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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.