We talked with John Pire in the December issue of BIRD TALK magazine. Here are more exclusive questions with this dove fancier.
Q. Who are your confidants or peers? Are you affiliated with a particular organization?
A. I will sit down and talk birds with anyone who is interested, be it about the doves, finches or canaries. My current goal is to propagate a new and rare mutation in the green-winged dove. It is the plum greenwing. I am a member of the ADA and the CDA. I own and operate the website for the International Dove Society.
Q. What do you love most about keeping birds?
A. I love the experiences and knowledge I gain from being observant and successful with propagating the species that I am working with. I also enjoy being able to share this with those who ask. I observed and documented dimorphism in several species of doves at hatching or in juvenile plumage. I also enjoy learning from others in the fancy. Everyone has something of interest that can be helpful to another fancier.
Q. What do you still want to learn?
A. I am still learning that this hobby has many interesting facets, especially in regard to genetics and mutations. Keeping good records is essential with any hobby. Although there is no record-keeping software just for the doves, a few existing bird programs can be adopted for the doves.
Q. What do you believe makes the best diet?
A. A good mixture of seeds, pellets and fresh fruit and veggies. The diets can vary with each species, so my advice is to give a varied diet if possible and to increase amounts when breeding.
Q. What are the biggest health issues that you have encountered over the years?
A. I knock on wood ?I have not had any major illnesses within my collection. I practice quarantine of new additions. All it took was introducing a single bird way back in the beginning and losing 15 cage inhabitants to convince me of quarantining. Worming twice a year with two different worming drugs is promoted within the dove hobby. I also keep a first-aid kit available.