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Topic: Why Doves?
Message: Posted by: the AuditOrr (Mar 14, 2007 08:02PM)
So I'm very new to stage magic. In fact you can't even call it new. The only experience I've had for the last number of years has been bigger close-up work. Anyway, I've always loved Dove magic. But why exactly are doves used? Is there something about doves that makes it much easier? My favorite type of bird is the Sun Conure. Is it possible to do magic with a Sun Conure or are Doves the only type of bird that put up with the magician work?

Fraser
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Mar 14, 2007 08:44PM)
There are many reasons why doves are used.

First remember that there is very little magic that has its origins in the USA. We copy others. This week in talking with people in India, it was confirmed that doves have been used in magic for thousands of years there because the markets were near religious facilities and the doves were part of that. (They also make silk in India!)

I have tried to use many kinds of livestock in magic. Being ranch raised, many kinds of animals were available. The two best traveling companions are dogs and doves. All other animals have travel problems these two don't have. Dogs are more popular in other parts of the world for stage acts than they are in the USA. That leaves doves!

Actually doves are "easy keepers". They are strictly seed eaters. They enjoy staying "put" and are not bad about roaming. Most important of all: doves go to sleep in the dark! Many birds do not. Some even go exploring in the dark.

A dove is also large enough to be an impressive production without being a threat to the audience. They are not all that will work in magic but they are certainly easy to work with. I never found that consistently true of other birds. With sun conures, you may find that travel and their lungs are a bad combination.

Good Luck!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Vinnie Laraway (Mar 14, 2007 08:55PM)
Wow, Bob, thanks for the great info! I have always wondered this, but never asked it; it's good to know now!

And the last thing you said ("A dove is also large enough to be an impressive production without being a threat to the audience.") made PERFECT sense! I have never thought about it that way.. The closest I thought about it, kind of, was when I saw Dave Womach (speaking of Dave, where is he? I havent seen him or Sperry around lately) do parakeet work, and wondered how effective it would be producing such a tiny bird [on stage] - not to mention it would be hard to see from the crowd as opposed to a flapping white dove!

Another few reasons I could think of off the top of my head are that they are inexpensive compared to most other birds (usually $15-$30 depending on where you look), they are able to be handled easily and don't really 'bite' persay, but if they nibble, its very easy to get them to stop...

Thanks!
-Vinnie
Message: Posted by: BalukMagic (Mar 14, 2007 09:16PM)
They don't bite and don't try to escape (as mentioned) that are some of the top reasons I think. Plus Doves have a good association with them as symbols etc.

Sperry is out in Athens right now doing shows. I think he said in the msg that he;s done I nthe beginning of may. The 2 or something.
Message: Posted by: the AuditOrr (Mar 14, 2007 09:25PM)
Ok thanks, that all makes sense. I wouldn't want to threaten the health of an animal for magic so I think that that makes sense not to use the Sun Conures.

I've also seen some magicians produce colored doves. Are there actually colored doves or do they take the matters up in their own hands and dye the bird?

Fraser
Message: Posted by: BalukMagic (Mar 14, 2007 09:55PM)
You can buy special colouring "chemicals" (dunno if they are chemicals or what) and then you colour them!
Message: Posted by: Chad C. (Mar 14, 2007 10:09PM)
Yes, doves are gentle and don't bite. They are also easily tamed. If I were to put my cockatiel in the show he would take off a chunk of whoever's hand tried to pet him. The doves just sit there and look pretty. Doves are like the bird version of cows...sorta.
Message: Posted by: Vinnie Laraway (Mar 14, 2007 10:21PM)
Fraser, yeah, as Baluk said, you can dye your doves basically whatever color you want! I wouldn't call it a 'chemical' though... Its really nothing more than food coloring... I feel that the word chemical makes it sound as though the bird could be in harm if it was used - which is certainly not the case!

Best, and if you have any more questions, please do ask! =]
-Vinnie
Message: Posted by: tdowell2007 (Mar 14, 2007 10:43PM)
Fraser,
Coloring for doves can be found here:

http://www.andyamyx.com/stageproducts.html

Tony
Message: Posted by: MDS (Mar 15, 2007 03:27AM)
I honestly think because they are much easier to work with then a lot of other kinds of birds!
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Mar 15, 2007 12:00PM)
[quote]
On 2007-03-14 21:02, Fraser Orr-Brown wrote:
My favorite type of bird is the Sun Conure. Is it possible to do magic with a Sun Conure or are Doves the only type of bird that put up with the magician work?

Fraser
[/quote]

I see no problem trying your Sun Conure. Parakeets, parrots, canaries, and many exotic birds have been used before. I would train the Sun Conure like a dove would be trained. There are several DVDs out there on how to train them. You might be the first to use one.
Message: Posted by: the AuditOrr (Mar 15, 2007 01:50PM)
That would be really cool! They're really pretty and colorful birds. They can make a BIG screeching noise though. If you blow in their face when they do that they do learn very quickly not to do that though.

