Not to release the other little birdies!
Ok, so maybe I'm a little jaded, but dove releases (like butterfly releases) typically don't turn out as planned. It's been my experience that couples tend to react and get nervous as the birds make their way out of their caged confines.
As I begin to see a pattern of increased requests for these releases after the ceremony, I found it necessary to post a few general points, courtesy of White Dove Release Professionals
1. There is a difference in bird types.
When looking for birds for your release, be sure not to use white "Ring Neck" doves for release. These are the doves you will often find in pet stores for under $20 dollars. Not only can they not find their way home, they cannot really fly more that a few feet! Any bird other than a racing pigeon will die when released into the wild, including white pigeons purchased from poultry farms."
2. Be mindful of the time of release.
How late the birds should be released depends on the distance of the event and the home loft location. Well trained birds can fly at 55-60 mph and should be given adequate time to return home before darkness. They do not see well in the dark and need adequate light for flight, otherwise injuries are likely.
3. Releasing in bad weather-
The birds should NEVER be released in foul weather! A quality release company will not want their birds released under such conditions and should have this stipulation mentioned in their contract. They will also return deposits and balances under such circumstances. Make sure to check for this!
4. How far can they fly?
Well trained,quality racing pigeon stock have a range of anywhere between 100 Releases within 50 miles are generally safe provided good racing birds are used. Beware of anyone offering to ship birds to you for self release at exceptional distances.
5. Can you release them yourself, or is it better to have a release coordinator?
While it is possible for anyone to open a box and let the birds go, having an experienced professional who is good at what they do at your event will very much enhance the most special day of your life. There is much more to this than simply showing up and opening the lid.... there is an "art" to it. Only experienced professionals understand bird behavior, timing, and what it take seperate the "ho hum" release from the phenominal release!
If you are considering a release for your upcoming nuptials, please, please please do your research and contact a qualified organization for more information and to lead you in the right direction.
As always, happy planning!