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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Helping our native hawks

Yesterday, When I was hazing pigeons with my hawks. The immature red-tail that I saw before was soaring around. Making the pigeons nervous. I attempted to flush the pigeons in position for the wild red-tail to have a chance to catch. She just kept soaring into the thermal around the downtown building and eventually away. She also was seen feeding on a squirrel this past friday in the local greenspace park. Great to see a young red-tail doing well.

Today, it was the adult Cooper's hawk that also has been witnessed catching pigeons. She tried twice, an hour apart but, also did not catch a pigeon. She also caught a soar around 11:30 with the local vultures and moved on east. She 'may' have caught a pigeon during the first flight. I saw her stalk the pigeons from underneath in a typical accipiter ringing flight, following the pigeons. When the pigeons made a break for the buildings. I say her start a stoop and I did not see her again for an hour. Hopefully she had caught her meal and went for a mid-day soar.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pigeon Abatement, on Office Building

Local pigeons have taken started hanging around the window ledges of a 19 story office building in the center of downtown. They only stay for a few hours, starting the mid-morning but their droppings fall right on people walking in and out of the building. The key for any urban bird abatement job is getting the hawks higher than the pigeons for effectiveness. Flying raptors from the roof of the building is essential for this method to work. So, access to the roof and all areas of the building is crucial for a successful program. Spotters are placed at the lower surrounding building, so the hawk can be placed to move back and forth to intimidate the pigeons on the upper ledges as they move around the building. The pigeons nervously shift and move around, but get the idea and move on. Yesterday, a wild immature red-tail visited the Harris' hawks while weathering prior to their shift. Then later, the red-tail became our assistant with the pigeon hazing. As the pigeons flushed from the building for the last time. The red-tail grabbed one for it's daily meal and headed to the local greenspace/park for a meal. I was told of a hawk grabbing a pigeon and feeding in the park. I just had to see which species it was and was directed to it's location. I saw it munching on the pigeon from the branch of a mature live oak tree. All the while people were outside enjoying the beautiful fall day. Today, a wild Cooper's hawk was spotted across the street, also trying to catch a pigeon. She almost flew into a window. Hawk shaped decals on the outside of windows, or having a one way viewing film, (so the hawk cannot see through the window) helps prevent bird deaths on city buildings.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Abatement method study in Canada

Canadian study comparing the efficiency of several bird control and hazing methods. Falconry based abatement was ranked as one of the most effective.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hawks and Falcons on Patrol

Here is the hawks in position on patrol. Note the T posts on the Kubota for the birds to have excellent height. They are moved around on the back of the Kubota and they are trained to fly in and out of the boxes. During the mid-day. They are given a bath and shower back at the camper. They really enjoyed their stay on the farm (as well as I) and we all got in good shape.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hawks and Falcons on Patrol

For the Blueberries, I'm using both hawks and falcons. The hawks are Harris' hawks. They are not intimidated by local nesting raptors. And the best part, is I can have all of them out on patrol at the same time. The effect in on the waxwings is less dramatic than having a falcon fly around, but the hawks can be out for hours at a time. The falcon will fly for short intervals, then has to rest. (Flying takes up a LOT of energy). Even wild birds are on the wing only about 20% during the day). I then fly the falcon during peak, heavy foraging (early a.m.). Then hawks then hang around all day long. They are enjoyable to have around and we enjoy our day together.

Blueberries and Cedar Waxwings

This is a problem for blueberry producers. Spring migration brings Cedar Waxwings through Florida. The spring blueberries are the perfect food for them. They are very hard to deter from feasting on the blueberries and knocking them to the ground. Here is a photo of a small group of Cedar Waxwings during the beginning of the harvest. The waxwings become larger in number, as the crop ripens.