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Diary Calendar

June 1 to 18

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June 6th

I am sorry for the delay in updating the diary but I had to catch up with the rest of my life.  If you are a true pigeon fancier you know what I am talking about.

We finally had some summer like weather.  However, 3 days of 30+ C days abruptly changed to an overnight frost in some areas.  Only in Northern New Brunswick!

The birds have been out every day since their first day out May 29th.  Finally 95% are trapping when I call them in for their feed.  Of course there will always be handful that don't know how and when to come in.  Over half the birds were up flying today for a short while.  About a quarter flew for 30 minutes.

On Sunday I received a call from an old friend.  He caught one of the Le Tour birds at his camp which is 10 km due south of here.  The bird was hanging around his camp for the last couple of days and would fly down to his dock along a small river.  He became friendly with his dog but when the cats came out the bird decided to jump in the river to get away.  Eventually it was retrieved floating down the river.  The bird is now home save and sound but a bit skinny.

All the entries are in for a total of 192.  To date 8 birds have been lost due to sickness.  Two remain in sickbay and several others are being watched closely in the main loft.  Hint:  A complete inventory for all those fancier that have paid their entry fees will be posted on the weekend. 

June 13th

The vast of majority of birds are flying quite well.  On most days there are 2 groups that around flying around the loft to eventually kit into one group.  Earlier in the week the smaller group disappeared for an hour.

Saturday was a long day.  The crows have been unusually silent this spring; however, on this day during the latter part of the morning they were unusually noisy.  The birds sensed that something was lurking and were eventually spooked to fly off.  They broke off in two groups.  The larger group remained in the vicinity of the loft but the smaller group disappeared for about an hour.  At this time one crow was flying in circles above the trees about 200 meters  west of the loft.  Eventually it attracted 4 more crows and they continued circling, squawking and diving at something in the trees.  Finally they flew off to the south as if following something that I couldn't see.  Some birds flew around the loft for almost 3 hours before they landed and went in.  Eventually some of the smaller group returned to merge with the larger group.  There were birds arriving in singles all afternoon.  On Sunday I saw 2 hawks circling high about the loft however the birds did not respond to their presence.

I began clocking the birds on Saturday.  Of course the power went off for a couple of hours so the inventory was incomplete.  Sunday I clocked them again so I have an inventory of the remaining birds.  For now I am using a single antenna per hole.  There are four holes that the birds trap through.  Once training begins 2 tunnels will be installed with 2 antennas each. 

As I have mentioned before the weather has been very hard on the birds.  The month of May was unusually damp and cold.  When June arrived the weather changed totally to the opposite.  Now the norm was frequent days of around 30 C and very humid.  However, today we have gone back to a cold damp day with drizzling rain.  At 1:00 pm the temperature was 10 C.  The weather is predicted to be the same for most of the week.  Mother Nature is being unusually cruel this year.

As expected there have been losses due to sickness and around the loft.  A handful birds are still struggling with some form of YBS.  The birds have just finished being medicated with Altabactine for E-Coli and I though it appropriate to continue medicating them with Amoxycillinum for whatever else ails some of them.

Once a very reputable, knowledgeable and successful fancier said to me.  "When you are bringing in pigeons from the outside the entire formula changes.  I did it once and I will never do it again.  I am glad that others are willing to do it".

June 17th 

Rain, Fog, Rain, Fog and more Rain & Fog.  Besides it has been 5 to 10 C below normal.  The prediction is for clearing weather on Sunday and sunny for a few days and then back to more rain.    If can get a building permit, I think I will build an arc, put the loft on it and float it away.

Dry weather is the best, there is no medicine can be as effective as dry weather. It doesn’t have to be warm, cold dry weather can be as good as well. I have seen pigeons in 10-20 degrees freezing and they look super. There noses were as white as snow and the feathers were tight, tucked against their body.
The weather is very important when it comes to getting your birds in condition.
Weather with winds not directly to the front of the loft are a catalyst in getting this beautiful mysterious thing called FORM.

For the rest of the story go to: "Weather" or Not Health Is Important  By Chris Peeman

June 18th 

All is not well but better than I expected.  A handful of young ones are struggling I suspect from some secondary infection of YBS.  The vast majority of young ones are doing well in spite of the weather.  The droppings of most of the birds are quite acceptable considering the conditions.  However I don't know how long I can keep them in this condition if the weather doesn't change dramatically.  They are still being medicated with Amoxicillin.

Late Friday morning I went to town and the streets were perfectly dry yet there was a steady drizzle at home which is 12 km west of Bathurst.  When I returned home it had stopped raining and brightened up a bit so at 2:30 I let the birds out.  Of course within 15 minutes it started to rain again but this time quite hard.  A few minutes later a hawk flew by with 3 crows chasing it.  Over 100 birds went up into the rain and flew for a good 30 minutes before any started to come down.  The rest perched on the peak of the roof to stop from sliding down the aluminum roof.  Some birds flew for 90 minutes while it rained quite steadily.  I could hear their damp flights slicing through the air as they circled the loft.  Landing on the roof became a hazardous event as some landed like a 747 with one engine and others slid off the roof.  Of course about 50 decided to stay out in the rain even after I tried to call them in for supper.  At 7:30 as I stepped out of the loft a hawk flew over from the back of the loft and scared the last 10 birds off the roof.  It looked like it picked out its victim but I lost the hawk behind the trees as it was flying south so I don't know what happened.  I doubt if my yelling did any good.

I don't think it was a goshawk. This one was brown in color and didn't seem as quick as the goshawk and it looked a lot bigger. Perhaps it was a female.  The ones that created havoc last year were bluish black across the back, whitish underneath and smaller.

Birds of Nova Scotia:  Northern Goshawk

Click on photo for larger view


Go to June 19th

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