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The Original All Roller Talk Discussion Board Archive > Stopping Raptor Attacks - Is It Possible?
Stopping Raptor Attacks - Is It Possible?



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Tony Chavarria
Site Publisher
4169 posts
Aug 17, 2010
8:11 AM
I know one of the biggest challenges we can have raising rollers are raptors and other predators. I am curious, what have some of you done to minimize or eliminate predator attacks on your birds that obviously comply with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act?

For example, at my location in Missouri, I have covered over my aviary with walls to match the rest of the loft. I have left open a window section to allow for some airflow, but quickly cover these in just a minutes with pre-cut metal siding. I have literally had bop fly right over my loft that holds over 200 birds and not see a one and just pass right on through the property.

I am not interested in hearing about this or that preventative device, as much as what have you actually done in your environment to minimize or eliminate predator problems?
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FLY ON!
Tony Chavarria


The highest form of ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about.” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
RollerChief
23 posts
Aug 17, 2010
8:18 AM
I only fly very early or very late and haven't had a problem.
Tony Chavarria
Site Publisher
4172 posts
Aug 17, 2010
8:24 AM
Hey RollerChief, glad to hear your birds are pred free! Did you start out this way or is this a method you adopted as a result of having some previous problems?
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FLY ON!
Tony Chavarria


The highest form of ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about.” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
RollerChief
24 posts
Aug 17, 2010
8:33 AM
I kept losing birds when I flew in the middle of the day so out of necessity I changed. Of course to fly early you have to be able to call your birds in when you are ready. David
Oldfart
GOLD MEMBER
1972 posts
Aug 17, 2010
8:37 AM
Tony, I have had and will continue to have my fair share of attacks. My biggest threat is the Cooper Hawk, they are relentless. 99% of the attacks occur when landing or releasing the kit. The most effective deterrent I have found is my kit box flag. Yelling and screaming helps but popping that flag will break off all but the most determined hawk. It also scatters the kit making them a harder target. Maybe I'm humanizing but the birds seem to understand why, I'm acting like a fool! They kit up, land fast and hit the trap without much nonsense. I have tried any and all of the legal options offered but this works.

Take care my friend
Thom
Sammy W
29 posts
Aug 17, 2010
9:30 AM
Tony when I had rollers in the late 80's,I planted some field corn about 50 yards from my loft for the crows.They would eat the corn and nest in the woods about 100 yards away.The crows kept the hawks away.I did this for about 5 years and to the best of my memory I only lost 2 birds in those years.

Sammy
Tony Chavarria
Site Publisher
4173 posts
Aug 17, 2010
9:43 AM
Thom, man I just want to say so much to try and help you out! But I know you have probably tried every trick in the book?!

These coopers are either nesting close to your loft or have learned to hang around and get an easy meal...These birds will perch and watch your birds until like you say, you let them out or they come in. I wonder what would happen if you locked up for a month or two?

A wild animal not getting his normal meal at what was formerly good eating grounds will in all likelihood move on to better hunting grounds. Is it possible to lock up for a short season? Also, do your lofts have open aviaries or pens that are easily spied by the preds? Just wondering?
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FLY ON!
Tony Chavarria


The highest form of ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about.” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Tony Chavarria
Site Publisher
4174 posts
Aug 17, 2010
9:47 AM
Sammy, now that sounds like a great idea! I grew some corn for the first time this year and next year could easily plant some extra rows near the forest edge see if it can draw in some crows. I know they are around here because I always hear them off in the forest and see them flying overhead. Maybe they are already keeping most bop away now for all I know??
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FLY ON!
Tony Chavarria


The highest form of ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about.” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Oldfart
GOLD MEMBER
1973 posts
Aug 17, 2010
10:06 AM
Tony, Yes and Yes and Yes! :)I live in the junction of two primary rivers, prime ground for raptors. I also have huge flocks of feral pigeons that race through everyday, twice. :) The hawks can not catch them or so it seems because they go from point "A" to point "B", full tilt bozo. My birds on the other hand fly consistently over my loft. I can wait until afternoon in the spring and fall but through the summer months, it's just tooo hot and tooo humid!

True, I could lock down for a month but then my young birds would never develop as they should. So it's a conundrum, I can have birds that are pretty or I can have birds that are pretty, and spin! I do everything possible to protect them without going to jail. They fly, it's just that simple, I stay with them until all trap, but they fly! I have said it before, so I'll say it again. "If I want some pretty in my loft, I will ask my lovely bride" I want birds that spin and to get them, they fly. :) Otherwise they might as well be Budgies.

JMHO
Take care my friend
Thom
Tony Chavarria
Site Publisher
4176 posts
Aug 17, 2010
10:08 AM
Move! LOL ;-)
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FLY ON!
Tony Chavarria


The highest form of ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about.” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Oldfart
GOLD MEMBER
1974 posts
Aug 17, 2010
10:22 AM
MONEY!

Thom
James Herring
41 posts
Aug 17, 2010
12:43 PM
Too bad this Raptor problem,
nothing will get better for us Roller flyers until the powers that be, decide to institute a population
control program on them. They have let the balance get
far too one-sided by over protection. Unless we are willing to unite and stand up for our right to fly pigeons, I dont see anything changing soon, except to only get worse.

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F-5 Roller lofts.

Last Edited by on Aug 17, 2010 12:50 PM
wannaroll
222 posts
Aug 17, 2010
1:29 PM
I have call blasted to some success using a pissed off golden eagle call. And also the mad clucking of a Goshawk. I have scared Mr. & Mrs. Cooper off twice now with this. You can get the sound files on Raptor sites and You Tube. I just use my laptop and an amplified pa horn. Then again I'll try anything once or twice.

Dave - Hesperia, CA.

(San Bernardino Mountain Spinners)
Tony Chavarria
Site Publisher
4178 posts
Aug 17, 2010
1:50 PM
Dave, AWESOME!! I really like that idea. Can someone put together a device with assorted calls like you use and just press a button and BAM! RAPTOR-B-GON just $29.95!
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FLY ON!
Tony Chavarria


The highest form of ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about.” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Oldfart
GOLD MEMBER
1976 posts
Aug 17, 2010
2:14 PM
Crows get a bad rap! They have driven off more B.O.P.'s then I even care to think about. I feed the crows with corn and stale bread. I bake extra just for the crows. They never go after my birds but will attack any sky shark in their territory. I have four resident nests of crows within 100yards of my loft and have never had any problem from Crows. They have stopped me from releasing when a cooper was near. The guards will call back and forth but if a threat is near they become obviously enraged and will call from the air coordinating their attack. The balance is so one sided that the Coopers will send in a diversion to pull the guards off and then they attack the crow nests or my birds if they are airborn. A Cooper is the lowest sneaky preditor. They will walk from tree to tree to get in posistion for an attack, then sit close to the trunk so as not to be seen. Just to be clear, I HATE COOPERS!

Thom
wannaroll
223 posts
Aug 17, 2010
2:21 PM
Tony, if you could get a programable bull horn I think that would be the ticket. You could fly a crow kite and run around in circles blasting your bullhorn before you let your birds out. LMAO!

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Dave - Hesperia, CA.

(San Bernardino Mountain Spinners)
polarbear
139 posts
Aug 17, 2010
3:31 PM
I have had 2 falcon attacks and both times the left empty handed, much in part to my boat horn.
They are fairly cheap and it has worked for me this year really good. The short blast from the horn is loud and is something that i am sure the falcons and hawks rarely hear.
The falcon made 4 or 5 attempts and was in hot pursuit almost on a full dive, i blasted the horn and he pulled out of the dive.
Anyway just thought i would mention the boat horn, it also scared the hell out of the neighbors to.
Oldfart
GOLD MEMBER
1978 posts
Aug 17, 2010
5:03 PM
John, That is harassing and against the law! We need people with a little common sense to re-write the law.

Thom
Tony Chavarria
Site Publisher
4180 posts
Aug 17, 2010
5:11 PM
John, your ideas are against the law and these type of comments are picked up by the Audubon Society and linked to in order to demonize the rest of us. They have already done such things with pages on this site and archived them forever. Choose your words carefully.
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FLY ON!
Tony Chavarria


The highest form of ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about.” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
rookie from ct
GOLD MEMBER
331 posts
Aug 17, 2010
5:56 PM
I raise just a few extra to feed the raptors first come first serve hawks or owls come and enjoy your free meal, But my birds fly, and come right in ,no hanging on loft or trees,fly and trap or get eaten,I saw two falcons this season and lost none.Keep your rollers hunger and the raptors will know there is no meat on there bones.Dennis
RodSD
425 posts
Aug 17, 2010
10:39 PM
The most effective, in my experience, seems to be the presence of crows. So give them some food to attract them.

while under attack I just try to scare the hawks with loud sound. This might not work with an experienced hawks, however.

In the end I realized that our birds will co-evolve into birds that can out fly a hawk. If you breed from those left behind, they most likely will pass their "good" anti-predatory gene.
fhtfire
2636 posts
Aug 17, 2010
11:45 PM
Tony,


You know what I did...Close up the loft just like you...out of sight out of mind. If your loft is closed up and you release and the BOP give chase...all they know is that they are chasing birds...the key is the BOP not knowing where they came from.

They will return until the food source is gone or out of sight. If they can see the birds they will post and stare at the pigeon under glass until they cant take it any more and then they will hunt and then come back and stare at your loft again....as soon as they witness the birds come from the loft and get one you are screwed...until you break the birds pattern.

I made my change based on the knowledge of the workers at the California Raptor Center.....and it worked.

I do get a falcon every now and then...and a cooper every now and then...but they dont hang around...nothing to look at.

