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Diary Calendar

June 20 - 30

June 25th

Sunday was not a good day.  The Goshawk struck 3 times.  The first time through it came out of the east and chased a group of birds behind the house.  It hit one - I saw feathers drop - but it didn't get the pigeon.  So it went after another one that turned to the main road and I believe it hit that one also because I saw some more feathers float down to the ground.  It kept on chasing the bird through some trees and the last I saw of the hawk was it still in pursuit of a bird and closely followed by a crow.  Thirty minutes later as the birds were landing and I was on the loft balcony calling them in, it once again appeared over the top of the loft but this time out of the north.  The hawk selected a victim and caught it right above me.  The attack was so close that if I would have reached up I could have almost struck the hawk with my hand.  This time the Goshawk had a firm grab on it's meal and flew off into the woods.

I thought that was it for the day.  An hour later as the birds began to land a Goshawk attacked again and chased the birds but I didn't see if it got one.  I was told that these hawks will hunt in pairs.  I guess it's right.

The birds were exercised the following morning.  There was no attack which is the pattern.  It's seems that one pigeon is sufficient for 2 to 3 days of meals.  The team was kept in until Friday because of bad weather and time for the birds to recoup from their ordeal.  There is a group of about 50 birds that will fly for up to 3 hours after a hawk attack. A manual inventory was taken on Thursday.  There are 172 birds remaining.  Goto Inventory.

By Friday afternoon the weather improved considerably so the birds were let out for their exercise at 5:00.  Half the flock took off immediately and disappeared high in the sky.  You could barely see them.  The remainder except for about 15 birds flew close to the loft.  The 15 sat motionless all in a line along the peak of the roof.  I tried everything to scare them up to fly but to no avail.  I sensed some thing was going to happen.  I was right.  The Goshawk appeared over the neighbors house and dove down into the backyard as if chasing something.  That's all I saw.

It seems that some of the birds sitting on the roof have learned that if they sit still and don't fly the Goshawk will not attack them.  It appears that the hawk prefers to take its prey in flight.  Some of the flyers have learned that if you leave the loft area and fly high they will be safe.  The problem is they have to land sometime.  It will be interesting to see how many of the infrequent flyers will be in the loft at the end of the season.

By 7:30 all 172 birds were accounted for.  Whew!

Weather permitting training will begin July 2nd.

June 30th

The birds received their daily exercise at 5:30 pm because the hawk made an early morning visit.  As usual the 20 infrequent flyers remained on the roof.  They will get a surprise tomorrow.  A 100 birds flew for a good hour and 50 flew for 90 minutes.  The birds were basketted this evening and will receive their first training toss tomorrow from 8 km.

Goto July 1st