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Topic: Black bird productions
Message: Posted by: Jeb Sherrill (Jan 12, 2002 07:27PM)
There's been talk of bat productions and coloured birds etc. My dream was always to produce Ravens or Crows. I've learned however that they are almost impossible to train unless you raise them from eggs and even then...

I wonder if a dove could be dyed black.

I know the methods in dyeing them colours, but I'm not sure if true black could be done. What do you guys think.


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Message: Posted by: Peter Loughran (Jan 13, 2002 06:33AM)
An interesting idea never been done before that I know of. I don't see why you wouldn't be able to dye one black. However, the only draw back about using a dyed black dove would be it's visibility on stage. Something to think about. I think that's why magicians used white doves in the first place.. very visible once produced and contrasts well with most backdrops and costumes.
Message: Posted by: Jeb Sherrill (Jan 13, 2002 06:43AM)

Hmmmm, very good point. You'd certainly have to arrange your stage around it and your costume. You'd also probably have to keep the doves in close since the audience would lose them easily. You'd only be able to do certain productions too, but the effect might be worth it. I must give it some more thought.


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Message: Posted by: LeeAlex2002 (Aug 2, 2002 05:21PM)
Instead of a dove why not use a mynah bird and just colour its beak. These are incredibly friendly, although don't take my word for it - get some expert advice.
Just imagine training your bird to reveal the name of a chosen card or other prediction, or to announce the end of the show etc.
It is very true what Peter says the black dye on a dove would be very matt, yet Ravens crows etc. are natural "petrolly". You would need some sheen on the dye, or maybe a blue black like the hair dye.
Message: Posted by: paulapaul (Aug 3, 2002 12:17AM)
Jeb - You would buy baby ravens from me, if I had my wishes. However, ravens and crows are protected by the Migratory Act, so we cannot own them. Mynah birds can be purchased as pets, although I know nothing about their temperment or intelligence. Great talkers, though! But the 2 Mynahs that I spent time around both ignored newspapers laid out for their use, and chose instead to leave droppings on the wall. While we magicians do have an admiration for the defiance of gravity, I don't think this qualifies among the more desirable effects. If you are asking a bird expert about Mynahs, you might want to add that question to your list.
A guy I bought some nice exotic birds from might know. His address is jakebrake_@hotmail.com.

Message: Posted by: ARNO (Aug 3, 2002 06:20AM)
What about a black cockatoo?

One drawback: they are rare and expensive...

Message: Posted by: paulapaul (Aug 20, 2002 08:14AM)
Expensive? CH-YAH! 15 grand, last time I checked.

And they are HUGE. I think Jeb was looking for productions with crows or ravens ... which, to me, says "body load"... ok, I mean, "Big body load".

Jeb, if you have come any closer to an answer about dyed doves, you may like this: Fantail pigeons take a bit more load space than a dove, but they are big in display. Closer to the size of a raven or crow.

As far as contrast with stage - that need not be a big deterrent. An important part of the effect, yes, But fixable without burning too many brain cells and/or dollars.

I have a couple of immediate ideas on this. But I can't stay online long for today ... I’ll jot down some ideas and post them here, soon. I would like to see you do this.
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Aug 21, 2002 12:06PM)
NEVER cuss around a Mynah bird! LOL!
Message: Posted by: paulapaul (Sep 5, 2002 03:46PM)
Alan, that's funny.

OK, back to Peter's mentioning that the backdrop etc would need to be considered. There is an item that I have used for years that has really flexible uses and setup. It carries flat, and sets up easily. It is a display grid, available at a great price from display stores. The grid can accommodate shelves or perches at any height you choose. It looks very clean and professional. For black birds, I would drape white cloth. Depending on the size of grid(s) used, you have a lovely and economical backdrop to display them against. When black birds are produced, white silks can be used. As far as the color of wardrobe, maybe the black-on-black of the bird and coat can be turned to an advantage – like making the bird “melt” into existence.

Message: Posted by: Kendrix (Oct 15, 2002 04:55PM)
I had a crow when I was growing up. I climbed a pine tree and took it from the nest (Yes, Paula it was illegal). They are incredible smart. Much smarter than the Hyacinth Macaw or Greater Sulfur crested cockatoo I have now.

Palm cockatoos are availible, but run $12,000 to $15,000.

Minah birds are smart, but tend to get
"nippy" and cantakerous as they age. They have to be handled everyday with out fail.