Occasionally you may find a white ring neck dove or white homing pigeon in need of help. We are here to help.
White dove releases for weddings, funerals, and birthday celebrations have been gaining popularity in recent years. A proper white dove release should be conducted with properly trained white homing pigeons, which have a highly developed homing instinct and can find their home loft safely and quickly. White homing pigeons or white homers are pure white doves but are about three times larger and more visible than their smaller white ring neck cousins, which we can find at bird shops or pet stores.
Due to lack of knowledge or to save money, some families choose to buy and release white ring neck doves for their special events. White ring neck doves weigh about 1/4 of a pound and do not have a built-in homing instinct to allow them to find their home. Therefore they cannot be trained to find their aviary. When they are released outdoors they do not know what to do. They cannot fly well and fend for themselves. They may starve, fall pray to hawks, cats, or dogs, or fly into cars and buildings. Therefore, white ring neck doves should not be released outdoors and ruin the special event.
White homing pigeons are much bigger and stronger than white ring neck doves. White homing pigeons weigh about one pound. Their wing span is about two feet from wingtip to wingtip. You can easily hold a ring neck dove in one hand, but you need two firm hands to hold a white homing pigeon. White homing pigeons are born with a built-in homing instinct and can be trained to return home. Occasionally, however, a young pigeon in training may get lost or an adult pigeon may run out of energy if released too far.
If you find a white ring neck dove or white homing pigeon in need of your help, please do the following: