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Anyone who loves pigeons, whether keeping them as pets for show or to fly, or simply enjoys watching them at a backyard bird feeder has probably been plagued by loss of birds to predatory hawks. Hawks are adept hunters and can swoop down, grab a pigeon and be gone in a split second. Controlling loss of birds to hawks is complicated. It’s illegal to kill or even harass hawks in most jurisdictions. And most bird lovers wouldn’t want to harm a hawk anymore than they like having hawks snack on pigeons. However, there are some techniques you can employ to ward off hawks from your feathered pigeon friends.
Take down bird feeders for backyard pigeons for a few days. Hawks will perch nearby feeders waiting for easy prey. If you remove the feeders, hawks will often move on to other hunting grounds.
Place backyard pigeon feeders where there is natural protection. Putting a feeder near an evergreen shrub will give birds a refuge to escape to when a hawk is near.
Fly your pet pigeons at different times during the day. If you keep pigeons you allow to fly, change up the times you let them loose. Hawks will figure out a predictable routine and be waiting when you release your birds.
Keep your flying birds in shape. If you don’t allow your birds to fly regularly, they will be out of shape and more likely to fall prey to hawks.
Don’t overfeed your birds. At fat bird will be sluggish and slow and less likely to escape a hawk.
Train flying birds to return directly to the loft. Birds grazing in the lawn or roosting on the roof are much more likely to be caught by a hawk than they are when in free flight.
Feed the crows. Attracting crows to your property can help keep hawks at bay. Crows hate hawks and will harass and chase them away.
Hang hawk balls from trees near your pigeon loft. Hawk balls are large, mirrored balls that reflect light, which scares hawks away.
Place unwanted CDs on your loft, flying pen and other areas around the pigeons. CDs also reflect light, which hawks are afraid of. Tying a CD to a weather vane will project light in many different directions as it turns in the wind.
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