I've been raising and flying a flock of white homing pigeons which are descended from "Rock Doves" for friends, family, and our own enjoyment since 1998 but for the last few years have been sharing them with the DFW metroplex.
Since the birds seem to enjoy nothing more than having we mere humans admire them as they soar overhead and I never tire of watching them so the decision to share them with the public was simple. Thus was created DOVES 4 YALL white dove release service.
Thank you for letting us share in your special event. Please contact us to let us know how we can best serve you.
Our goal is to help make your event even more dramatic and memorable and to share our love of these beautiful creatures known as the thoroughbreds of the sky.
The Dove Lady Story
I guess I’ve always loved birds. As a child I would watch and listen to them and try to identify their calls. That first robin of Spring was eagerly awaited. As a baby boomer I watched all those 50’s movies with the pigeons being raised on the roof of city buildings and their cooing and homing ability fascinated me but when I saw a white dove release I was completely hooked. I totally fell in love with these beautiful thoroughbreds of the sky as they soared overhead with the sun seeming to glow from those white feathers!
It started out simply as most addictions do. I was given a few squeakers by some local pigeon racers to start my loft. If you had ever heard a baby pigeon beg for food from its parents you would understand why they are called squeakers. But as it goes with all addictions I needed more so soon we had outgrown my small loft and small yard. Living in town I had to stand in just the right spot in the front yard to watch my birds fly because the tall trees around us blocked my view.
You guessed it within a year I had convinced my husband to move where we could have more room to raise and fly my birds, oh yes and of course for us too. He laughingly calls our new home in the country the $200K pigeon loft but to me it was worth every penny. The only thing I miss is the sound of the birds cooing first thing in the morning when the loft was just outside our bedroom window in our tiny yard in town.
If you’re wondering why I use pigeon and dove interchangeably it’s because the white doves used for a ceremonial release are white racing homing pigeons which are descendants of rock doves. These amazing creatures have a way of being able to “home” or find their loft from great distances when released. No one knows exactly how they manage to do this and scientists still study this phenomenon as I recently saw on the Discover channel.
It wasn't’ long before we needed a larger loft so my husband Ken, the reluctant carpenter, pitched right in. Luckily doves are very easy going as to the esthetics of their home. As long as they have the basics of shelter from wind and rain, and enough food, and water they are quite content and quickly begin raising little doves with no concern if their home is on the square with exactly 90% angles.
The hen lays two eggs in a clutch. The second egg is laid about 48 hours after the first and she doesn’t sit on them until the second is laid. This results in the eggs hatching out many times within minutes of each other. Both parents take turns sitting on the eggs. The male has the day shift and the hen takes over in the evening. Both parents also feed the young by regurgitating “pigeon milk” to the hungry squeakers. The rate of growth of the young is almost supernatural! In about one week they start to get their first feathers and lose that soft down they have when hatched and in about 8 weeks they have most of their feathers and are nearly as large as their parents. Because they have not flown yet they just sit in the nest and eat so resemble little butter balls. Hmm that sounds like what happens in many office cubicles I've worked in, but I digress.
Soon after leaving the nest their training begins as I take them just a few yards from their loft and toss them which refers to the release by hand. They quickly learn to find their loft and can be taken further afield. For those who race their birds young 5 month old birds start with a short race of 150 miles but my spoiled birds are rarely asked to fly further than 35 miles or so when I train them or do a ceremonial dove release for some special occasion.
The entire family enjoys the birds. My youngest granddaughter who just turned five is their latest conquest. We have to lock the loft door or we will find her inside admiring the “fritty birdies” and always wants to see the babies.
While I have done white dove releases for friends and family for years it wasn’t until the gas prices started to soar a couple years ago with the resulting feed prices also going up that I decided that my birds had to start contributing to the budget. Fortunately they seem to love their work as all eyes look up to watch their dramatic performance. As they take off there is a clapping sound of their wings beating.
They help newlyweds celebrate on their wedding day and are just as adept at bringing peace and closure to the grieving as they bid farewell to their loved one. It is such an honor and privilege to be able to share their beauty with others. It never loses the wonder for me as I watch my birds circle above. It’s hard to be down when you’re looking up.