Olive's Place is home to around 100 doves and pigeons. Residents are divided into four aviaries and several indoor spaces.
Aviary Construction - Security and size were of utmost importance when initially planning the aviaries. We used heavy equipment to move several tons of dirt and rock to level the areas, then poured concrete footings. The aviaries were constructed with treated 2x4 framing (primed and painted), using metal brackets and doubling headers for stability. The panels are sturdy 3/4" expanded metal (primed and painted) with overlay of metal screen to keep out mice and snakes. The perimeter of each aviary has buried wire or a concrete pad to prevent digging predators.
Main Aviary (East Wing) - This is the largest enclosure, and houses most of the able-bodied pigeons
Special Aviary (North Wing) - Pigeons with disabilities, and those with more docile personalities occupy this aviary, which features modifications like ramps and ground nesting boxes.
South Aviary - This aviary houses many of our single male pigeons. We have always had an imbalance of more male than female pigeons - which has led to fighting and harassment of bonded pairs, particularly in spring. Our rowdy boys do very well as a group, given plenty of space.
Dove Aviary - Wild doves, including recovering injured adults and self-feeding fledglings, prepare for soft release in this aviary. Doves cannot be housed with pigeons, as the size difference makes any squabbles dangerous for the much-smaller doves.
Dove Room - Our domestic Ringneck Doves have free range of this room most of the time, rotating out of cage time with groups of birds who get along.
Quarantine Sunroom - This space is for new intakes and birds under observation or in treatment for medical conditions. Several disabled indoor pigeons stay here as well.
Grounds - We feel that it is important to create a well-organized and aesthetically pleasing sanctuary for several reasons: First, to demonstrate that a life-saving rescue aviary can be a beautiful addition to a garden. Also, to show our birds in the best light to dispel common myths about pigeons, who are sometimes incorrectly assumed to be dirty or plain. The sanctuary features a pollinator garden, small frog pond, and bird baths and feeders to do our small part to help local wildlife. We are exploring the additions of a purple martin house and/or bat house, milkweed garden for monarch butterflies, and would like to add more native plants next spring. New projects currently in the works are a memorial garden and a large pigeon mural.
Visitors - Olive's Place is operated first and foremost for the well-being of the birds who live here. As a sanctuary and private residence, it is not open to the public. You can request to schedule a 20-30 minute educational tour and Q & A. We ask for a minimum donation of $20 per tour and can accommodate up to 6 people at a time. Special tours can be arranged for school groups, scout troops, etc. Tours do not involve handling or petting the birds.