Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Found A White Dove, What Do I Do Now?

This past week I had 3 calls from individuals who had come in contact with white pigeons who had lost their way or just were exhausted and couldn't go on.  And the question becomes what do I do with these pigeons?  First thing if you have the pigeon in your possession is to check if the bird has a band on its leg.  The two most common identifications if the birds are registered are the AU and IF bands.  If the band starts with AU you can go to  which is the American Racing Pigeon Union and if it starts with IF you can go to  which is the International Federation of American Homing Pigeons.  Then arrangements can be made with the owner to get the pigeon.  Often times the bird does not have one of these bands, now what?

If possible you need to examine the bird to see if there are any obvious injuries.  If there are no obvious abnormalities than chances are the bird is exhausted and a little care will help this pigeon to be on its way.  So what care is required?  Feed and water.  The pigeon basically ran out of gas and a couple of days of feed with fresh water will do the trick.  The feed required is bird seed or even popcorn (not popped) and rest.  The action of the pigeon will be indication of when it is ready to go.  When the pigeon becomes restless in its cage you can take him outside to release and it will fly home.

I want to thank those who come in contact with our pigeons who at times require a little help and are willing to care for them.  If you come in contact with a pigeon that needs help please feel free to email me at if you need assistance.  If you are planning an event and need white doves check out our website or call 609-758-5741.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Memorial Idea for a Young Girl

 The loss of a child is a difficult pain to overcome.  Sometimes a reading or a poem is difficult to come up with when planning a memorial for such an occasion.   My son introduced me to a song that might fit.  It is called "If I Die Young" by The Band Perry

When planning a memorial, a wedding or any event that would be appropriate for white doves call us at 609-758-5741 and as always check out our website at .

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hand Release of Doves

Sometimes we get requests for releasing the doves by hand.  Charles Cole has a great YouTube video illustrating the proper way of handling and releasing doves.

Check it out, as always if there is a question or a need for a dove release call 609-758-5741 or check out our website at  we will be more than happy to help.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Doves a Memorial Gift

On the anniversary of a loved ones death we are often times reminded of their importance to us, and that we miss them.  I had the opportunity of participating in a memorial service at the Princeton Cemetery on April 7th for Nicholas, a young man who was tragically killed in an automobile accident five years ago. It was his aunt Nancy who gave the white dove release to his parents John and Laura. Nancy also put this reading together which I would like to include.

Life is like a train ride………………………………………… Steve Polittle

Life is like a train ride. We get on.  We Ride. We get off.  We get back on and ride some more.  There are accidents and there are delays.  At certain stops there are surprises.  Some of these will translate into great moments of joy; some will result in profound sorrow......
When we are born and when we first board the train, we meet people whom we think will be with us for the entire journey.  Those people are our parents.
Sadly, this is far from the truth.  Our parents are with us for as long as we absolutely need them.  They too, have journeys they must complete.  We live on with the memories of their love, affection, friendship, guidance and their ever presence.

There are others who board the train and who eventually become very important to us as well.
These people are our brothers, sisters, friends and acquaintances, who we will learn to love and cherish...

 Some people consider their journey like a jaunty tour; they will just go merrily along.
Others will encounter many upsets, tears, and losses on their journey.  Others still, will linger on to offer a helping hand to anyone in need.
Some people on the train will leave an everlasting impression when they get off. (Nicholas surely did!!)
Some will get on and get off the train so quickly, they will scarily leave a sign that they ever traveled along with you- or ever crossed your path.

We will sometimes be upset that some passengers, whom we love, will choose to sit in another compartment and leave us to travel on our own.  Then again, there's nothing that says we can’t seek them out anyway.

Nevertheless, once sought out and found, we may not even be able to sit next to them because that seat will be taken
That's ok, everyone's journey will be filled with hopes, dreams, challenges, setbacks and goodbye's We must strive to make the best of matter what!

We must constantly strive to understand our travel companions and look for the best in everyone.
Remember that at any moment during our journey- any one of our travel companions can have a weak moment and be in need of our help
We too, may vacillate or hesitate- even trip….  Hopefully we can count on someone being there- and to be supportive and understanding.

The bigger mystery of our journey is that we don’t know when our last stop will come.  Neither do we know when our travel companions will make their last stop -not even those sitting in the seat next to us.
I know we will be sad to make our final stop.  I’m sure of it.  Our separation from all those friends and acquaintances we made during the train ride will be painful.  Leaving all those we are close to will be a sad thing.  But then again I am certain, that one day we will get to the main station only to meet up with everyone else. We will all be carrying our baggage.  Most of which we didn’t have when we first got on the train.
As Ashley said last year in her beautifully written poem:
This she knows for sure:
We wouldn’t be together this day,
We wouldn’t be so strong
We wouldn’t be so close.
And we wouldn’t have come this far……….

