Where and How?
Often after a dove release takes place, someone will approach and, after complimenting how beautiful the birds were, ask, “Where do the doves go?”
Our response is always the same. “We train them to fly back to their loft.”
This usually results in raised eyebrows. “Wow!”
Cue the next question:
“How do you train them?”
Well, this question is much more in-depth than the first, but we condense it into something like the following… “We start by letting the baby doves out on the roof of the loft before they’re fully grown. After several weeks, they will begin to try their new wings and venture off to fly with the others on their daily flaps outside the dove loft. After a few weeks of this, we take these young birds out a mile and release them to come home. We repeat that several times, gradually increasing the distance each time.”
By this time, there is often a little crowd gathered and the questions start, well, flying.
How fast can they fly? How far is it to their loft? Do you breed them? How many birds do you have? Do you have some that don’t come back?
Step right this way, ladies and gentlemen, and we’ll take your questions in the order they were received!
Other Common Questions About Dove Releases
Q: How fast can the doves fly?
A: According to an article on the Pigeon Control Resource Centre’s website, the doves Visions of White releases can fly at over 70 MPH and can cover over 500 miles a day. That link also has some fascinating information for anyone that’d like to take the time to read.
Q: How far is their loft?
A: This depends on where we release the doves. Our loft is located in New Holland, Pennsylvania, in the beautiful Lancaster countryside where fields and buggies abound.
Q: Do you breed them?
A: Yes, we breed the doves ourselves, but we also will buy some occasionally to introduce new genes into our bloodlines.
Q: How many doves do you have?
A: We try to maintain a flock of around 40 flyers, in addition to the special breeders that we don’t use for releases.
Q: Do you have any that don’t come back?
A: Releasing doves is like an airplane taking off; you do the best during training and preparation of a pilot, but you can’t guarantee a 100% success rate in anything.
If you’re interested in a more in-depth look at what happens behind the scenes in a quality dove release check out our post here. There, we talk about everything from feed to training, to holding the doves before releasing them.
I’ll finish with one less-ordinary question. While at the Shady Maple Bridal showcase, a bride once inquired if the doves can be trained to [release something] on her bridesmaids during the wedding.
When you hear a question like that you just politely give a little half grin and say, “Afraid not…“
So there we have it! What other questions about dove releases would you have? Feel free to leave a comment down below.