Cooper's on aviary

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by sourland, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    It's the warmest day here in NJ in quite a while so I put settling cages on my loft and opened the bobs so that the birds could get some sunlight. By the time I got back into the house and looked out the bathroom window there was a male Cooper's sitting on the cage looking into the loft. About the time he disappears in the spring I can start flying my birds again. He's a beautiful bird (larger than most males) but I sure hate seeing him around here. This is the fourth or fifth year he has routinely worked my bird feeders.
     
  2. Mary Of Exeter

    Mary Of Exeter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That sucks. Hawks sit on our loft and hang on the aviaries often. Coopers, Sharp-shins, Red-tails, etc are here year round for us. Found a red-tail in the OB loft yesterday, killed two birds and scared the crap out of the others.
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Went out to feed this morning and he was hanging on one of the aviaries peering into the loft. Everyone was quiet. No cooing and carrying on. They had to be enticed out to the aviaries to eat. If you love to fly birds, it is really frustrating. I have had redtails, Cooper's, and GHO enter the loft through the bobs and kill pigeons. Now when I am flying if you don't make it back by dusk you are locked out. I've learned my lesson about leaving the bobs unattended. I feed birds 12 months a year for maybe 5 months of flying time. I have serious doubts that I will continue with pigeons. I may be forced to turn my lofts into chicken coops.[​IMG]
     
  4. Mary Of Exeter

    Mary Of Exeter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was flying my birds earlier in the day, and had a few that were too stubborn to go into their new loft (yearlings - they want to go into the YB loft). In a few hours a hawk got into the OB loft. I feel like she wouldn't have fit if I had stalls on those traps, like I do on my YB bob traps. Only wide enough for one pigeon to go through each stall at a time. So now we're making stalls for the loft, so it won't happen again. I do cover them up at night regardless, after I had my share of raccoons and opossums getting in.



    Do you have homers or another breed? How many times a day do you fly? My OB homers come right out when I open the door, then I call them straight in when they land. Really the only attacks I get anymore is when they are first coming out, or right when they land. Sometimes I might be busy when they decide to land, and then the hawk strikes [​IMG] The youngsters that aren't used to bolting right out and into the air....they like to sit on the loft for a litle bit before deciding to go. So they get targeted quite a bit [​IMG]
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I have Birmingham rollers which as you probably know are nowhere as strong on the wing as homers. Another drawback is that they are so strongly bred to kit that they will not leave the flock and trap in singly. On top of that, my back yard is surrounded by 40' trees causing the birds to bank 3 or 4 times before they can land and trap in. If there is a hawk around something almost always gets killed. Several years ago I raised some homer/roller crosses. They are stronger on the wing and somewhat more hawk elusive. When I flew pure homers I had far less losses, but wanted to get involved with roller competition. That was a fantasy given my location. This hawk is becoming a true PITA. I have to stand in front of the aviaries so that the birds can eat and drink. If I walk away and they are eating, he immediately strikes the loft. In the past I have actually had hawks kill themselves by striking the loft as they pursued a trapping bird. This evening he was in a pin oak to the West of my property. I have a bird feeder adjacent to this tree, and the birds were working the feeder apparently oblivious to him and he was ignoring the small birds.[​IMG]
     
  6. Sumatra503

    Sumatra503 Kozy Orchard Farms

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    I have had problems with hawks before, but not so much since I moved to the city.

    At my previous home, my mom's house in the country, Iused to fly my pigeons daily with no problems. It wasn't until late fall, during the waterfowl migration, that i would even see a hawk. This redtail and his mate would always kill the ducks and ignore the pigeons for some reason. I have only ever lost one bird to a hawk and that was a weanling who escaped when I opened the door to feed.

    I have a roller/tumbler mix that is quite the performer. she and her mate, a homer, and their children were quite the flyers and very elusive when a hawk would come around. My Komorners are good elusive flyers as well. They all bank or zig zag when the see a hawk and the hawk can never catch them.

    I wonder if the flock size matters. I've never flown more than 6 birds at one time.
     

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