We are all on this train ride together.  Above all we should strive to make the ride as pleasant and memorable as we can, right up until we each make the final stop and leave the train for the last time. 
Thank you all for taking this train ride with Nicholas and our family.
Thank you for supporting each other and honoring Nicholas on this day.

If you are planning a memorial service and would like our assistance call us at 609-758-5741 and as always check out our site at

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Problem With PETA

It was brought to my attention that Reese Witherspoon got married on March 26th in fact the link was sent to me directing me to Faded Youth Blog.  So I read the article and it announced the marriage of Reese Witherspoon to Jim Toth. It talked about that they got married in Ojai CA on March 26th and the individuals who participated in the ceremony.  The article covered some of the guests that were present such as Conan O'brien.  Then as a conclusion of the ceremony 80 doves were released,  which the article had a picture of some of the birds flying.  I'm thinking to myself this is great publicity in promoting dove releases.  But at the very end of the article it goes on to say that they asked PETA for their thoughts on Dove Releases, and this is what one of their representatives had to say.

"White doves are specifically bred for release and used by thoughtless event planners. Because doves are flock animals, they have very little chance of surviving on their own when they are released at events. Sending white doves into the air after having kept them confined for their entire lives is tantamount to abandoning a household companion animal in the woods 10 miles from home and should be as illegal. The initial release confuses doves, especially if it’s done at night (when many celebrations take place). Doves are diurnal, so being exposed at night already puts them at a disadvantage. In the confusion of the moment, the birds dissipate and flounder into the night. Come morning, these doves are on their own. Unless they are lucky enough to find a flock of pigeons or other doves to join up with, they won’t survive. However, even if they do find other birds to hang out with, the disoriented doves will remain an easy target for hawks and other predators"

This type of misinformation just sets my blood to boil.  I'm a firm believer that animals need to be treated with respect and their handling needs to provide them with the highest form of safety.  When one looks at the picture of the birds in the article it is easy to identify them as homing pigeons and not ring neck doves.  It is this misinformation that confuses individuals who want to do the right thing and yet want to enjoy these beautiful animals.  My hat is off to Reese for releasing the doves it looks like it was a beautiful event.  If you have any questions or comments email me at  check out my website at 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Susie Moore; 109 Years Young, Oldest Memorial Service I've Done

Some funeral services are very hard for me to do.  The death of a child, gang related killing or even a suicide when someone just feels life is not worth living.  We are affected by those who loose their life to illness or unexpected accidents and we feel there was so much potential life left to live and it causes us a lot of grief and pain in their passing.  I have been told that even in these situations the releasing of white doves help them in this grieving process, and gives them a sense of peace.

Last Monday I was at a funeral and was asked who was the oldest individual that I had the opportunity of doing a dove release for?  The answer to that question is Susie Moore who lived to be 109 years old.  I got to be thinking how different the world was since her birth of 1901 and of the things that she had experienced.

I want to thank Xenia Ware  and the James H. Hunt Funeral Home for allowing me to be involved in the celebration of Susie Moore's life in the releasing of doves at her memorial service.  We released 4 doves at the Jersey Shore Convalescent Center located at 2050 sixth ave, Neptune city NJ.  I released three doves first, representing the Trinity and Xenia released the fourth dove representing the spirit of Susie.  Those who were there I believe experienced a tremendous sense of peace and comfort knowing Susie was at a better place.

I would like to end with this poem.

"Little Dove"

On the wings of this white dove
I'll set your spirit free.
Up into the big deep sky,
to heaven, where you'll be.
I know God has a plan for us,
he wants us by his side.
But it is hard for us to understand
when we are left behind.
Little dove, help lift our hearts
as we watch you go,
God is there if we just ask,
because He loves us so.

If you are looking for doves to release for a funeral or memorial service check out our website or email us at

Monday, February 28, 2011

Doves vs Butterflies: Bliss Weddings Post made in 2002

Questions and interest continue to be made in regards to the decision if one should use doves or butterflies in their wedding ceremonies. Since  I raise doves (white homing pigeons) I have a bias in the release of doves.  Using a professional dove handler the birds are trained and managed in a way to guarantee the highest safety of their return home. The handler can work with your photographer to capture those special moments on film and can work with your wedding coordinator to personalise your release.  I found this old post and I thought I would put it on my blog to encourage dialogue. Please check it out.

If you have had butterflies at your wedding, or you are researching the use of butterflies for an event please share that information with us.  Maybe you raise butterflies or know someone who does, I'm sure butterflies are handled differently since 2002 would like to post that information.  If you have any questions about our birds email us at  or check out our site at

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hawks: Nemises of the Doves

Ask anyone who raises doves or pigeons "What is their number one frustration with the birds?" and they will most often tell you their experiences with the hawks.  In fact when the hawks migrate from November till April their are some dove companies that limit their releases or in fact do no releases through those months because of the bird losses they experience.  I will admit that we do have some losses to the hawks  but because of some of our practices I believe we keep our losses to a minimum.   The following are some things we do.

