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Luke Sherratt
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The Isle Of Wight, England
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Hello, I have wondered this for some time is it possible to dye a dove Black? I mean I have seen pink/red, yellow, green, blue all sorts of coloured birds. I am planning an act for the future based loosely on the film "The Crow" and as you can't buy or train crows to do the things doves do is it possible to pass a dove off as a crow and dye it black. If it is possible will it harm the bird? And just one more question is it possible to train a dove to return to your shoulder instead of your hand? Also relating to this question can you get a dove to fly to your shoulder without prompting by waving your hand or looking obvious the main effect is that once the act is finished the bird flies up from it's perch onto my shoulder.

Any Info?

Best,

Luke
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Bob Sanders
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Luke,

It is much easier to train a real crow than a dove! Why fake it? Crows are very smart, as birds go. I know you are in England, but there are plenty of crows in the USA. (Could we send you several hundred thousand?)

(Is this a trick?)

Bob
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Dave Scribner
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Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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Luke, if you can find black food coloring then there's no reason why you couldn't dye a dove that color. It's not more dangerous than any other color.

As for shoulder training, sure. You can use the food/treat method. Don't feed the bird for a day. Put some seed on your shoulder and let the bird know it's there. It will start flying to your shoulder for food. After that, it will think that's what it's supposed to do. Of course that's just one method. Flying up from a perch should be easy. Once it learns what to do, it will look like a natural act. Flying up is something Doves do naturally. Now to get it to fly from your shoulder down to a perch is an entirely different ball game.
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KSMagic2007
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Missouri
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My friend tried to dye a dove black once, and it did not like it! It pecked itself and the others picked on it and it turned very mean. I don't know if this is caused by the dying or something else.
Kyle
Dakota Rose
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Dakota Rose
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Hi Luke,

We tried to dye a dove black with food coloring and it looked awful. It was all sorts of blues and purples. Actually, it just looked plain dirty. Poor thing was stuck like that for a long time. It looked bad enough that we didn't use it anymore and just trained another one. Sorry I couldn't give you anything positive about that.

Dakota Rose
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Dave Scribner
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Luke, I would go with those that have tried it. The food coloring method is doable but it may not be worth the trouble. From Dakota's post, it sounds like you would have to apply several coats and it just might not be worth it. Maybe best to go with Bob's solution and train a crow.
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kregg
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I've always thought that dying a white dove was akin to buying a white car so you could paint it red.
Black dye and pigment are always a deep shade of one color, usually blue or green.
Neil Foster once told me, "Unless you want your tails to look dark grey, wear midnight blue."

Kregg
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JustinDavid
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Well, I do an act based on the crow... and from what I've experienced it's definitely not worth dying the dove. And as Bob said, crows are extremely smart. Granted you are in the UK, I'm sure there are ways to get and raise one.

Dying doves works only with certain colors... dark colors are bad because rub off onto things, props.. hands.. other birds... it's not pretty.

Justin
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Dave Scribner
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Not necessarily true, Justin. If you've ever watched Gen Grant perform, you'd see he uses a dark blue and dark red dove and the colors do not rub off on anything. It's all in the way you color them.
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Bob Sanders
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Luke,

I wasn't joking about training crows. In many ways crows are more like parrots and can learn steps and different tricks. Doves are pretty lucky to remember one thing right. It makes them dependable but not very versatile. I have seen some very well trained crows that were not used in magic. But I know of no reason not to use them. They are trained for the movie industry. Remember The Wizard of Oz?

Don’t ask me to talk you out of the impossible. Lucy and I have a live unicorn! (For a photo send your request and regular email address to Unicorn@StarDancerCastle.com )

Bob
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Regan
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Crows can be trained to talk too.

Regan
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Luke Sherratt
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The Isle Of Wight, England
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Is it really that easy to train a crow? I had no idea. Thanks everyone I will not try to dye a dove black it sounds it doesn't work. I am sure I could find somewhere that sells Crows I don't know exactly how to train them but I am sure I could find out. Justindavid it's cool that you do an act round the crow it is something I have thought about for ages, may I ask what do you wear? Do you go for the Eric Draven look or something else? Does face paint come into it?
We're 106 miles from Chicago, we have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses
kregg
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Regarding crow's... Many States list crow's as "wild animals" and forbid private ownership. I tried to get a crow years ago and ran into licensing problems.

Bob,
Filming a bird on a movie set is a lot different than performing in front of a live audience. You didn't see the out takes.
Even docile doves get skittish, from time to time, when applause erupts.

Kregg
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sandman
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Can you use a crow the same way you use a dove as in can you put them in a invisible harness for a barehanded production. and if you have one for a pet will it keep you awake at night because it crows all the time thanx for your reply.
Sandman
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kregg
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All you need to know about crows can be found at http://www.ascaronline.org/crowfaq.html#faq2

Kregg
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Luke Sherratt
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The Isle Of Wight, England
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I am don't think you can produce a crow like a dove but I wasn't planning that. The crow is supposed to be my "guide" so I would not be producing him. Thanks for all the info keep it coming I need to know as much as I can.

Best,

Luke
We're 106 miles from Chicago, we have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses
sperris
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I wouldn't go with a crow, for abvious reasons, the main one being that the permits are very difficult to get and then think of the travel hassel ontop of that. If the act isn't a commercial act, and you're doing it just for fun in your basement then that's different. But to make it commercial I'd either ditch the whole bird idea and come up with something different or look into other bird species who are smarter, for example an Eclactus. Even though an Eclatus (sp?) is a parrot, the female breed is very dark in blue and purple color and can resemble a crow in that nature. Trying to dye a dove black would be too much hassle and upkeep and probably all the issues with that will freak out the dove. once the feathers come back in as it naturally molts the white will stick out way worse than it would with any other color.

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g0thike
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I tried the Crow thing back in 1994 and it failed.

I have a crow and they are hard to tame. Crows don’t like small spaces, or dove bags, dove pockets, blammo boxes, invisible harnesses. Plus they are loud, temperamental and others.

Plus most States consider them Wildlife and will not let you perform with them.

Contact an Exotic bird dealer for I believe an Australian crow, they are a bit smaller and they have a small orange patch in their chest.

G0THIKE
damien666
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canada
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At the risk of some audience member getting thier eyes pecked out - It would be wiser,safer and legal to get an animatronic crow puppet made. Animatronic puppets can be made to look VERY realistic with very lifelike movements. Mind you, it wouldn't be able to fly, but it could blink, open it's mouth, spread it's wings and have several axis of neck and body movement depending on the ability of the person building the puppet. If the crow is going to be your 'guide' and if you don't need it to fly... that may be a worthwhile alternative. It would be costly to get built, but if you have the money, Contact a Special Effects Company and look into it.
kregg
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If you haven't hit this link, you're turning this topic into inane babble. In the USA it is Illegal to own a migratory bird without a federal permit.
Quote:
On 2004-08-10 13:46, kregg wrote:
All you need to know about crows can be found at http://www.ascaronline.org/crowfaq.html#faq2

Kregg
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