19 Ocak 2017 Perşembe Breaking News             Latest US News            New York

UPMC inks deal with Robert Morris
TARPON SPRINGS6 Days Ago6 Days Ago4 Months AgoEmanuel Hatzie keeps nine birds in his back yard. But only one of them has been blessed by God.His name is Theodoros, a Greek word meaning "the gift of God." He's a 3-year-old white rock dove, a type...

Tarpon Springs' Epiphany dove is a frequent flier

TARPON SPRINGS6 Days Ago6 Days Ago4 Months AgoEmanuel Hatzie keeps nine birds in his back yard. But only one of them has been blessed by God.His name is Theodoros, a Greek word meaning "the gift of God." He's a 3-year-old white rock dove, a type...

Tarpon Springs' Epiphany dove is a frequent flier

TARPON SPRINGS

6 Days Ago

6 Days Ago

4 Months Ago

Emanuel Hatzie keeps nine birds in his back yard. But only one of them has been blessed by God.

His name is Theodoros, a Greek word meaning "the gift of God." He's a 3-year-old white rock dove, a type of domestic pigeon, who plays a big role in the city's annual Epiphany celebration.

Unlike the dove bearer and cross retriever, who are limited to once-in-a-lifetime roles, Theodoros comes back annually to fly across Spring Bayou.

For the past three years, since the owner of the former Epiphany dove moved away, Theodoros has been the dove said to represent the Holy Spirit of the Holy Trinity of God.

This year, after being released by dove bearer Maria Chagaris, he made a few showy loops over the thousands of people cheering from the banks. Then, he flew off and disappeared.

But Hatzie and his wife of 50 years, Elli, didn't have to move from their spots on the banks of the bayou to find him — the bird knows his way home.

Before the retired couple pulled into their drive that afternoon, Theodoros was sitting in one of two dark green coops that sit next to the beige house they built atop a hill near Fred Howard Park nearly 30 years ago.

"He always gets here before we do — every year," Elli said. "It is kind of naturally in their instinct, but we still trained him a little."

She says she and her husband started by taking the bird halfway down their street, letting him go and seeing if he could find the coop. When Theodoros mastered that, they moved to the end of the street.

"We kept going further and further until he got his bearings," she said. "Now, he's got it down."

Emanuel, who has kept birds since he was a young boy living in Greece, says rock doves like Theodoros are able to remember trips up to 50 miles long. It has been their claim to fame for years, historically giving them nicknames like "carrier pigeons" or "homing pigeons." The same type of birds were formerly used during wartime to carry messages.

Directional skills aren't why the Hatzies keep them, though.

"They are just beautiful," Emanuel said, "that's all."

The Hatzies, Greek Orthodox Christians who moved to the United States from Kavala, Greece, many years ago, have spent years watching the traditional celebration since moving to Tarpon Springs in the early 1970s. They say seeing Theodoros fly in the ceremony is "a true honor" they are thankful to have.

"It is something only we are able to do," Emanuel said while standing outside his home, the birds circling overhead. "We are very excited to have the opportunity."

And God willing, Theodoros will be back next year for a repeat performance.

Contact Megan Reeves at [email protected] or (727) 445-4153. Follow @mareevs.

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

Breaking News Headlines

Trump Inauguration Day Speech: Twitter Trolls President-Elect's Photo Of Him Writing Speech
Trump Inauguration Day Speech: Twitter Trolls President-Elect's Photo Of Him Writing Speech
Who Is Sonny Perdue? Donald Trump Expected To Name Former Georgia Governor As Agriculture Secretary For His Cabinet
Who Is Sonny Perdue? Donald Trump Expected To Name Former Georgia Governor As Agriculture Secretary For His Cabinet
India Bus Accident 2017: Over Dozen Children In Uttar Pradesh Killed In Road Accident
India Bus Accident 2017: Over Dozen Children In Uttar Pradesh Killed In Road Accident
Satellite tracking to keep tabs on airliners over oceans
Satellite tracking to keep tabs on airliners over oceans
Trump's Treasury pick facing criticism over foreclosures
Trump's Treasury pick facing criticism over foreclosures
World shares mixed, Japan's Nikkei gains on weaker yen
World shares mixed, Japan's Nikkei gains on weaker yen
Will North Korea Attack US? Pyongyang's ICBM Test May Coincide With Trump Inauguration, Report Says
Will North Korea Attack US? Pyongyang's ICBM Test May Coincide With Trump Inauguration, Report Says
Pokémon Go Made Over $2,400 Per Minute In 2016: Study
Pokémon Go Made Over $2,400 Per Minute In 2016: Study
‘Lucifer’ Season 2 Spoilers: Did Charlotte Hypnotize Chloe Into Making A Move On Lucifer In Episode 12?
‘Lucifer’ Season 2 Spoilers: Did Charlotte Hypnotize Chloe Into Making A Move On Lucifer In Episode 12?
Asian shares mixed, Japan's Nikkei gains on weaker yen
Asian shares mixed, Japan's Nikkei gains on weaker yen
6 cool new gadgets at the NAMM show in Anaheim
6 cool new gadgets at the NAMM show in Anaheim
McAvoy riveting in 'Split'
McAvoy riveting in 'Split'
NEWS ARCHIVES