preen) my feathers every now and then. Ow and sometimes there will be a ‘ringing sound’ coming from the hall, I still don’t know what this is, but I do know that if I run to the hall fast enough, I can say hello to a very nice mailman which often brings packages. If my pet human receives those packages, I’m often allowed to help him open them and have a peek to see what kind of interesting things have arrived this time πŸ˜€

During the days when we’re staying at home/at the office it is mainly totally up to me what I’m going to do and how I would like to ‘plan my day’. Sometimes I do ask (very noticeable) that I would rather go outside by hanging out at the window or even ‘dragging around’ either my leash or harness. And luckily I will mostly get my way then (if the weather is not to bad outside).

The Day Itself (when we’re not staying at home/the office)
These days are very different compared to the days when we’re staying at home (obviously πŸ˜› ). When we’re going outside I will first have to put on my ‘shoes’ (humans call these rings or bands). I have two shoes, one of them (the pink one) has my name laser engraved in it, and the other one (the purple one) has the phone numbers of both my pet humans engraved in it. These are removable rings which are mainly intended as ‘extra safety’ for if something happens to me. Like when I get startled and my leash or harness fails for example, so that other humans can see what my name is and how they can reach my pet humans to get me safely back home.

Then we put on my jacked (a custom made harness made by my pet humans to my size). Then my pet humans will put on their own shoes and jackets (so I can get accustomed to my shoes and jacked meanwhile). When they are done they will connect my harness with my (pretty pink) leash. And depending if we are going somewhere with the bike (bicycle), car or walking they will either connect the other end of my leash to their zipper or a long (modified) retractable dog leash.

If we’re going walking (like to the park) we’ll use the retractable leash, and otherwise my leash is connected to their zipper.

Depending on where we’re going and how long we might be away from home, my humans will take along two small containers with food and water for me. If we are going away for multiple hours they will often also bring along my pink & black travel cage, so I can take a nap or take a break whenever I want or need to.

There are lots of things I go to with my pet humans, and I really love discovering new things together with them. We could for example be going to a store to buy cool new toys or things which I can pick out myself (because I’m quite picky on what I like and don’t like), we could go to a pet store to get treats and food, it can be a trip to the park so we can have fun exercising (flying), it can be that we will be visiting friends or family of my pet humans (where I often get a neat snack or treat like a (pigeon healthy) cookie) or it can be that we are just taking a nice trip with the bicycles so I can enjoy nature, the sun and wind together with my pet humans.

When going away with my pet humans and their bicycle I always like to sit on their shoulder, or behind their head if it’s a bit windy so I can still look past their giant sized (wind-breaking) human heads. My personal favorite way of transport (when traveling with my humans) is walking, because I can then easily point out things I want to look at by cooing a bit and nodding my head into that direction. I also really like the bike due to all the cool (new) things I get to see while we’re traveling (although they don’t stop as often to look at something coo(l) when I ask for it πŸ™ ). I don’t mind if we travel by car either (because often we will go to cool new places), but personally I often find this a bit boring and just tend to sleep a bit on my pet human’s lap (when he or she is a passenger of course!). Sometimes I do enjoy looking through the car window, but most of the time I get quite bored with it quickly and just nap until we arrive at our destination πŸ™‚ .

Ow I almost forgot: Sometimes we have to wait a bit before we can actually go somewhere (for the nice mailman I’ve just told about in the previous section).

When arriving back home (fixed routine)
When we get back home my pet human will first take off my jacket (harness), we cuddle a bit and then I will go to my day-time-cage (by myself), coo a bit to tell I’m back home, then I’ll eat a few seeds and drink some water (no matter if my pet humans brought along food and water, I will still eat and drink some when we get home πŸ˜› ). While I’m eating some seeds and taking a few sips of water, my pet humans will take off their shoes & jackets and put away any stuff we b(r)ought and such. And when they return back at my day-time-cage I will be waiting at the entry for them for some neck scratches, when I have had my neck scratches they will take off my shoes (leg rings), give me another hug and then the day resumes like it would have as when we would have stayed at home πŸ™‚

The rest of the day/evening routine (fixed routine)
When it’s nearing dinner time for my humans I always like to eat a bit together with them (in my own cage though), and after that I often spend the rest of the evening on their shoulders. There I do things like (actively) watching YouTube/TV together, fluffing my feathers, cuddling/preening or napping. And sometimes I like to look at photo’s and video’s of My Friends on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube (yes, there are actually photo’s and video’s of other birds (/friends) which I truly enjoy looking at).

Bedtime Routine (also fixed)
When I’m starting to get tired I will first go to my pet human’s shoulders (If I wasn’t chilling there already by now) and then once more fluff (preen) my feathers, will preen my pet human a bit and then lay down to nap. After a five minute or so nap I will jump on their lap and will ‘demand’ some neck scratching and head petting for about 5 minutes. When I then start to ‘doze off’, they will then turn off the light of my day-time-cage and get my water bowl to give me a last sip of water before going to bed. Then they will empty most of my food bowl (and leave in a small bit so I can get some nibbles if I’m really hungry during the night or early in the morning). They will then take both my bowls and kindly carry me to my bedroom upstairs.

Once upstairs they will cuddle with me a bit, I will give them some goodnight kisses and then hop onto my ‘bed’ (perch), they will close the large metal door and sing me a ‘customized verse’ of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, then they’ll wish me goodnight and tell me that they love me after which they’ll leave my bedroom and I will go to sleep until the next day πŸ™‚ (Well not completely, but that’s for the next chapter πŸ˜› )

Mid-night neck-scratches demands
One of my pet humans often works nights, and when (/if) I notice he’s coming upstairs to go to bed (despite him trying to be a quiet as possible), I will first start to softly grunt to let him know I want some ‘mid-night neck-scratches’. If he ignores me (well just doesn’t heard me and thought I didn’t noticed πŸ˜› ), I will start (and keep) cooing (much) louder until he opens the door of my bedroom (then I’ll return to the moderate soft grunting again). He will then give me some mid-night-scratches, pet me on my head, tell me good-night and sing the verse I told about previously once. Then he’ll go to bed and I’ll resume sleeping till the light turns on again πŸ™‚


Many other questions you might have or want to know
There might be many other questions you have or things you might be curious about, if this is the case, I would like to recommend you to check out my FAQ Page πŸ™‚

Thank You

If you have made it this far, then you are truly and genuinely interested in me πŸ˜€ and I would like to thank you very much for that, I (and my pet humans) really appreciate that. If you would like to see more of me then please make sure to check out my Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and the rest of my website πŸ˜€

Thank you and much Love,
Sophie The Pigeon


Let’s hangout