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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Why Doves? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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the AuditOrr
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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
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Bob Sanders
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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
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Vinnie Laraway
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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
BalukMagic
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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.
the AuditOrr
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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
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BalukMagic
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You can buy special colouring "chemicals" (dunno if they are chemicals or what) and then you colour them!
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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.
Vinnie Laraway
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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
tdowell2007
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Fraser,
Coloring for doves can be found here:

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

Tony
MDS
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I honestly think because they are much easier to work with then a lot of other kinds of birds!
Matthew David Stanley,
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Dynamike
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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


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.
the AuditOrr
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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
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Dynamike
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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.
the AuditOrr
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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?
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Dynamike
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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?


Yes.

You might need a custom made bag. A lot of dove holders have an opening for the tail.
Chris Bruce
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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.

;)
the AuditOrr
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Not that would definitely be pretty schnazzy!

Thanks for all the help there guys!

Fraser
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BalukMagic
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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.

;)


Just called up a breeder. Mine should be in any day now! Smile
ibm_usa
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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!
"You may think that i only talk of things from the past, you know, history, well magic is history"

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Bob Sanders
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You could reverse the trick and help your dove get over the "blues"!

Bob Sanders
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