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Yesterday was really nice in southern calif. I havent seen any hawks in over a week, but I know they are still around. My rollers have been locked down since october because of the hawks. I lost 12 in three days then due to their attacks. I got 12 older Birminghams the week of Christmas,all 04-07 birds. So thats like 10 weeks I've had them and yesterday 5 flew away with one returning this evening minus all his tail feathers. I think what I'm asking is were they to old to be releasing? Since they are'nt returning. I just let them come out on their own, not shuing them out. They just bolted out and keep on going. And 3 of them were setting on 5 to 8 day old babies. So now I'm hand feeding the babies. They were all trap trained and were let out hungry. So what am I doing wrong? Anything will be of help. I've raised rollers for over 25 years off and on. and have never had this problem. Thanks for your responces. SHAWN
 

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Shawn first of all let me say I am sorry for your loss! The fact that one bird returned missing tail feathers is a sure sign of a hawk attack, probably a young hawk. You have older birds that were most likely flying with the one that lost its tail and they headed for safer ground. Rollers, as you know, are not able to home from a great distance. One they get spooked out past the area they know... I wish you the best of luck on their return. Somehow I think you know everything I just said, but that it will help hearing the words from another. Jim
 

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Shawn every pigeon has some homing instinct in them depending on how good of a flyer they are. I'm pretty sure some tried going back where they were raise and the hawk attack didn't help but confuse them more. I have homing pigeon and my first hawk attack made my birds fly over night and I end up losing a lot and these are birds that been raced to 150 miles but becuase of the hawk they end up getting lose right in my back yard. I also know pigeons that refuses to fly after an hawk attack.
 

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Thanks Jim and Soymi69. I knew what happened but it just makes me feel better knowing that I have such great people that can walk me threw these problems. Like I said I'm gonna try again in the morning. I'll let you know what happens. Shawn
 

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I too, lost some of mine the first time I let them out.

One thing I noticed is that they flew that day, like they have never flown since. They were full of it...the whole kit was rolling like crazy, extreme altitudes, and they flew much farther out than I have ever seen them go since then. All releases after that, the remaining birds were much calmer, closer, and lower.

I honestly think it was a direct result of keeping them in to settle them. Way too much energy, all bottled up for weeks.

I locked mine down going into fall due to the increasing presence of hawks. Right now I am fostering eggs, and building the kit that way, preparing to again, lose some birds on the first release of the year.

I can fly my homers all day and not see a hawk come in to eyeball them. But the rollers, I have had some trouble with the hawks on a few days. The way they fly, they look like wounded birds dropping out of the air. I can only imagine how enticing this must be to the predatory birds.

I think you are doing everything right, rollers are just more difficult to fly as far as losses go. I ended up going with only evening flights on nice days, a few hours before dark. It keeps the birds closer, and the hawks will hunt from morning to midday, and hopefully, are satisfied before my birds hit the air.
 
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first off I want to say you should never be flying your birds that are on eggs or that have babys , you know the reasons why as you are handfeeding the young right now .. secondly flying in the evening is no safer then morning as hawks hunt all thruout the day no matter what people may think .. I have them here in the evening far worst then any other time of day.. the other thing is its true rollers are just slower flying birds and they do tend to get attacked that much easier since they seem to attrack the attention of birds of prey right off with their rolling and flailing about.. Im not sure what your best bet would be because you are going to lose birds reguardless but maybe you should just fly ones that are in a kit box and find out what part of the day is with the least attacks for your area and go from there.. not much help I know but I hate when people tell others that birds of prey wont attack at certian times of day when I personally know thats not true ,they are totally unpredictable no matter what time of day it is or when ever you fly your birds .. just my 2 cents:eek:
 

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first off I want to say you should never be flying your birds that are on eggs or that have babys , you know the reasons why as you are handfeeding the young right now .. secondly flying in the evening is no safer then morning as hawks hunt all thruout the day no matter what people may think .. I have them here in the evening far worst then any other time of day.. the other thing is its true rollers are just slower flying birds and they do tend to get attacked that much easier since they seem to attrack the attention of birds of prey right off with their rolling and flailing about.. Im not sure what your best bet would be because you are going to lose birds reguardless but maybe you should just fly ones that are in a kit box and find out what part of the day is with the least attacks for your area and go from there.. not much help I know but I hate when people tell others that birds of prey wont attack at certian times of day when I personally know thats not true ,they are totally unpredictable no matter what time of day it is or when ever you fly your birds .. just my 2 cents:eek:
I wasn't saying that they WOULDN'T attack in the evening. Nothing is 100% fail safe. But for me, letting my rollers out only in the evening has saved me a lot of birds.

My problem with letting them out in the mornings and early afternoons was that if a hawk did hit the kit, they scatter and panic. Using nightfall as a natural motivator to stay close, I am having fairing much better in the evenings. In fact, since I started flying them in the evenings I haven't lost any. Now, could one decide to go for a walk? Could a hawk come in? Of course. But if there is a "safe" time of the day, this is it for me.


So yes, like YOU said, it is a matter of figuring out what works for you. This is working for me, my locale, and my birds. Who's to say it couldn't help to share it?:(
 

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Sorry to hear your lost, but its bound to happen. If everything went as we expected than there wouldn't be any major achievements. We just gotta move on and find ourselves better birds. That's part of the sport.
 
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