of the American Dove Association
by Jeff Downing
In December of 1971, a group of men gathered at the
home of Teno Vande Watter. They all had one thing in
common, the desire to do something more for doves and
people interested in dove keeping. They all agreed a
club should be formed and the Great Lakes Dove
Breeders Association was formed. Officers were
elected and work started on forming a constitution,
setting dove standards and letting everyone know of
the new club. Their first ad went into the American
Pigeon Journal and membership started to climb. As membership
grew, it was quickly decided a new name was needed.
They were outgrowing the area, with members from all
over the country. The American Dove Association
Steadily growing from the first meeting, the ADA now
has some 500 members from the United States and Canada,
as well as many other countries. Each member receives
a Membership and Breeders Directory, with listings of
names, addresses, contact numbers, species and color
mutations of doves kept, and a listing by state and
country. This is a great resource for help and for networking
both locally and nation wide. The new member packets
also contains the ADA Constitution, the Standard for
Ringneck Doves, the Standard for Diamond Doves, drawings
of a Ringneck and Diamond Dove ready for framing, copies
of the ADA DoveLine newsletter and order information
for bands, books and other items offered through the
Back in the 1950s we had two colors of Ringneck
Doves, white and fawn. Just think that the ADA has seen
Ringneck mutations grow from seven to thirty-five recognized
colors at the present time, with some of the good members
to thank for many of these new birds. For example, Dr.
Wilmer Miller of Ames, Iowa, has greatly helped in bringing
the dove world further along through genetics and breeding.
We have many members to think of and thank for their
hard work on dove keeping and color mutations, as well
as getting the ADA on its feet.
Many members have also been active writing guides and
articles, passing along information to the new and experienced
fancier alike. Art Modler was Publicity Director for
the ADA and produced a fine booklet on the care of the
Ringneck dove. He and LeRoy Reed also wrote many articles
for the ADA bulletin and the American Pigeon Journal,
helping to stimulate interest in doves.
In October 1973 the club held the first dove show with
the National Young Bird Show in Louisville, Kentucky.
Membership had grown to ninety by this time with many
attending and showing 65 doves to be judged by Orman
Forcht. Roger Baker was the first Grand Champion with
a young wild hen. The show was such a success that it
was decided that it would become a yearly event. Now
the show is a much looked forward to migration of dove
lovers and breeders alike to Louisville each fall. Walking
into the Halls, you will be overwhelmed by the thousands
of pigeons and hundreds of doves being shown. Everyone
is there because they Love Doves. What better
way to expand your knowledge and maybe collection, by
talking to others and seeing the many varieties and
mutations available at the show.
Bands for Doves...
Through the years bands to fit doves were hard to find.
In 1976 the club was able to obtain and offer a dove
band. They now offer bands for Ringneck doves, Diamond
doves, and Exotic doves. The bands are ADA identified,
with the year and consecutive numbering, and records
kept on who purchased them. The bands are seamless and
of good quality.
Newsletter And Web Site..
One of the best benefits of the association is the newsletter,
DoveLine. This publication is a bi-monthly newsletter
filled with great information for the beginner and experienced
dove fancier alike. Youll find letters and articles
about doves and dove keeping, advertisements on products
and services related to doves, classifieds for members,
and updates on new members. Believe me, you will look
forward to its arrival as much as I do. Putting together
and maintaining the DoveLine is a huge undertaking.
As Secretary-Treasurer, Rita Courtney was instrumental
in its development and the club is very lucky to have
benefited from her experience and hard work. Kathy Hildreth,
who served valiantly as Secretary and Editor, managed
DoveLine for a number of years and was only recently
replaced by Denny Stapp. It is through Kathy, her husband
Charles, and David Baxters foresight and hard
work that the ADA has now entered into the cyber-world.
participation in the American Dove Association will
continue to be of value to you, and your doves will
love you all the more!