It has been our experience that hawks seem to be creatures of habit.  Because we know that the hawk seems to be around the loft lets say in the morning we take the birds on training tosses after 12:00.  By the way the hawk most often we have trouble with is called a Cooper Hawk.  We are outside when the birds arrive to discourage and to observe whether hawks are in the area.  The birds are most vulnerable when taking off and landing.  We believe in taking our birds on tosses rather than allowing free flight because the doves when given the opportunity of free flight will often go to the trees since they are close to home which allows them to be an easy target for the hawk. A healthy pigeon or rock dove in flight will out fly most variety of hawks.  So our first precaution is to vary the times of our training tosses.

Our doves are locked down at all times.  We feel that it is important for us to control the activity of the doves and we want to minimize the amount of time they are exposed to the elements so the only time they are out is when they have been released for a trainning toss or a ceremonial release.  The design of our loft allows the dove to come in, but there is no way he can get out.  So our second precaution is to control the amount of time the dove has to being outside.

One of the controls a handler has on his doves is hunger.  When we take the doves out on a trainning toss the toss is allways done before they are fed.  Remember when I said that the dove is most vulnerable when taking off and landing.  When the bird comes home and he is hungry he will go in the loft quickly because he is hungry rather than hanging in the trees where it is a target for the hawk.  Our doves know food and water is waiting for them so they trap quickly.  So food and water is a great motivater for keeping the doves on their toes.

Our birds are exercised year round, a healthy well conditioned dove is not an easy target.  Even with all the precautions we take we do occasionaly lose a bird.  But it has been our experience that the birds we lose tend to be the less desireable ones and I think in some ways the hawk is natures way of keeping the overall flock healthier.  If you are looking for ceremonial doves check out our website at  if you are out of our service area I can steer you in the right direction, if you have any questions email me at

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Memorial Doves

Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!  I would fly away and be at rest- Psalm 55:6

Since the beginning of recorded history tranquility and peace have been associated with the dove.  The releasing of a dove at a memorial or funeral is an appropriate way of  saying goodbye, letting that person go to start their spiritual journey.

Our most popular release is our trinity release.  We have a chapel that is designed to hold three doves.  The doves represent the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The chapel doors are opened and the three birds fly and circle over the funeral attendees.  Then a heart shaped basket is opened which represents the spirit of the departed, which then joins the other three birds.  The four then circle and fly home.  It is a very moving experience.

Sometimes the number of doves is reflected in other ways, such as the number of children or grandchildren.  However many doves you choose for the release the symbolism can provide some peace and comfort.  With the release music or poetry is often used these two are my favorite.

I'm Free

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free
I'm following the path God has chosen for me.
I took His hand when I heard him call;
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way;
I've now found peace at the end of the day.

If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joys.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss'
Oh yes, these things, I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
Look for the sunshine of tomorrow.

My life's been full, I savored much;
Good friends, good times, a loved ones touch.
Perhaps my time seems all to brief;
Don't lengthen your pain with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and peace to thee,
God wanted me now-- He set me free.

Author: Shannon Lee Moseley

White Doves

The white doves are taking flight.
It's my time to say good-bye.
I will not be here when you wake,
for my soul he had to take.

You might miss the smile on my face.
You might miss the words that I say.
but just sit and think a while,
for in your heart my memories lie.

I have a narrow road to travel.
The white doves will lead the way.
They will help ease my fears,
as I journey, this new place.

I am in a place of comfort.
The fear now is gone.
Put those things out of your thoughts,
in your memory I live on.

Remember not my fight for breath,
Remember not the strife
Please do not dwell upon my death
But celebrate my life.

Author Unknown

When the time comes and you are in the position of planning a funeral or memorial service consider the release of doves at the cemetery or location where the service is taking place.  If the service is in New Jersey, selected areas of eastern PA or NYC contact us for ideas and availability of our birds.  For about the price of a floral arrangement we have self release birds available, check out our site 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Should I release Butterflies or Doves after the Ceremony

I read an interesting article about the releasing of butterflies after wedding ceremonies that  I thought would be worth posting on my blog.  The article was put out by the North American Butterfly Association and it gave I thought at least some things to consider if you are going to have a butterfly release.

