I got my first doves back in 2007 and they've grown up with me! I still perform with the doves I had at the beginning, although now I also breed my own and handle them as soon as they leave their nest.

People often ask me how long it takes to train a dove. Like with any animal, the most important thing is trust. I never starve them or clip their wings to get them to appear tame as unfortunately some performers do. For me, it's vital that they're safe and feel comfortable at all times. There's no shortcut to this and I've found it takes between 12 and 18 months before they get anywhere near going on stage for the first time.

Here's Teller, my most recent baby getting so comfortable he's trying to take my glasses!

UPDATE - Teller just made his first appearance on stage, nearly two years after I started handling him!! Below is a video of his early flight training!