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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lost another bird to a coopers hawk today. They were doing great, rolling and looking good, and out of nowhere comes a coopers hawk and nails one of our birds...that's number 2 for the year....very sad day.
 

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LOL! From what i hear other people say, you are doing GOOD!
I have lost two also. i miss my homer hen and my tipplers! i would add a couple or four birds that fly different, I.E. High fliers, or homers, tends to confuse them some what. As many people have said, vary your fly time, GET some bottle rockets!
I will be on lock down this summer, not because of hawks, just have new breeds to work with and have to build up some Numbers to breed with.
I will miss the Challenge of keeping the HAWKS off the birds.
Do not let anyone tell you you just have to accept it. As George would say...
Think about it! Good luck... Dave
 

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As i said work with your situation, watch the times you see the hawks, and release accordingly. But some flocks, once the one or two slow birds are gone, Tend to learn to avoid them. The worst thing you can do is Lock them up. They lose Wing power, and the ability to out fly the hawks.
This is your first year to Fly as far as i remember. Fly them as much as you can.Vary times, spook the Hawk when you can, BUT they must fly, and learn to avoid the hawks. Or they will end up as cage birds.... Dave
 

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Tsk, Tsk, Little John, learn to play the game. There are no secrets, just what works for you! Experiment, Learn about the Hawks. personally, i think it has taught me more about pigeons than if the hawks were not trying to eat them all the time. GET IN THE GAME! once you figure it out, AND you will, you will enjoy flying your birds more than ever. Your birds will Learn, as long as they are in condition to fly... Four days locked up means at least a 30% chance a Hawk can catch them... one week locked down, increases it to in my opinion, a 50% chance of the hawk winning.After the first season you will see certain pairs young seem to make it... JMHO, Dave
 

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Little John...your Pigeons have little chance against the Coopers Hawk. They and the Peregrine Falcon are the fastest of the Bird's of Prey. Keep flying them and they will be picked off, one by one.
 

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WRONG, Charis.. it is has been going on for thousands of years, and there are still Pigeons, right? There is NOTHING sadder than a flight type pigeon locked in a Prison. you just need to train, and breed your birds to avoid them... IF Coopers were that GOOD, i would not have Ferals under every Bridge between here and work.... Dave
 

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WRONG, Charis.. it is has been going on for thousands of years, and there are still Pigeons, right? There is NOTHING sadder than a flight type pigeon locked in a Prison. you just need to train, and breed your birds to avoid them... IF Coopers were that GOOD, i would not have Ferals under every Bridge between here and work.... Dave
Dave... I disagree with your approach and it's my opinion that you are incorrect especially if one values the individual lives of the birds in their care.
I won't debate it further.
 

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OKAY, so MILLIONS or more Pigeons under your way of doing it would never be born, or even have a chance at a short life? Trust me, if i was a Pigeon, i would take my chances on the wing than never be born at all.
I would rather be a chicken and be butchered than to have NEVER been born. AND there would be no Homers, or rollers, or High Flyers, if they could not be Flown. I love my birds, and I LOVE the hawks, i have found a Balance, HAVE YOU?;) Dave
 

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LOL! From what i hear other people say, you are doing GOOD!
I have lost two also. i miss my homer hen and my tipplers! i would add a couple or four birds that fly different, I.E. High fliers, or homers, tends to confuse them some what. As many people have said, vary your fly time, GET some bottle rockets!
I will be on lock down this summer, not because of hawks, just have new breeds to work with and have to build up some Numbers to breed with.
I will miss the Challenge of keeping the HAWKS off the birds.
Do not let anyone tell you you just have to accept it. As George would say...
Think about it! Good luck... Dave
Love you my friend, but there is no way them birds will be not lofting around the house come September.You cannot do it. Print this...I will
 

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Rollers are easy prey for hawks. Sorry, that is given to me after hearing so many reports from roller fanciers here in California. They may even get your best rollers--those deep, frequent, fast rollers.

Falcon and pigeon co-evolved together. But I believe not with rollers such as Birmingham. I think nature has evolved oriental rollers, doneks, etc. for such falcon attacks and hawks.

I locked down after attack because I know the hawk will be back (I noticed that). I do lockdown about a week. I think locking them longer than that makes them easy prey especially when they get fat not doing anything.
 

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The pigeon's breeding is why the hawk and pigeon exist. The pigeon keeps the numbers up by breeding many birds a year. The hawk controls the numbers by taking one or two a day or some other food source.

I have learned to fly late in the evening about thirty minutes before dark after mister cooper has hopefully fed. I use bottle rockets, an air horn, and an air rifle, The air rifle is pumped only enough to sting not kill.

I release old birds first and watch them, not because they fly faster but because their eyes are better. If mister cooper is around they spot him before I can. If the old birds are relaxed them my young birds can fly. If the old birds spot or trap quickly without being called in then the cooper is around, the rifle, airhorn and bottle rockets come into play. I also use them if while out in the yard but not flying my birds but I see mister cooper.

I have a pair of coopers nesting in a neighbor's yard 200 yards away. Before I started this plan I lost seven birds total. Since my plan only one old bird has gotten hurt. I have also notice the hawks avoid me. As I walk into the yard I sometimes see the hawks fly away. I used to observe them but lately they will not let me near them. My guess is they do not like me that much, but if it keeps them away from the birds I'm happy.

I never leave the birds while they are flying if I can.

I also keep my flying time to 30 minutes or less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We will continue to fly, but will adjust accordingly, it wasn't a planned flight, we had a couple of escapees while trying to get one to trap that had skyed out the day before.

It was approaching dark, and they were headed back to the loft when it hit. Hopefully the other two come back in today.


I realize that some will be lost to the hawks, as I have lost birds before, even when I didn't live in Pennsylvania I lost birds to hawks. It happens, it did suck to see my sons disappointment when it happened, but he took it pretty well actually.

I wont just raise a bunch of prisoners, no how no way, these birds are at their happiest when they have their freedom and can get out and do what they were born and raised to do. That's the part we enjoy watching, but man does it blow when the hawks come around....dangit.
 

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Hello Little John, Do not BUY the B.S. that Birmingham rollers can not out fly hawks. Heard that CRAP all my life! I have several in my loft now that are very hawk Smart, and they are pretty good at rolling.
I have offered the last of my Birminghams to a fellow member on this site.
Heck if he does not take them i will finish the third loft this weekend and keep them, just to prove the point.
I think a lot of roller Flyers, NOT YOU, do not seem to understand the hawks enough to even try... But Big T has it figured out, he has a game plan! Good for you Big T ! Heck my Birminghams have been hit so many times, yet they WANT to get out and fly. JMVHO! Dave;);););)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If ya dont let em fly...will they ever really be happy? I mean come on...I am not into caging an animal for its entire life just so I can look at it.

Hopefully the coopers will migrate real soon out of this area.
 

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My hawk problems are pretty minimal but I agree with Dave about teaching your birds to be hawk aware. The more they encounter a hawk the better they get at evading it. This doesn't at all mean that the hawk will never snag one of my birds. It just seems like common sense IMO. Why do we trap train our birds? Because they're smart enough to learn how to enter the loft to eat and rest. If they're smart enough to learn how to trap I think they are smart enough learn how to evade hawks. There's just more of a risk with training them to evade hawks, Lol.....
 
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yeah the hawk migration is pretty much at its end now and most are nesting already so if your still seeing them get used to it they're there to stay .. all you can do is hope they take to eatting the wild birds in your area more then your birds ;)
 
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