There's No Need to Release Butterflies -- They're Already Free

by Jeffrey Glassberg (president of NABA); Paul Opler (author of Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Butterflies); Robert M. Pyle (author of Audubon Society Field Guide to Butterflies); Robert Robbins (curator of Lepidoptera, Smithsonian Institution) and James Tuttle (president, (Lepidopterists' Society)
   Most fifth graders can tell you how the magnificent Monarch butterflies migrate thousands of miles every autumn from the United States and Canada to a few small mountain tops in Mexico. There they find the right environmental conditions that allow them to survive the winter. With the advent of spring, they begin their return journey. This migratory phenomenon is truly a wonder of nature that sparks the imagination.
   Now imagine tens of thousands of mixed-up Monarchs unable to find the way to their overwintering grounds. This depressing image may become a reality if the rapidly-growing fad of releasing butterflies, including Monarch butterflies, at weddings, state fairs, and other public events continues to spread. Because the released Monarchs may have come from California, for instance, where they do not migrate to Mexico, their offspring may not be able to orient properly,. Because the Monarchs were raised inside under unnatural conditions, it is possible that their delicate migratory physiology may not have been turned on.
   Public interest in butterflies is increasing dramatically. We hope and expect this greater involvement with butterflies will eventually lead to much-needed support for butterfly conservation and studies, but the release of live butterflies is the dark side of this increase in popularity. Although this practice is understandable to naive newlyweds-to-be (what could be more beautiful than adding butterflies to the environment?) it is really a particularly long-lasting form of environmental pollution.
   Butterflies raised by unregulated commercial interests may spread diseases and parasites to wild populations, with devastating results. Often, butterflies are released great distances from their points of origin, resulting in inappropriate genetic mixing of different populations when the same species is locally present. When it is not, a non-native species is being introduced in the area of release. At best, this confuses studies of butterfly distribution and migration; at worst, it may result in deleterious changes to the local ecology. The Hollywood Jurassic park message, "Don't fool with Mother Nature," has scientific foundations. Recently a high profile report in Science magazine found that even the careful introduction of species for biological control often causes unexpected negative results.
   In addition, these releases create a commercial market for live butterflies (currently about $10/apiece), with the result that, for example, the Monarch overwintering sites in Mexico and on the California coast are now targets for poachers.
   Currently, the interstate shipment of live butterflies requires a permit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture but this law is not usually enforced. In general, the Dept. of Agriculture may issue a permit for shipping any of the following species: Monarch, Painted Lady, American Lady, Red Admiral, Giant Swallowtail, Gulf Fritillary, Zebra (Heliconian), and Mourning Cloak. Shipping Red Admirals, Giant Swallowtails, Gulf Fritillaries and Zebra (Heliconians) is particularly inappropriate because they are not naturally found over much of the United States.
   A solution that better serves the public interest with less regulatory burden is to ban the environmental release of commercially-obtained butterflies (we would exempt education institutions, although even here we would encourage schools to keep commercially-obtained butterflies within the confines of the school). The intentional release of native birds was outlawed in 1947. The time has come to do the same with butterflies.
   In addition to the above, many wedding planners now avoid butterflies at weddings because they not infrequently arrive dead, or half-dead. (See the recent article in the New York Times "Festive Release of Butterflies Puts Trouble in the Air" on page F4 of the Sept. 15, 1998 edition). Even if alive, they often will soon die because they are released at the wrong time of year, or at the wrong locality to survive.
   A truly beautiful and environmentally friendly way to celebrate a wedding is to throw rose petals. You can even use outdated roses from your florist.
--- Action You Can Take
Views of Other Organizations
Media Reports
Readers' Views

The conclusion one might come up with after reading this information is that a Dove release is safer on the environment and still weaves  the beauty of nature into the ceremony.  I invite you to ask us any questions about our birds, and if you are considering a dove release in NJ, the Philadelphia area or NYC, please call or email dovesforrelease @ and be sure to check out our website at

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Rali and George's Wedding White Dove Release

I want to thank Rali and George for posting on U-Tube the video of their dove release which was 10/10/2010 at Antony & Cleopatra Caterers in Williamstown NJ.  It was a beautiful ceremony and we were pleased that we could provide the doves for the event.


Rali did some interesting things with the doves to get people involved, which I believe made her ceremony special because it was unique. Rali had a memorial table set with pictures of loved ones and she had her bridesmaid and best man release several birds in a black decorated basket in their memory instead of lighting candles, it was real touching.  Than finally she had the flower girl and ring bearer with other small children release a larger basket of doves to join the others.  It was a gorgeous evening and the birds added a special touch.

Often times before the birds are released there is a blessing or poem.  I would like to leave this with you.
The Legend of the Dove

Once the Lord of Heaven chose two doves, both young and fair.
And told them of a very special journey they would share.

"Go now upon the earth and see two hearts where you may dwell,
And there I shall surely come and make my home with you as well.

We'll join the two and make them one.  A Husband and a Wife,
My spirit will endow their love with everlasting life."

Today the Doves will bring sacred promise from above
To those whose hearts are open to the miracle of love.

If we can be of service for your white dove release needs call us at 609-758-5741 or check out our website at