Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Reasons Why I Love Having White Doves and Homing Pigeons in My Life...


Kathy of Doves of White near Sacramento, CA shares how her love for pigeons began:

“My husband built our loft over 25 years ago. He had pigeons as a kid, and thought the idea of racing homers was a swell idea. I didn't! And I couldn't believe the money he was putting into building this building...for pigeons! He got his first birds from some of the local flyers. A few had "prettier coloring," so I laid claim to a pied cock I dubbed Zipper. Zipper was fairly respectful in the races, so when another local flyer and pigeon judge gave us a foundation quality hen I took her as Zipper's mate. They had some super babies! Okay, so this racing idea was kind of fun.

Then another of Don's buddies suggested I get some white birds, and I could make some money doing wedding releases. So, I built a smaller loft, and he gave me 11 of my first white birds. There is almost a spiritual connection when seeing the birds and watching them fly; I was hooked.

A few years later, Don gave up on the idea of racing. So my white bird business moved up the hill to the big loft. I now have it stocked with plenty of the whites plus a few race bred birds. I'm still trying to "make some money" but the love I have for these special birds is here to stay.”

Macy of White Wings New York Dove Releases says:

“My story is so similar to Kathy's! I was laughing all the way through reading it; except whites kept coming our way. Hubby kept saying, “No way.”, “No room.”, “Whites would interfere with race birds.” etc., as he was big into racing then.

You know how it goes; odd happenings translate into being pushed in a certain direction. We finally relented, and we got our first white babies from a local guy that raised whites and trained them "for fun". I don't even remember how we knew him or found him. Things just fell into place like it was supposed to happen. He looked like Santa Claus, and that's how we referred to him. He worked locally, and my birds would fly over where he worked when I was training. He told me he got such a thrill seeing them flying. To this day his babies are still some of my best birds.”

Bill from Doves of Love in Pennsylvania recalls how he got started with pigeons:

“My father raised birds in the 1930’s, and actually flew some in WWII with the 101st Airborne. I had my first flock in the1950’s. I remember we would purchase them from the Sears and Roebuck catalog. I had fantails, rollers and a few racers, and I recall taking them to the train station for shipping. My pigeon days ended when a neighbor’s coon killed my entire flock. I was devastated, and stopped raising birds then.

I was away from the birds for 30 years when my mother thought it would be nice if my youngest son raised pigeons. We met a great pigeon flyer who flew with the Army’s Pigeon Corps. He provided us with birds and knowledge. Soon we were in a club, and my son was flying and actually doing quite well. The nearest club was over an hour away, so we had lots of time to bond. The birds were our life and love. We had over 100 homers, and they all had names.

My son grew older, and the birds were now in my care. I raced for years, and found more pleasure watching the birds come home than in winning. Gas prices went up, and my racing declined. A friend gave me a couple of white birds, and introduced us to wedding dove releases. My wife and I always strive for perfection when we do our dove releases. Our first release was from a lakeside gazebo, and we have been hooked ever since. We keep saying we need to stop flying, but the beauty of the birds in flight is breathtaking, and the thrill of the release never goes away.”

Frank, from Flights of White in Wilmington, Massachusetts tells how his lifelong love of pigeons was instilled:

“My story begins as a very young lad living in Rockland, Me. At high tide I was under the fishing wharfs taking the feral young pigeons just before flight. I built my own lofts for my birds, and got lots of left over grains to feed them from train boxcars after being unloaded. I loved the outdoor life, and the many creations our Lord blessed us with. Those were the days.

Then I saw my first argent Modenas, and it was love at first sight. The person who had them just returned from WW II. It was this man who took me under his wings, and taught me the genetics of the birds which gave them their different colorings.
After high school I went into the service, and this ended my first few years with birds.

After four years in the service I started my career with IBM, and then got married. I still had no birds in my life. I was relocated to MA, and it was here my love for the birds began anew. Of course, it had to be the argents once again.

My oldest son developed a love for the Modena breed, and for genetics. The spring and summer months were on the dull side for him until he met a couple of new friends who had racing homers. After speaking with his mother we began his racing side of the hobby. Anyway, after he grew up, and started his career he moved from home. This ended our having racing homers as I didn't have the time to do them justice. My son was very successful with his birds, and it required a lot of time to keep them there.

After I fully retired, and for other reasons, but still having my argents, I received some white homers from friends of mine in the Modena hobby, and started my ministry (as my wife puts it) in doing white dove releases, never intending for this side of the hobby to become any type of business. Being retired, and loving my backyard pigeons for many, many years, I just wanted to maintain my love and passion for them. Doing white dove releases was a way in which the birds paid for their upkeep.

If I do enough releases per year to keep them, I am a happy person. And at the same time, I am able to give some type of peaceful closure to families losing a love one, or a joyous unforgettable memory for persons attending weddings. With blessings from HIM up above, HE has provided for me and my love for his creations.”

Joel of Desert Doves in San Bernardino County, CA attributes his love for pigeons to his early days:

“I can remember my first pair of blue bar homers like it was yesterday. It was over 50 years ago. I was hooked. Many of my buddies got some birds, and we lived pigeons; built lofts, flew them, etc. Then one guy took me over to another guy’s house. He had some whites. He was older, maybe 16, and had a 3 section loft. WOW! He had very few white birds, maybe 3 pair, but those had a couple of babies about 5 weeks old. He took some of his pure white ones out, walked about 25 feet away from the loft, tossed them into the air, and they flew right to the trap. In they went. It was beautiful to me.

I gave up my birds a couple years later, but forty years after that I found I still had the bug. I got some whites, and built a loft during the couple of years that I was a care-giver for my 90 year old mother. I decided to try the white bird release business, and as I got ready to start it turned out that my mother’s funeral was my first actual white dove release. Since 2001 I have done hundreds of events. I never lose my love for these birds.”