(Close Window)
Topic: It happens to all of us
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (May 11, 2009 10:26AM)
I've been asked many times about how to keep a bird from flying off into the audience. I thought the report of Lance Burton fracturing his foot was very appropo. He has performed 15000 shows at the Monte Carlo and during the last one, Elvis his parakeet flew off.

It just goes to show that it happens to all of us. You can never be 100% sure of the birds you use and all you can do is make the best of it.
Message: Posted by: RJE (May 11, 2009 10:34AM)
Superglue on the perch as preshow set-up?

Tiny shackles a la chain gang?

Magnetizing bird's feet and use a metal perch?

Hypnotize the bird and if that doesn't work, hypnotize the audience into seeing the bird still on the perch?
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (May 11, 2009 10:52AM)
Well, never NAKE mistakes! The last time I had a dove go on a "private tour" was in the night show at the Cavalcade of Magic this March. (She was even in the cage! I do admit that I leave it open for my convenience but she knows this act. She even knows the music!)

To me the only legitimate reason for using an invisible harness is to stop a flying bird from getting away. It will hold one down. (I will NOT use one for production, period. I think they are dangerous.) I have used them in TV commercials to be sure the dove stayed in frame (in the camera shot). David Ginn and I must hold the worlds records for loose doves in TV studio lights. Doves will go to the brightest lights.

Actually, my record has probably been less that two escapees per thousand shows. I can live with those odds. A good man on the follower spot light can usually bring the dove right back to you.

I learned to not work with parakeets when I lived in Arkansas and we commercially raised them for Hartz Mountain. Noise is the only reliable part of them.

Lance Burton learned that lesson, I thought, back in the 80s when one left his glove just as the zoom lens clearly caught it on TV for the whole world to see.

Now Lucy works with live geese! I'd rather work blindfolded with live rattlesnakes and king cobras. Geese love the audience!

Don't you wish most accidents did happen at home?

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander

PS --- Rob,

Why not use a mean "security cat"?
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (May 11, 2009 06:20PM)
That is why Silky Doves are helpful for me.
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (May 11, 2009 07:46PM)
Silkies do fly Mike, just not as well. The point was that even the best of us lose control of our animals once in awhile.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (May 12, 2009 01:04PM)
A loose bird is just a button off of your shirt. There is no real harm done. It simply proves the birds are real.

If you want a real crisis, let a rodeo bull get loose into the audience stands. That happens too!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: RJE (May 12, 2009 01:14PM)
But how did you get the bull to be still in your jacket to begin with?
Message: Posted by: Regan (May 12, 2009 01:26PM)
Darn, if it had been a dove I would be outside with my lasso waiting for it to fly by. I have been wanting to get some doves and they are hard to find! Parakeets are plentiful though, so I won't waste my time! :)

Regan
Message: Posted by: Drew Manning (May 12, 2009 02:49PM)
Reagan, for the past 2 months or so our local Petsmart has had doves in stock. They're kind of high priced in my opinion at $40 a head, but they do have them out here at least.
Message: Posted by: Regan (May 12, 2009 03:04PM)
Thanks Drew. Come to think of it, I found white doves at a local PetsMart here one time several years back. I have not checked recently.

I was mostly joking, but I am seriously considering doves. Of course, I have been seriously considering doves for several years, but this time I am more serious about seriously considering doves! :) However, I am not quite ready for them, so even if I found some I would not be ready to bring them home just yet. If I cannot find any doves anywhere else around here I will keep PetsMart in mind when I seriouly begin to look for my doves!

Thanks!

Regan
Message: Posted by: Drew Manning (May 12, 2009 05:25PM)
Reagan, switch to decaf :lol:

Actually though, I hear you on that. I want doves again, but my apartment is too full to allow for it at this time. However, lucky for me my wife loves dove magic and she has consented to an aviary when we get a house. Too bad that's like 5 years away....
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (May 12, 2009 07:33PM)
Try to avoid pet shop doves at all cost. First Drew you are correct. $40 a head is too much but besides that, you can never tell the history of the dove. The petshop owners don't care about the birds and most haven't got a clue how to take care of them. I always tell folks that buying from a pet shop is definetly a buyer beware transaction.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (May 12, 2009 07:43PM)
What I dislike the most from purchasing a dove from a pet shop is a type of bug that is flat and hides itself in doves feathers. I forgot the name of the tiny bug. At least the bug dies easy from the tick spray.
Message: Posted by: Drew Manning (May 12, 2009 11:40PM)
[quote]
On 2009-05-12 20:33, Dave Scribner wrote:
Try to avoid pet shop doves at all cost. First Drew you are correct. $40 a head is too much but besides that, you can never tell the history of the dove. The petshop owners don't care about the birds and most haven't got a clue how to take care of them. I always tell folks that buying from a pet shop is definetly a buyer beware transaction.
[/quote]

