Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rural Ky. man gets into the bird business for releases at funerals and weddings; no profit yet

"It started as a desire to have a neat prop for magic tricks," writes Sarah Hogsed of the Kentucky New Era in Hopkinsville. "But 10 years later, Charlie Beshears of Dawson Springs has turned his curiosity about homing pigeons into a full-fledged business and hobby." With a flock of 30 birds, Beshears now provides live bird releases for weddings and funerals.

The birds Beshears uses in his business look like doves but are small, white homing pigeons, which instinctively return to the place of their birth after being released. After five years in business, he has found that funerals provide the biggest demand for bird releases. "Beshears has released his doves at 30 funerals, including the memorial services for his mother and father," adds Hogsed. "Beshears customizes each ceremony to include the families' religious beliefs and preferences." He is hoping to do more weddings.

Caring for the birds takes significant time and money. Transportation and medicine both make the venture less than cost effective. "Am I in the hole? Yes," Beshear said. "Am I in it for the money? No." The full story is available on the Kentucky New Era site but requires a small fee.

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