Bird Charity Urges Couples Not To Release White Doves At Their Wedding
The tradition is meant to be a symbol of luck, happiness and new beginnings for newlyweds, but the unfortunate truth is far bleaker.
Bird charity Winged Warriors posted a warning on Facebook letting them know that many of the doves released with die due to having "zero survival skills" and "little understanding of predators."
The post read: "During 'dove releases,' birds are let out of a cage, and event attendees likely assume that they have been 'set free' and will live happily ever after. I wish this were true. Sadly the moment these birds are released.. Their fate is sealed and many will die.
"These poor domesticated birds have zero survival skills. They've no idea how to find food for themselves and they've little understanding of predators."
The charity finish by calling the practice "on par with dumping your dog or cat on the street."
Corvid Dawn from Wild Bird Rescue, who often has to deal with vulnerable or dead animals, echoed the grim warning. The animal rescue officer she has experienced more call-outs for injured pigeons and doves since wedding season began.
Posting on the social media site, she penned: "Right, for the third time in two weeks I've had calls about white pigeons or fancy fan tail doves in doorways of shops, starving and disoriented and often young, looking lost.
"This is no coincidence! It's wedding season and this means breeders around the country charge a pretty penny to release young birds at weddings.
"They are often not mature not free flown, meaning they are too exhausted to work out how to get home and haven't been in an aviary to get their bearings or homing instinct, let alone flight muscles. So they have no idea how to survive without humans or how to get home, they are part of a disposable business."
She finished by saying awareness needs to be raised about the damaging tradition, adding: "Just for one day of celebrations, it's not worth these poor birds being exploited or starving to death, hardly something you want to mark your special day."
However, some that had used birds for their big day disagreed that the practice was cruel.
"That is not always what happens, these lovely little doves are trained to go back to their dovecote, other wise the person who owns them would quickly go broke," wrote one in the comments.
"I used doves at my beautiful daughters Wedding and used them following that for her funeral. The reputable company I used spends long hours training their homing doves to get back safely. So don't condemn this lovely gesture that people use!!," said another.
Contrary to belief, many of the 'doves' used in these ceremonies are actually homing pigeons, who are trained to fly back to their owners. However, even under the best circumstances, the doves can be lost or injured on their way home.
Maybe stick to the confetti...
Featured Image Credit: Pexels