We deal with the same issues in the reptile world, so I know all the caveats. I have a very good friend who is an expert with birds and I wouldn't buy from any place he didn't recommend.
Message: Posted by: Autumn Morning Star (May 15, 2009 07:35PM)
I use silky doves, too. I have always used the regular white dove, but borrowed some silkies from my friend in Memphis while performing there. Silkies can fly, but seem even more tame than the white doves [if you can believe that!] So I finally bought myself a pair. They are super!
Message: Posted by: Regan (May 15, 2009 11:17PM)
Are the Silky doves solid white in color? I used to have a Silky rooster and 2 Silky hens. All were solid white, and they were the prettiest chickens I've ever seen. That rooster was mean!

By the way, is the Java dove the preferred species by most magicians? I have to start looking for some soon, and I want to make sure I get the correct type.

Regan
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (May 16, 2009 10:34AM)
Regan,

The white Java dove is the bird of choice. Put up a notice at the local feed store and surprise yourself! You will likely get a call!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander

PS --- Silkys are pretty but if they ever get rust on them from a rusty cage it can be nearly a year before they "clean" back up. You also want to avoid using red pottery saucers for feeding and watering with them. They seem too skilled at picking up stains. Otherwise, have at it!
Message: Posted by: Regan (May 16, 2009 11:41AM)
Thanks Bob. White doves are tough to find around my area. I am singing at a wedding this weekend. They were going to release doves, but they decided to move the wedding indoors because of a thunderstorm threat. I was thinking....."What about the doves? I'll take 'em if they are the right type".

However, I found out they were actually some type of white homing pigeon. The owner would not consider releasing them because of the thunderstorm, so they called the dove idea off altogether. It's probably best, because even if they were Java doves, I'm too far from home, and I'm not quite ready for them yet. Plus, it would have been bad if they had tried to release those doves and the doves were no where to be found! I know everyone would have looked at me with a suspicious eye, and I would have been whistlling an innocent tune! It is best for all that the temptation was removed! :)

Regan
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (May 16, 2009 12:06PM)
Regan,

Real Java doves couldn't find the back yard from the back porch!

Take your time. (Then the doves will!)

Good Luck!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Regan (May 16, 2009 07:51PM)
[quote]
On 2009-05-16 13:06, Bob Sanders wrote:
Regan,

Real Java doves couldn't find the back yard from the back porch!

Take your time. (Then the doves will!)

Good Luck!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
[/quote]

Bob, I had heard that before. When I heard the wedding director say that the dove owner would not release the doves in a thunderstorm because they might become confused and have trouble finding their way home, I knew that it was not going to be any doves like I knew of. It was still funny though because many knew that I have been wanting doves, and I guess they saw my eyes light up when this all came about.

Regan
Message: Posted by: Autumn Morning Star (May 21, 2009 04:55PM)
My silky doves are solid white. They look great, but I have seen some that look a bit scruffy. Mine stay really clean, but I have them in a nice tall cage in my home. Yes, the java dove is the one most commonly used by magicians.

I am glad the "dove" owner would not release the doves [aka: white homing pigeons] during a thunderstorm. You likely don't want white homing pigeons for your act. They are pretty big and they poop a lot. They are also comparatively tough to hand-train. But doves are easy to work with!

I love white homers and I have used one in a past show, but they are NOT to be confused with java doves or silky doves.
Message: Posted by: RJE (May 21, 2009 05:17PM)
We have a homing pigeon couple in our area that specialize in releasing them for special events, weddings, funerals, grand openings etc.... They have a flock of over 200 white homing pigeons. Occaissionally, we will borrow a few to release during an outdoor show in the area.

We use a large production box, similar in workings to a square circle. Up to 6 of the pigeons can fit in it without any problems. We do not handle them other then to take them from the travel cage and put them in the production box. When the time comes to produce them, we only have to open the box top and they fly out and away. It really gets a great reaction from the audience.

The owners of the homing pigeons only let us do the shows with their birds within 60 miles of their home. They also do not let us use them during fall and spring hawk migration periods.

If you do not have to buy them and maintain them, they are great to use when you can. We call the owner when we get home from the show and often the birds have beat us back.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (May 21, 2009 05:37PM)
Autumn,

Wait until he needs to move the bird's tail down instead of up! It is called a Dove Pan after some thought!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Autumn Morning Star (May 21, 2009 07:09PM)
Ha! Good one, Bob! I have had white pigeons released at an outdoor show in Memphis, once. Fortunately, they did not fly over my head!