The Ceremonial Doves we utilize for services are living animals, because the care and safety of the birds are our top priority, we have the following policies that we feel will keep our team out of harm’s way after your release. As with all animals we cannot guarantee that the birds will perform exactly as expected though a handler will always be present to assist. We cannot accept any responsibility for any droppings that may occur; these are unavoidable though we are vigilant of this.
- We will ONLY release well trained birds outdoors during daylight hours at distances not to exceed 610 miles.
- We will NOT ship any birds to you for a "self-release".
- We will arrive at the release site NO LATTER then 30 minutes prior to the time that the event is to begin to set up and to give instructions to those wanting a hand releasing if appropriate.
- We WILL be dressed in appropriate clothing for the event.
- ALL of our birds are permanently identified with bands issued by, and registered to us by the American Racing Pigeon Union (AU).
- Our birds may be released any day of the week from sunrise to late afternoon at times that allow them to safely return home.
- Certain weather conditions make it unsafe to release birds. These conditions may include, but are not limited to, rain, thunderstorms, strong winds and fog. During such conditions, the birds WILL NOT be released.
Timber Lofts, may cancel any release at any time. Events that may lead to a cancellation include, but are not limited to, inclement weather if known in advance "Acts of God" and accidents that may occur resulting in loss of stock if the event is booked several months in advance. If this should occur, a full refund will be provided.
We do require a $50 Non-Refundable Deposit to schedule your event. Your balance will need to be paid 2 weeks prior to the event date. Should any release be delayed beyond the scheduled time allowed (2 Hours), we reserve the right to charge a fee of $25.00 for each additional 30 minute interval. If we are onsite with the birds and the release has been delayed due to conditions not within our control, is not weather related, but is due to the actual event itself, its sponsors, agents or event participants, and the delay would prevent the birds from returning home before sunset, we have the right to cancel the release and deny any refund.
These birds have been bred for generations for their ability to fly home from distances of up to 600 miles. Beware of unethical businesses that use the smaller 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 than a few feet! Any bird other than a racing pigeon will die when released into the wild, including white pigeons purchased from poultry farms.
My wedding is scheduled for 8:00pm, is that too late?
Basically, yes. Anyone that tells you it's "okay" to release at night should be viewed with caution! 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. The birds do not like to fly in the dark; will produce a very unappealing looking "release" if forced out at night (they actually will not want to come out of their baskets). Provided there is adequate natural lighting at the moment of release, the birds should be given time to return home, or at the very least enough light to sit down somewhere for the night. The birds should NEVER be released in the dark!
What about 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!
How far can they fly?
Well trained, quality racing pigeon stock have a range of anywhere between 100 to 600 miles, depending on many variable factors such as weather, stock quality, etc. While further distances are possible, this would be for only for exceptional specimens. The key here is well trained quality stock, which is not all that common. While it will be hard for the layman to know the difference, generally those operators who also race their birds have these types of birds. 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. Despite what they may tell you, the likelihood every bird returning home is remote!
Can I release them myself, 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 separate the "ho hum" release from the phenomenal release!