Like I said, I really don't know anything about dove magic right now. Would putting them in a dove bag hurt or affect their tail in any way?

All this help is great, thanks!
Fraser
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Mar 15, 2007 02:25PM)
Well purchase the books and DVDs so you can learn.

If you put one in carefully, and if it is the right size, I see no problem.
Message: Posted by: the AuditOrr (Mar 15, 2007 04:50PM)
Do you mean the right size bag? A Sun Conure is about 12 inches from beak to the end of the tail. I'm just worried about the tail being bent or hurt you know?
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Mar 15, 2007 05:39PM)
[quote]
On 2007-03-15 17:50, Fraser Orr-Brown wrote:
Do you mean the right size bag? A Sun Conure is about 12 inches from beak to the end of the tail. I'm just worried about the tail being bent or hurt you know?
[/quote]

Yes.

You might need a custom made bag. A lot of dove holders have an opening for the tail.
Message: Posted by: Chris Bruce (Mar 15, 2007 09:14PM)
If you don't want to use doves you could always try flying squirrels. If they do work out please don't forget me when it comes to crediting.

;)
Message: Posted by: the AuditOrr (Mar 15, 2007 09:21PM)
Not that would definitely be pretty schnazzy!

Thanks for all the help there guys!

Fraser
Message: Posted by: BalukMagic (Mar 15, 2007 10:07PM)
[quote]
On 2007-03-15 22:14, Chris Bruce wrote:
If you don't want to use doves you could always try flying squirrels. If they do work out please don't forget me when it comes to crediting.

;)
[/quote]

Just called up a breeder. Mine should be in any day now! :D
Message: Posted by: ibm_usa (Mar 16, 2007 06:59PM)
Probably some other reasons that I have found is that doves are easy to see because light reflects off their white or near white feathers. secondly, they are very animated, unlike bunnies and other popular stage pets. thirdly, they don't bite when you pick them up, and they are easy to catch if they do try to fly away, most of the time.

Posted: Mar 16, 2007 8:03pm
Quote:

On 2007-03-14 22:55, BalukMagic wrote:
You can buy special colouring "chemicals" (dunno if they are chemicals or what) and then you colour them!

an idea just occured to me, you take a white regular dove, put it in a change box of some sort and take out a blue silk, put it in with the white dove and then make a magical gesture, take out a blue dove! to everyones amazement, the silk magically dyed the birds feathers shortly after disappearing!

a blue dove, imagine that! for Independance Day, dye the bird red white and blue and rename the bird and call him or her Freedom!
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Mar 17, 2007 05:07PM)
You could reverse the trick and help your dove get over the "blues"!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: ibm_usa (Mar 23, 2007 07:01PM)
In speaking of Dyes I'm getting pretty tired of looking at a white dove and I am looking into dying my dove, what food coloring brand should I use? or does it matter?
Message: Posted by: nitemares666 (Mar 25, 2007 12:33AM)
How about Pigeon will the work ? and plus they fly back home do doves and they also come in many colors
Message: Posted by: BalukMagic (Mar 25, 2007 08:50AM)
The type of pigeons that return home are harder to train because they want to go to home when they fly not back to you.

Doves come in some of the same (flat) colours pigeons do...
Message: Posted by: Autumn Morning Star (Mar 25, 2007 04:02PM)
I have used pigeons! I used a fantail pigeon in a dove pan for a long time. They really don't fly far and are sort of funny looking. Their tail sticks up like a fan. Pigeons are much bigger than doves and they ARE messy and when they "go" on stage. (And they "go" in great quantity...Not at all like a teeny dove poop.) It can be bad if they happen to get your clothes.

Last year, I did a production at a memorial performance and released 15 white homing pigeons from a basket behind me. It was really pretty. You can probably get with a wedding dove release company if you want to add this to your outdoor show. The effect is stunning!
Message: Posted by: nitemares666 (Mar 25, 2007 08:27PM)
Do dove come back home ?
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Mar 26, 2007 07:50AM)
Nitemares666,

Magicians' Doves have absolutely no sense of homing. I frequently tell people that mine could not find the back yard from the back porch.

There is another interesting characteristic of these doves (scientifically researched). You can move their nests up and down with no fear of abandoned nests. However, moving the nests even a short distance (less than a foot) laterally frequently results in a lost nest! (Let's not look right or left! There are only ups and downs in a dove's world.) Apparently, even chickens are smarter.

Speaking of chickens, Matilda is officially certified as the world's oldest chicken. She spent 16 years doing magic! She is the ONLY magician's assistant to ever have a broken wand (broken perch) ceremony. Her video will play at the Cavalcade of Magic convention March 30-31, 2007 in the tribute "Ladies of Magic".

