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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello I have approximately 50 to 60 pigeons. I have a very small funeral release business. I do maybe 1 or two funerals a month, the problem is, I cannot continue with all the losses. I had several hawks terrorizing my flock last 2013 winter and I lost 40 birds. I applied for a depredation permit and this past winter I finally got the cooper hawk who had been terrorizing them this winter. he actually entered and exited my coop throught the belgium drop bobs. Now the last funeral release i did, a cooper hawk swooped down and got one of those and none of my birds returned. the other cemetery I frequent also has redtails nesting there. so I have had enough. I would like to give all but a handful of my birds to someone who would appreciate them. I have mostly white, but i do have a few rollers and a few fantails. i live near pittsburgh pa and would like to find them a good home. I lost 12 in the past 3 weeks and it is not fair to the birds. thanks for listening. Beth Signorini
 

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I guess it comes with the territory Beth . You seem to have had some incredibly bad luck ....I'm so sorry for your losses :(
 

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Sorry, about the losses, but I am not surprised, Cemeteries make Ideal Hawk Habitat. Why not just switch to Weddings and other special occasions?
I would try local ebay or craigslist ads screening people carefully.
It might be hard to find homes for that many at once.
If they are Homers, which they had better be if you are releasing them, Make it clear to whoever takes them that you do not want them back, and that they will have to be locked up.
 

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It breaks my heart when someone talks of giving up on pigeons.
We're travelling in the same boat Beth. Falcon wiped off more than half of my birds. Maybe one could keep a pet BOP to chase wild ones off. Or use some flying mechnical toy to scare those bloody beasts off.

The other day I saw a video on youtube. They used a whistle,tied it on back of their pigeons. When pigeons fly fast it whistles loud. Falcon approached the flight of birds and it got scared as got closer. Watching that soothed my soul,trust me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone,, I am not sure which way to turn at this point. hawks have become so numerous in our area. I don't feel right just sending them out to be slaughtered. at home I can protect them especially with the depredation permit, but I have too many lol of course who doesn't. I want to keep a few and just let them fly here at home. just to the point of frustration and want to thin them down. keep me in mind if any one would like some they are beautiful healthy birds.
 

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Hope you find homes, best regards!
 

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I understand what it feels like when you lose birds everytime you fly them.
Hey Beth, I haven't owned or flew any but you might wanna google/youtube Kelebek and Catalonian pigeons. Check 'em out how they fly, you may like 'em. Since you've white homers mostly and hawks can get them easily they've developed a taste for them. I appreciate you said you'll keep some pigeons at home to fly, you may want to give catalonian and kelebek pigeons a try. They are used to catch hawks. Also they fly so interestingly when attacked so its not easy for hawks to catch them. Once the hawks realise they couldn't catch the agile prey they'll go elsewhere to find other sorts of prey which demand less effort to catch.
If I had a depredation premitt I would have catched all and sent them away. You may want to buy some carcasses from slaughter and feed the hawks at sites away from home for 15 days or so to break their habit of attacking pigeons. Sometimes these tricks work out well.
 

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It really does not matter what type of Pigeons you fly. One is as pretty much at risk as another. the only breeds that stand a chance are the flying, or performance breeds.
If you had avoided cemeteries, and done Weddings, ect, and trained you birds differently, you would not have had these problems.
Doing Cemetery releases is asking for it. Sorry, I am told i am Not Nice, but....
I have gone to Grave yards most of my Life, LOOKING for Hawks, because there usually is plenty of trees, and game for them.
I would NEVER, legal our not take the life of a Bird of Prey..... I feel it is a Sin.
If you can not figure out how to deal with them... start keeping Canaries
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I too do not like to take the life of anything but when you walk in your coop and find bloody bodies they are way too aggressive. In our area birds of prey have even been aggressive towards people. Believe me it was a very very last ditch effort. I have had pigeons for 10 yrs and this is the first time I have had this much problem with hawks. You are entitled to ur opinion. I respect all wildlife and domestic life. I hope you are as perfect as you think you are. Obviously my birds are more important.to me than you think as I am trying to find a home for.th and am not going to do releases any more. Everything has risk so do racing and performance pigeons. So you can pick on someone else now.
 

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"Walk in your Coop and find Bloody bodies?"
Are we talking about a Raccoon, or a Hawk here?
I never try to hurt any ones Feelings, but the truth tends to do that sometimes.
I have had my feelings Hurt by People many times over the Years when it comes to Mistakes I have made with Creatures in my care. But I Listened and Learned, and tried not to take it personal.
I really doubt your problem at your loft was Hawks. They do not do multiple kills like that, in or outside of a Loft, no matter what anyone says.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I listen. and learn as well, but I also learned, treat others with respect. It was definitely a cooper hawk, it was seen exiting the belgium drop bobs. I am not an idiot, I do know the difference between a raccoon and a hawk. I should have been more specific for you ,the last straw was one picked clean bloody body. we have continually made improvements to our coop and contacted the game commission for guidance. tried moving pinwheels, yard ornaments, a barking dog statue, christmas bulbs hanging along the coop, I also have 5 dogs that are near there when they are outside and they have barked at the hawk. we tried air soft gun, waving our arms, yelling at him. he would not fly even if I was in the coop. he became extremely aggressive. believe me I did not want to resort to removing him. i wanted to just relocate him and the game commission said no, he will return. All i wanted to do was possibly find someone who would be interested in my pigeons as breeders or pets so as not having so much expense, I have several animals and critters who are very well taken care of , as are my pigeons. i am not a child and i do not appreciate being spoken to as one. you are not mean, you are an ass.
 

