Coopers hawk related post

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Posts: 278
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:40 pm
Location: Palm City, FL
Martin Colony History: 2018 will be my first try. 6 S&K B09s. 29 eggs - 8 fledged
2019 - 12 Troyer Horizontals with tunnels, 6 S&K B09s and 12 B011s all with tunnels. 43 eggs - 36 fledged
2020 - Rack 1 - 6 B011s, Rack 2 - 24 B011s, and Rack 3 - 24 Troyer Horizontals. All gourds have tunnels, porches and crescent/Conley 11 entrances; racks have predator guards. 161 eggs - 88 fledged

Please give me patience; I'm gonna ramble. This AM I strolled out to my racks to check my birds. There was a Coopers Hawk perched on a gourd on Rack 1. I had my bike helmet in one had and my wallet in the other. So I flipped my wallet up, flushed the hawk. It flew to an oak on the east side of my property. Thrice now I have observed a Coopers amongst my colony; and on consecutive days.
Fellow landlords have recommended "air soft" rifles and noisy boat horns. Thank you very much but how does one apply these possible hawk "remedies" when one is off cycling or going to get the first Covid-19 vaccination? Just messing with you, but it's gospel. Can't be at the colony 24/7.
So here's my dilemma. I like trees and raptors. I deliberately placed my racks as far from trees as possible. I even had some trees trimmed where I thought proximity was an issue. Closest tree to my colony is a Slash Pine. Tall and thin, not much cover. Its canopy is 50 feet from the closest rack. The oaks are 70 feet plus from the closest rack. The trees are staying. I like raptors. Was an apprentice falconer back in the 60s. If you think messing with martins is taxing, try falconry. Current Florida law requires a would-be falconer to train with a Master Falconer for a year before obtaining the required state license. But only with the Master's approval. So one can flunk out. Training a falcon or hawk to come to the glove is the easy part. Keeping the bird happy and healthy between hunts requires EXTREME dedication. Any of you want to give this sport a try I suggest you be both wealthy and retired. Otherwise, keep your day job. Anyway, the hawk's going to do his or her thing when I'm not around. When I'm present, I'll continue to scream, clap my hands, rap on the pole and flip my wallet.
Nevertheless, hawks and martins have been dealing with each other for quite a bit longer than any of us have been around. And both are still here. We bird people hang feeders from supports in our yard and/or erect racks to hold living space for our avian friends. The birds come in to eat seeds and/or spend the night and the predators come to eat the birds. A conundrum. But we do what we can.
So, to keep my blood-pressure under control, I'm just going to enjoy watching this play out. Will order some decoys to further aggravate the Coopers. Hawk might hit the decoy, break a nail (talon) and decide to hunt other species. You know how girls hate to break a nail. Don't know what to do with the boy hawks.
Happy Martining, Mike Spelling and grammatical errors are mine.
Posts: 457
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

I totally understand. I have had a terrible time with hawks. Just this evening one flew right near the martin houses. The martins on porches scrambled. If I were outside I would have blown the boat horn. It's a matter of time when I'm not home, not looking, or caught off guard but I have seen a difference when I am able to sound the horn. Last year I noticed the persistent hawk began to just fly past. Whether that was wishful thinking or a result of horn blowing I don't know. I actually just bought another horn so that I have one with me in my garden and another on the patio. Don't want to miss a chance. Consistency is good. Good luck my friend...oh another thing is I record the time the hawk comes by and there seems to be a pattern. Again, is it just wishful thinking or is there pattern to his behavior? Oh, decoys do work. I've witnessed it first hand. I have mine set up about 30 to 40 feet the houses. I have them perched on bamboo so that they move with the wind.
Posts: 3142
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

I am not a raptor expert (or any type of expert for that matter) but I believe I have read on here from southern landlords that many of these hawks migrate north and don't spend the entire season in the south. Is that true for the coopers hawks?
2021 Currently 62 nest 138 babies plus 110 eggs (6-317-21) HOSP count-9
2020 42 nest, Fledged 164 HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional lone SY's
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair 14 fledged.
D. Doll MN
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun May 08, 2005 11:05 am
Location: ST CLOUD MN
Martin Colony History: Formally from Willmar MN moved in 2015 and started new colony in 2019 i had 27 pair.

