Frequently Asked Questions
What does the white dove symbolize?
Throughout history, the white dove has been the symbol of peace, joy, love, prosperity and hope. This is why they are the perfect addition to commemorate any milestone of life whether it be the celebration of everlasting love of a newly wedded couple, the joy of a new baby, or the hope and peace we wish for our loved ones as the doves are released to carry the soul in their final journey home. The birds we use for releases mate for life and share in the care and raising of their two young babies together. They are soft and gentle birds but strong flyers and once released, they will fly directly back to the home and family they love. These beautiful birds actually display the qualities they have always symbolized.
Where do the birds go once they are released?
Our birds are a purebred strain of the white homing pigeon which is also called the Rock Dove. When the homing pigeon is hatched and begins to move about the loft, it begins the process of “homing in” to that location. Then when they are just a few months old, they begin their handling and ongoing training and, coupled with their innate homing instincts, over time they are able to return to their loft home from any direction. It takes months of training and dedication to ensure the birds have the understanding and endurance to return home. For their safety, we typically keep the dove releases within a 50 mile radius.
Are there other types of doves?
Yes. As I mentioned, we used only the pure white homing pigeon, the Rock Dove, for releases. There is a smaller white “ringneck” dove that you may have seen in pet stores which are more fragile birds and lack the homing instinct. We use these gentle creatures only in our display cages and never let them free since they cannot survive in the wild. A reputable dove release company would ony use the white homing pigeon and never the smaller ringneck or “laughing dove”, also known for their sweet laughing coo.
Can the birds be released at any time of day?
Since the birds are not able to fly in the dark, we restrict our dove releases to no later than two hours before the time of dusk that day. This timing may be longer depending upon the distance of the release site from the loft.
Can the birds be released in any type of weather?
Our birds will often fly around our yard in most weather conditions, however, they quickly retreat into their loft when it begins to rain or becomes extremely windy. If their wings are wet, it makes it difficult or even impossible for them to fly distances. In the case of heavy or consistent rains, high winds or dense fog, we may have to cancel a dove release for their safety. In such case, we will provide a full refund. If this happens, you are always welcome to rent the display cage of birds if you would like.
Do the birds ever have “an accident” during a dove release?
While nothing can be certain when dealing with live animals, bird messes very rarely occur because we adjust their feeding schedule prior to an event. The doves are able to fly more efficiently on a lighter stomach. Through their training process, they have also learned that when they return home they will have a big meal waiting for them.
How are the birds released?
You may release the birds by hand or from one of our beautiful heart-shaped baskets, or a combination of these. We also have very large trunk baskets for the larger releases. Some people may love the opportunity to feel and hold a warm, soft bird, lifting your hands into the air and gently releasing them into flight. Others may prefer to open a basket and allow the birds to take off on their own. In all cases, the dove release is sure to provide you with an unforgettable, lasting image or video so be sure to have your photographer near by.
I’d like to hold the bird and release by hand. Are they clean?
Our birds are a strain of white homing doves so are naturally pure white in color. On a regular basis, we also provide them with a bath of special salts that keep their feathers clean, white and healthy. It’s important for us to have clean, soft birds since many people prefer to release them by hand. If you are unsure if you would be comfortable doing this, please feel free to contact us for a visit so you can meet and handle the birds prior to your event.
Will we be there for the dove release?
We have two options for you, we can bring the birds to your celebration and, when it is time, we walk up and hand out the birds or baskets then step away so you can get the perfect photo. Or for a reduced price, you are welcome to pick up the birds in a disposable travel carrier and handle the birds on your own. Baskets, displays and other equipment is also available for rent. In both cases, we will provide you with the framed reading that is read just prior to the dove release.
What is the display cage?
The display cage is a smaller, ornate decorated cage that contains two of the smaller ring neck doves and is included in our wedding package. These doves are not for release but can be placed to welcome guests as they are entering, or by the sign in book or up with you at the altar. They make soft cooing or “laughing” sounds and are a great focal point for your dove theme celebration. The display cage is available prior to and during the ceremony but is taken with the handlers after the dove release is complete unless other arrangements are made to rent them longer. We also have a very large, domed display cage for more grand occasions. These displays can be added to other events as well. Kids especially love to watch and talk to the birds.