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Topic: Fly to and back
Message: Posted by: Zack Schaff (Jul 27, 2004 06:22PM)
Can anyone offer me advice on training a dove to fly out to an audience member's finger and then back to mine? I'd like my dove to land on the persons finger and then fly back to me when I give the signal. Has anyone tried, or seen something similar to this?


Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Jul 27, 2004 07:26PM)
Zack: So you're asking how to train a dove NOT to fly back. That would be a natural action for the dove and wouldn't require training. Do you want the dove to fly to an assistant or just anyone in the audience? If it's to anyone, I'd be concerned since not every audience member has the care for animals that we dove workers do. The typical reaction from the audience when seeing a dove fly loose is to grab it.

Doves are not signal driven. I'm not sure the dove would just take flight from a spectator back to you because of a signal. It's a nice idea but I don't think you'd have much success with it. It would be different I must say.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jul 27, 2004 11:00PM)
Yes, it can be done. It's slow, expensive and still takes two people. It really isn't worth it. On a raised stage (real stage) it won't work without special lighting because the dove is below you. The second person would have to be in the audience behind the audience member you want to stop the dove. What happens is that the bird keeps flying to the other member of your cast. They go to a "safe place".

To work the bird must never leave stage level. That's all I will say in an open forum.

Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Jul 28, 2004 05:46AM)
Zack: Bob and I have basically said the same thing. He was more technical. That's why I like his responses. He's right about the time and expense and if you think about it, the normal fly back is much more impressive. Looks like you've trained your bird when they fly back. Having it fly to an audience member might just look like it got away from you.
Message: Posted by: kregg (Jul 28, 2004 02:45PM)
Hand feeding is a wonderful way to train. Tony Clark has great advice in his book Tony Clark Unmasks. It all comes down to the birds temperament, state of mind and trust. I've seen Lance Burton's birds loop out and return as planned and "hey dude, I'm landing" on the head of a spectator. I've had birds that were stable enough to use outside (beware of predators).
What it all comes down to is animal's like people often have their own plan otherwise Roy Horns horrible accident never would have happened.

Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Jul 28, 2004 02:53PM)
The Free Flyers are normally Pidgeons...not Doves. Pidgeons do it for a living...Doves...uh...mate.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jul 31, 2004 10:57PM)

Doves flying are beautiful but darkrider isn't blowing smoke. Doves don't fly much. They will even nest on the ground to avoid it, if it is safe. There was a time when I thought fly back doves would impress the audience. I don't even believe that anymore. (I use white doves because my hair matches!)

Occasionally I will throw one out to the audience (always UP) mostly to kill time or ditch something in my hands. Mostly, I think of it as a place in the show where I have given up control. I will also use a dove for a small show (25-75 people) in the flat to pick my assistant. (My doves always land on the highest hand.) Otherwise, I want them to stay on the wand. We are all safer!

Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Lou Hilario (Aug 1, 2004 10:11AM)
Why don't you get a parrot instead. They are more reliable free flyers and can be trained to fly back in your hand or on an assigned perch or prop.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Aug 1, 2004 10:42AM)
Lou...and they TALK too! and Pick a card or tell fortunes and push little baby carraiges etc. Parrots are terrific entertainers.

On the other hand (pun intended)

Doves: $10

Parrots: $495 and up to multi thousands!

at least that's why I used Doves instead :)

I always wanted a HUGE Macaw doing a spectacular free flight over the crowd. But...

Message: Posted by: Lou Hilario (Aug 2, 2004 10:44AM)

Nothing is Impossible as they say. Of course, you can afford a macaw or a cockatoo. I thought I couldn't before. Besides, you can charge more with a parrot act than a dove act.
There are too many dove performers in my community. Though, I still include doves in my show to add variety. I also use budgies.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Aug 2, 2004 11:11AM)
There used to be a guy in Times Square during the 50's who had a tray strapped around his neck...looked like one of those Cigarette Girl kind of trays...it was packed with little colorful cards...in one corner of the tray was a litle perch and on the perch a small green Parrot. The Fortune Telling Parrot! When you gave the guy a quarter or what ever it was he required...the Parrot would leave the perch and Pick one of the little cards that had a fortune on it and the person would take the card from it's beak.
As a kid, this was the coolest thing on the planet and this is what I wanted to be when I grew up! hahaha. (The guy, not the bird)
If I had a little Parrot, that's all I'd want him to do! :) He'd be great in Balboa Park!