Frequently Asked Questions
Are they really doves?
There's not a lot of difference between doves and pigeons. The names are often used interchangeably. Our birds are pure white homing pigeons, also known as "rock doves", and have been called doves for centuries. The scientific name is Columba livia. They are not albino, as they have dark eyes instead of red or pink. The reason homers are used for releases as opposed to albino ring-necked doves or other species is because of their ability to return home. Other pigeon and dove species do not have this ability, and some cannot even fly very far at all. When those birds are released into the wild, they stand little chance of being anything other than a meal for a hawk, owl, or some other predator. Our doves have continuous training like athletes. We take them various distances from the loft in all directions and in a variety of safe weather to build their strength, endurance, and experience. You can feel assured the release doves from Heaven Sent will fly home to their loft on strong wings.
Aren't pigeons dirty?
Wild or uncared for pigeons and doves can carry lice and pigeon flies and make messes in places they aren't wanted. However, our rock doves are trained to live in their loft and allowed to fly as needed. The loft is managed on a regular basis. Fresh water is always available, they're fed a good quality pigeon seed mix and grit, and are treated regularly against parasites and disease. They love to bathe and seem to very much prefer being clean. Some people are concerned the doves may defecate as they are holding them or as they fly away. This can happen, but usually they leave their deposit in the basket before taking off. We schedule their feeding of the day based on when they will be handled for release. Also, we will help you hold the birds properly to minimize the risk of being fouled on. We're committed to providing clean, healthy doves for your special day.
How do they home?
Much like bird migration, scientists are not completely sure how the homing instinct works. Recent studies show there is a strong connection between homing and the earth's magnetic fields, and that pigeons may use this magnetism to navigate. Some speculate the birds' beaks may contain microscopic particles which sense the magnetic fields of the earth. Studies also show that pigeons released in familiar territory will often follow roads and use landmarks to some extent instead of flying in a straight line. Some fanciers who race homing pigeons even take note of the day's "space weather" online, including the K-index, which denotes disturbances in the geomagnetic field. Some choose not to fly their birds on days of higher level disturbances since it is known to interfere with homing ability.
What kinds of events can you do a white dove release for?
Weddings, funerals, anniversaries, birthdays, Quinceaneras, First Communions, Confirmations, graduations, memorials, church dedication, or any other event that a release of doves would make more special and memorable for you.