These are some of the most common questions, but please feel free to contact us to discuss in full.
Q: I have been quoted a cheaper price from another company?
A: We understand cost is an important factor and we will do our best to compete with any professional business. However most "companies" that offer cheap prices will be cheap on service too! We have seen images from wedding photos where a guy turned up with a painted pigeon basked and himself in jeans and a jumper, now would you want that in your photo album or on your DVD? Also lots of horror stories where the birds flew to the nearest tree and stayed there, obviously not trained or too young! And birds that have not been looked after as you can see brown staining on their tails. We would not want to compete with this type of cowboy, and will not even try.
Q: Is it not cruel to keep the birds locked up?
A: Yes, I think it would be. However our birds are free to come and go so they please themselves most of the time. Only on really bad weather days we keep them in - and even then they still can get fresh air anyway.
Q: I have been told it is cruel to release doves into the wild, as they are not used to fending for themselves and would either starve or become prey to hawks.
A: Only the Rock Dove is released by us. This is because it is the same as a racing pigeon and has a remarkable homing instinct. Your celebration is not the first time our birds will have flown from the area. Our birds are trained to return home quickly and safely. Not only our birds mean a lot to us, but the cost involved in breeding and caring for them is quite significant. Therefore it is in our interests as responsible animal lovers as well as business people to give our birds the best training to ensure they arrive home safely. Rod once told a customer "we breed athletes not hawk food" - I think that sums it up!
Q: How do they find their way home?
A: From a young age the birds are let out for the first time. It takes weeks sometimes for them to get familiar with their surroundings before they range off. When the time is right, they are taken on regular training flights. We have 4 teams of birds, and each team will be trained from different geographical points. This gives them the best possible chance of "remembering" the way home. This is the "human" answer. I'm sure the birds would say its sheer instinct and a love of home....we will never know 100%!
Q: What if the birds do not return home and it has young ones in the nest, surely the young ones will die?
We are 100% committed to the success of our business. As such, we have enough birds to rotate and as yet we have had no need to take parents away from their young.
Q: I would love the Doves at my event, but I'm afraid they will need the poo at an inappropriate time and will mess over me?
A: There are 4 answers here; a) the birds like to perch before defecating and don't poo in flight. b) They are fed a special diet the day before and the morning of your event and are unlikely to need to go. c) In the unlikely event that they do need a poo, if you are holding the bird, we always show you how to best position the bird to "aim away!" d) their droppings tend to be hard - unlike wild birds, so it is unlikely to "stick" anywhere.
Q: Some of my guests are afraid/suspicious of birds, how can I overcome this?
A: Well being me, I would be straight with them. I would tell them your reasons for wanting Doves at your event, and ask them to put their fears aside just for one day - because it is your day. Over this last year we have helped many bird fearing person overcome their anxieties. We are happy to meet with anyone to help reassure them.
Q: What if it rains or snow on the day, does this mean the birds will not be released?
A: Birds can fly in the rain or snow. We provide our services in any weather conditions.
Q: Will our event be displayed on your website?
A: It may. We try and update our images as often as possible. If you have strong objections to this, please let us know at the time of booking otherwise we reserve the right to display all images.
Q: If we are getting married at a venue too far for you to travel, can you just send us the birds for us to release?
A: No reputable company will do this. The birds need to be cared for during their journey, and prior to release. Also if it is too far for us to travel, it is too far for us to train the birds so they will not return home and probably perish in the wild.
Q: I don't really want to pay very much as my budget is limited, what are the alternatives to hiring a professional company?
A: None! This is a specialist service and for the welfare of the birds as well as the aesthetics of the release will be at risk if you choose a self release, or an inexperienced person. We have heard of pigeon fanciers turning up with the birds in a box/basket. Whilst you could almost guarantee the birds will be well looked after, trained and handled well, the person bringing them probably will have no experience in co-coordinating the photos and speaking in public, so will not add a special touch to your day by just releasing birds from a basket. The other option people consider is to purchase doves from breeders or garden centers. This means that once released the birds will either hang around the area where they have been released either to get shot or become hawk food.... Or more inhumanely starve to death. Anyone using this method will face action by the CPFA if caught. And it is likely you will get caught as more and more people are reporting this action. If we ever see evidence of it we too will report it to the CPFA. It will also offend your guests when they just see the birds fly to the nearest tree or rooftop and stay there. People will know what will happen to these poor birds and will not enjoy the wedding.