While it’s fun to feed pigeons at parks and courtyards, pigeons and similar pest birds can create all sorts of problems. They cause millions of dollars in damage to buildings, facades and mechanical structures–like air conditioning units, telephone, electrical and lighting systems. Pigeons can also create a health hazard. Because their poop, besides being corrosive, can carry any of 60 known diseases. Fortunately, man has devised all sorts of clever pigeon and pest-bird deterrents. And unlike the days of old when property owners used poisons or shotguns to cull down pest bird populations, today’s methods are far more humane. One way to discourage pest birds from “taking over” an area is to exploit their natural fear of predators. And few predators are as despised among pigeons and most pest birds as the Red-tail Hawk.
All the more reason why a Red-tail Hawk decoy can be particularly effective in ridding an area of pest birds. Pigeons instinctively recognize the aerial outline of this highly skilled hunter. Armed with razor sharp talons and eyesight eight times as acute as a human’s, a Red Tail can dive after its prey at up to120 miles per hour (they can spot a pigeon from 150 feet above the ground and snatch birds right out of the sky). A medium-sized bird of prey, the red-tail hawk is the most widespread and common member of the American family of large soaring hawks. It’s also one of the largest hawks, typically weighing between 2 and 4 pounds. The female is nearly 33 percent larger than the male and may have a wingspan as wide as 56 inches. These birds prefer to soar at high altitudes using their sharp eyesight to zero in on their prey below. An aggressive hawk, the Red Tail will tenaciously fight to defend its territory. All of which is bad news for any pigeons and pest birds that dare to invade the Red Tail’s space. Pigeons and similar pest birds will quickly recognize the Red-tail Hawk for it can be found in a wide range of habitats and altitudes. This includes deserts, marsh-shrubs, grasslands, coniferous and deciduous forests, agricultural fields, and even urban areas. It is a very adaptable bird, equally at home in varying heights above sea level, and capable of breeding throughout much of North America-”from western Alaska and northern Canada all the way down to Panama. Red Tails can also be found in cities, perched along highways on utility poles and other lofty structures. So pigeons and other pest birds will always be on the lookout for this highly skilled predator. Once you’ve purchased a Red-tail hawk decoy , correct positioning is essential for maximum effectiveness. That’s because hawk decoys rely on their outline in the sky and the shadow of their body and wings on the ground to be instantly recognized by pigeons and pest birds. For this reason, hawk decoys should be suspended as high as possible above a pest bird’s area for maximum threat posture. This can be accomplished using a suitable pole, open tree branch or other extension above the problem area. The decoys should also be moved around at least once a week, otherwise pest birds would grow accustomed to them and no longer regard them as a threat. Also, when purchasing a hawk decoy, opt for one that is made of durable weather-resistant plastic. One other tip: the overall effectiveness of a hawk decoy can be magnified when used in conjunction with ultrasonic or audio deterrents. So it pays to talk to a pro about which deterrents to use with any particular type of pest bird. Finally, hawk decoys are an environmentally friendly alternative to ridding an area of pigeons and other pest birds. They don’t harm anything or anyone. They just rely on a pest bird’s natural instincts to keep them away.
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Hawk Decoy, Pest birds,
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