First have to say I love raptors and other birds just not around my martin colony. My old property I sold I had major cooper hawk problems, they lived in the area. My new property and home now, the landscaping was designed around my martin colony. So I hope I never have to experance the hawk problems of the past. Your not suppose to harm raptors but an electric power pressure washer can sprays a good distance, and some hawks just look like they could use a bath sometimes. A good bath won't hurt them, but I am sure they will not want another one. Other things that I can be used that may have temporary success are. I have put Crow decoys a ways out on edge of property, the martins didnt like them close ether. One other thing a pigion breader tood me to use is placing Canada goose decoys in the yard. He said he had good results doing that, I tried and it maybe worked for a while for me. But got tired of moving around especially when mowing the grass. Just a few more things to maybe try, in case he doesn't move on.
Dick Doll
Posts: 126
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:05 pm
Location: Covngton, La

That air horn idea sees like a good idea as I too have to put up with Hawks. Mine don't seem to migrate but stay the whole year round. Being retired I spend a lot of time on my patio fending off
a particular hawk but he still is able to grab a couple. I usually go out in the early mornings and late afternoon waiting for him to do his thing. I know you cant hurt them but I'd love to ring his neck. Well,
I'm sure he has chicks to take care of but I'd wish he'd get his meals elsewhere.
Posts: 457
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Agreed. I sure wish they'd eat starlings and sparrows. God knows that there's plenty of them.
Conrad Baker
Posts: 416
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

brent wrote:
Mon Feb 08, 2021 9:25 pm
Agreed. I sure wish they'd eat starlings and sparrows. God knows that there's plenty of them.
Kinda like lovebugs. Nothing eats starlings or lovebugs.
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

Eagles eat starlings
AC03356B-BD9E-4B3D-84C8-525328CCAE0E.jpeg (14.19 KiB) Viewed 3137 times
4225E988-12CA-4E17-9689-F9FB24C6A069.jpeg (11.81 KiB) Viewed 3137 times
Posts: 457
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Awesome! I have eagles here. Thanks for sharing.
Posts: 678
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

My cat ate a starling once and then immediately puked it back up. :lol:
Jeff Dean
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:54 pm
Location: Cunb. Co., Pa.

Keckbird here from South Central Pa. Has anyone ever tried or used Wind Dancers( the forced air, powered figures, used at grand openings or special events) for hawk or owl control? At the start of the 2020 season I lost 3 Martins in 2 days to a persistent coopers hawk. He would fly in low at the housing flushing the birds and catch them on the fly. Not the best way to begin the season.
steve r
Posts: 353
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 8:16 am
Location: Antioch/Plant City Fla

I had my entire colony of 30 nesting pair wiped out by Cooper’s hawks. It took 2 years with none returning anymore because of the attacks. The hawks would chase them down and catch them in mid flight. I’m starting all over again playing the dawn song trying to attract some birds. I found and an old video of Feb 2017 with PMs everywhere. Sad times like that makes me want to give up and find another hobby.
Matt F.
Posts: 3923
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

My heart goes out to you Steve.
You're definitely not alone.
Unfortunately, Cooper's appear to be exploding in numbers, at a higher rate than they should be.
Human development, specifically suburban settings, have for years provided the perfect habitat for smaller songbirds to live and flourish. Over the past 15 years, some of the smaller hawks (in our case Cooper’s) have discovered this perfect situation (abundant prey and being the apex aerial predators) and have moved in - en masse. They have been exploding in numbers in recent years, wreaking havoc at bird feeders, bird houses, and even bird cages with pet birds - including doves, homing pigeons, etc.
Where there used to be a good balance in the number of neighborhood Cooper's hawks versus songbirds, there is now an unfair imbalance - heavily favoring the Cooper's hawks.
It's heartbreaking, and maddening to witness this onslaught, without having any legal means of being able step in and directly deal with the problem to save our Martins , which are every bit as important as these over-protected raptors.
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