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Tod Todson (Apr 6, 2007 12:53PM)
I like the definition of a dove being the bird equivalent of a "cow" :)

I got my first one last night, and it's sooooo nice not to bit.

That certainly can't be said about my cockatiel or parakeets when new.
Message: Posted by: Tod Todson (Apr 6, 2007 12:58PM)
@Fraser,

Nice parrots with a magi-friendly tails are the Senegal or Meyers.

Their tails are very short, making them less prone to breakage/bending.

I played with three hand-fed ones yesterday in a shop.

They kept fighting over each for my head scratches :)
Message: Posted by: Chad C. (Apr 6, 2007 03:38PM)
Ha! My cockatiel still bites and it's not new anymore!
Message: Posted by: Tod Todson (Apr 7, 2007 12:52AM)
My cockatiel hasn't biten from day one.

I bought it hand-fed, and it's very tame.

Always pushing it's beak under my hand to be petted.

Just like a puppy.
Message: Posted by: Paul Jester (Apr 7, 2007 04:50AM)
Pigeons are more intelligent than Doves, and thus can do more amazing things, Ali Bongo was telling me of a show he was working on where for one act he had to go up to the balcony and empty a basket of pigeons over the audience, they'd fly over them and land on the two girls outstretched arms. However, they're much bigger than Doves, and thus much harder to bodyload... size is an important part of bird magic.

Paul
Message: Posted by: ibm_usa (Apr 7, 2007 09:55AM)
Laymen always mistaken doves for pigeons, well from my experience. There is a big difference! one easily mistaken bird is the Rock Dove, it looks like a mix between a black bird and a pigeon! here is the secret...Its a Dove! a very large dove!
Message: Posted by: that_magic_guy (Apr 10, 2007 09:18AM)
I use a sun conure in addition to doves as an ending they are about the same size
as a dove and it makes for a very colorful finish
Message: Posted by: the AuditOrr (Apr 12, 2007 01:23AM)
[quote]
On 2007-04-10 10:18, that_magic_guy wrote:
I use a sun conure in addition to doves as an ending they are about the same size
as a dove and it makes for a very colorful finish
[/quote]

How do you find the feathers work? And what about their screeching(I read that they're horrible screechers)? I don't own any sun conures however I wanted to buy some as pets as well as magic assistants.

Fraser
Message: Posted by: The Hitchhiker (Apr 14, 2007 07:20PM)
Do you guys hang around till the early hours getting the doves down from the rafters after a show.

Jason.
Message: Posted by: that_magic_guy (Apr 17, 2007 08:24AM)
I haven't had any problems with the feathers and as far as the screeching goes mine do but not when they are in the harness.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Apr 19, 2007 08:19AM)
[quote]
On 2007-04-14 20:20, The Hitchhiker wrote:
Do you guys hang around till the early hours getting the doves down from the rafters after a show.

Jason.
[/quote]


Jason,

A skilled crew with the follower spot can save a lot of those problems. Good lighting techs have saved my show many times. I'm always grateful for the guys in black. Sometimes they get credit for keeping the guys in the white coats away! LOL

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Tod Todson (Apr 21, 2007 12:46AM)
My cockatiel constantly screeches and it hurts my ears, but they are considered on a low side of the parrot screeching scale compared to a conure :)

P.S. My new dove is so quiet though. It coos for about 2 seconds once or twice a day and that's it. Very peaceful.
Message: Posted by: The Hitchhiker (Apr 22, 2007 07:33PM)
[quote]
A skilled crew with the follower spot can save a lot of those problems. Good lighting techs have saved my show many times. I'm always grateful for the guys in black. Sometimes they get credit for keeping the guys in the white coats away! LOL

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander

[/quote]

Haha good thing too Bob, I was beginning to wonder if my imagination was running away with me or nobody wanted to think about my scenario.

Cheers

Ja.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Aug 15, 2007 06:54PM)
[quote]
On 2007-04-14 20:20, The Hitchhiker wrote:
Do you guys hang around till the early hours getting the doves down from the rafters after a show.

Jason.
[/quote]


I think David Ginn and I can admit to having that experience in TV studios. The doves go to the light in the highest spot available. (They never read the script!)

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: stageonstreet (Aug 15, 2007 11:23PM)
I once did a school show using a body load and I allowed the dove to perch on my finger. I did not anticipate that the children would scream very loudly as well as clap thunderously. The dove also didn't anticipate this and flew in fright. Fortunately, she was trained well enough to fly around the auditorium and returned back to the stage and lit on the top of the portable stage frame and perched there until she vanished in the drawer box. It was a very scary and very cool moment on the stage.