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Sorry, no one spoke to you as a Child... You said "Bloody Bodies" NOT bloody body, BIG DIFFERENCE..... If i read it wrong I apologize. I Know pigeons AND I know Cooper's Hawks ALMOST as well as I know Pigeons......I deal with them Daily here.
I only go by what I read. If one got into your Loft, it was just that once, unless it was REAL easy to get in and out, under normal circumstances it would not attempt it twice.........
 

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Oh Wow! You've tried what you could, Beth. I wouldn't be so patient.
Not only mine (once) but hawks have entered into other member's lofts too via traps and caused damage. I lock the trap always when not flying. Such a hawk who has become a free loader needs to be sent away.
Leopards,wolves,jackels are a problem in nearby areas here. What farmers do to protect their livestock is either relocate the animal with help of officials or ....

I wouldn't do it for fun but to protect my pigeons I definitely would try to find a solution by relocating the predator. It isn't good if a hawk feeds its young pigeons in every meal. More pigeon catchers will emerge and rodent population will explode.
Touchwoood,(thankfully) my pigeons are way to agile for a hawk to catch. In my 23 years of pigeon keeping I've never lost a Highflyer(I'm not talking about homers),I've never lost a highflyer to a hawk despite their attacks. Falcon goes for highflyers and hawks for homers:(.
 

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Hawks used to hide around my loft in trees. I requested the neighbours to trim down the branches and they listened. It helped.
Then I observed that hawks doesn't land easily on dense trees nor they like them. I cunningly gave bad comments at neighbours tress and said they doesn't look good in your yard. I said these new age dense trees are so beautiful to watch and will beautify your yard. They fell for it and planted those dense trees on which hawks couldn't land. Now hawks don't hide to ambush near my loft. I forget the name of those trees. Something like icastus. I'll ask for it for those who are interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
LuckyT- you are not worth my time. and thanks for the support from the others. I truly tried everything possible. we had even tarped the loft for about 3 weeks to try to get him to lose interest. no luck. not everything one does is clear cut . I am sorry I even posted on this site now. I really thought it was more adult than this.
 

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Sorry to offend, but any Bird person would have gladly told you releasing pigeons in a cemetery is not the thing you want to do.
(even if they do not Hit them there, they are very capable of following them Home)
I like the Hawks just as much as my Pigeons, and I am sure I have as many or more Hawks then you do there SINCE I do not do anything to hurt them.
I just manage my pigeons properly.
When some one blames the Hawks and not their own lack of research in such matters and does not train and maintain their Flock properly, and they get offended by hearing about, I do not care.
It is not a Hawk problem but a Management problem.
I fly a team of between 20 and 40 most of the year with only one Hawk loss this Year. MY FAULT, NOT THE HAWKS.................
You want me to be civil when you apply for a permit to KILL Birds of Prey?
When I grew we had very few Birds of Prey because of Chemicals and attitudes like yours.
Gee, this is messed up, we can not talk about culling Pigeons, but with Hawks it is ok? LOL
 

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She is trying to GIVE her birds away so no more will be killed The hawk found her loft and used it to feed far as cemetarysThere are plenty of places TODAY hawks a found.THEY are a problem More so then they should be. BUT are to be lived with. Around here hawks COOPERS are bad from OCT to APRIL redtails Are in the warm onths. NOT a problem They are to slow BUT Giving person a hard time over tryng to do right. By giving there birds away Is not right So Lucky How about backing off And stop being rude
 

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She is trying to GIVE her birds away so no more will be killed The hawk found her loft and used it to feed far as cemetarysThere are plenty of places TODAY hawks a found.THEY are a problem More so then they should be. BUT are to be lived with. Around here hawks COOPERS are bad from OCT to APRIL redtails Are in the warm onths. NOT a problem They are to slow BUT Giving person a hard time over tryng to do right. By giving there birds away Is not right So Lucky How about backing off And stop being rude
I am not being rude.
"More so than they should be?" that is funny... They are Hawks, that is what they do! LOL They are sending a BAD message to all others out there. If they wanted to do the right thing they should say: " I do not know how to train my Pigeons to avoid Hawks, so i need to find Homes for them.
SO you condone the Killing of NATIVE Birds of Prey to protect some ones mismanaged pigeons?

There is a BIG difference between being rude and telling it like it is.
Just a side bar, if this Person has so many Pigeons to give away, what were they keeping 70, or 80, 100? they said they lost 40 at one time.
 
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