This was the example given to me..if you were starving and every day you walked by a window with 25 steaks...you would sit outside the window and dream....until you had to go find food...but you would always come back just in case the window was down...now if you came by one day and the window was down and you grabbed a steak....and ate it up...you would then come back for sure..because what happened once may happen again...now same story except you walk buy the same window but it is boarded up....the same steaks are behind the board....but you find a steak laying right in front of the board..you eat it up....then you come back the next day...and no steak...well you will assume that you just got lucky and came across a nice steak and you then move on and continue your trek for food....the BOP thinks the same thing...it just came across a group of pigeons....it may take one...it comes back...you loft is closed up....nothing to see...good bye.....it works....others in the Sac area have tried it and it worked for them too...but you have to be very consistant.....winter..my loft only opens up on rainy days...hawks dont hunt in the rain....after rain or before rain..CLOSED UP>.

rock and ROLL

Paul
J_Star
2312 posts
Aug 18, 2010
6:17 AM
I moved from the residential area to a country like setting...but still in the city limit. Seams to me that BOP (specialy coopers) are concentrated in the residential neighborhood where people set up bird feeders in their front/back yards.

Jay
lew3015
130 posts
Aug 22, 2010
8:02 PM
Tony you might find this strange, but I have had a pair of red tails for over a year now, that hang fairly close to me, they live in the woods across road, they will fly low over the loft, have flew over the kits, set in a large old tree out back about 1000 feet away and to date, (knock on wood) have left my birds alone, they also keep the coopers away, once in awhile a young cooper will come looking and the red tails will chase them off. I know if sounds stange but it is true.
Bottom line to the story tony-------- get yourself some Redtails
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Lew

Last Edited by on Aug 23, 2010 7:27 AM
maxspin
391 posts
Aug 23, 2010
7:42 AM
I have also closed my loft so that there are not fly pens to attract the cooper hawks.
More importantly I noticed over the years that when my pigeons reached a certain height I would almost always have a falcon attack. I believe that the nest has a ridge or tree line that blocks their view to my birds until they reach that height. Problem was the family that I was working with has a tendency to "high fly".
This year I bit the bullet, and change to a notoriously low flying family of pigeons. The results have been dramatic. The falcon attacks are way down. The falcons are still there, I see them occasionally, but not every day like it has been for the past 2 years.

Keith Maxwell
markw
32 posts
Aug 23, 2010
2:57 PM
I haven't seen any Cooper's around here yet.
I was wondering though if a crow call would work to scare one away?
I use to hunt crows and had brought them in very mad by blowing the call with quick calls.Also, on most brands you can blow on the side of the reed and make a red-tail hawk call. Hmmmmm, gots me thinkin.
michael salus
261 posts
Aug 23, 2010
3:22 PM
Keith, What family did you change to and are you happy with their performance. I too have a terrible falcon problem and have also noticed that when the birds go to a higher level I have a better chance of getting hit. I got hit again today and two came back with wounds. The birds were right above me and the falcon dove straight down at me. I could see when it brought it's claws out for the kill... pretty amazing.
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MJ "Peace"

Last Edited by on Aug 24, 2010 8:57 AM
maxspin
394 posts
Aug 24, 2010
1:36 PM
Michael,
I have started flying Rick Mee birds. They fly very low as young birds. I have been told that they fly a little higher as old birds. The low flying has been driving me nuts, but is much preferred to feeding the falcons. I was almost to the point of quitting, and am now getting to the point of being able to relax when I have birds in the air. This is actually fun again. Can't say that everyone would have the same results with a low flying family. MY FALCONS do not seem to come down low to attack. I have seen them right down in your face at others houses.

Keith
Rick Mee
48 posts
Aug 24, 2010
8:09 PM
Too much protein Keith. Feed them wheat and milo until they get rolling well, then you can fly them on straight pigeon mix or a diluted pigeon mix with wheat (white) and milo. My old bird kits fly at a nice height, never pin dot out. If they get attacked up high they will go up to the pins for 5 minutes, then they are right down. I don't loose entire kits to overflies, can't really tell you how this came about but I sure do like it. LOL

From our previous conversations it sounds like you got that first YB kit in the air too late and your second YB kit is doing much better. I think you know now that with my family you better get them in the air early on. Once they start to sexually mature you will have a real rough time in training my birds, any family for that matter. Early rolling is tied to sexual maturity in some families, let them get too much age on them and you have missed your window of opportunity for early roll development.....also you have opened yourself for a plethora of problems and many frustrations.

Good luck with that second group of birds, sounds like you got them going at the right time opposed to the first group.
Bill C
540 posts
Aug 24, 2010
9:16 PM
I have had some guys flying little RC planes across the street. They have a small jet type that is noise and goes aprx 60 to 70 miles an hour.

I am getting some for my two young boys to start training. You first start out on a simualter on the computer, then go out to the field and fly.

I can see that these will really work good, Imagine a cooper with a fast RC jet zooming after it while it dives to escape.

I am excited to get started. Hopefully in a big check this week I will be getting the all the stuff, A guy told me if you crash the body and break it, its only $29 for a new body. He duct tapes his when he started until he got the hang of it. They are pretty neet jet planes. Bill C
ezeedad
1133 posts
Aug 27, 2010
11:39 AM
Thom,
Where is the law against harassing hawks? It is not part of the original Migratory bird Act. I have heard about it, but I can't find the actual statute.

Paul G


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