Judy Rosen of Judy's Dovecote is one of the few Southern Californians who raises white racing pigeons to release rather than race. As such she has been a memorable part of events as diverse as the Rose Parade, a recent memorial service for Alaska Airlines crash victims and a romantic moment between pop music's former first couple, Sean "Puffy" Combs and Jennifer Lopez, before they broke up in mid-February.
"One of the nice things about what I do is I get to be the surprise," Rosen says.
Prices for a standard release of two dozen birds are about $350 to $400, depending on the distance and complexity of the route her birds must fly to her backyard in Northridge. But she works often enough to consider her 180 birds a career. Already she is booked through the spring wedding season.