Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Aug 18 -24

Aug 18, 19 and 20 the birds loft flew.

Aug 21
I took the blue team (plus 2 gold 'escorts') to a church at the 2.5 mile point, heading towards Dellinger.
Then I took the gold team to the Walmart on Hwy 411 in Rome.
All were home within 40 minutes.

Aug 22
Took the gold team to Dellinger, then on the way back I took the blue team back to the church.
Gold beat me home, blue were right after them. WTG birds!

Aug 23
Funny thing happened on the way to the toss... The birds were all in the large carrier.
I went over the speed bumps heading up to the school, and evidently the small top door flipped over.
I parked, and heard a noise so I looked in the rear window and saw that the birds were loose all over the truck!
Opened the doors and all of the birds flew out and headed home. Less than 20 minutes later I got the call that they were home and waiting.

Aug 24
Since the birds did so well at 6 miles, I took all 24 to the Girl Scout meeting. We put 2 birds in each of 6 baskets, and the girls released one basket at a time. Then the other 12 were released.
All birds flocked together and headed home in 15 minutes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Aug 15- 17

August 15 both Blue team and Gold team flew 1 1/2 miles, an easy flight for Gold, and a new distance for Blue.

August 16, loft flown

August 17 I took all 24 (Blue and Gold) to Cass Middle for a training toss for Blue, and exercise for Gold.

Then, the 12 members of Gold team went to Adairsville to practice hand tossing with Girl Scouts, in preparation for Relay for Life.

Aug 14, 2010

Since today was the monthly meeting of the North Atlanta Racing Pigeon Club, I took the birds to the clubhouse and released them after the meeting.

The guys were impressed at my 12 pure whites circling, said they were definitely pretty (even if they circled too much for racers).

Weather was icky, but birds made it home in under an hour. This one was 16.1 miles from the loft, point to point (this does not count the multiple circles the birds fly).

Aug 10 - 13

Since this was my first week back at work, birds loft flew daily.

Aug 9

Birds rested after their flight from Calhoun

Sunday, August 8, 2010

August 8, 2010

Just looked outside, and bird #1393 was sitting on the landing board, waiting to get in!
I opened the door, and flipped up the trap to let the others out, and all 12 flocked up and flew a victory lap around the yard, then were joined by the blue team (after I flipped up their door as well).

The one that didn't make it home until today was one of the two that returned 16 days after the fly off I had back in May.
A breeder got out by accident and 9 of my babies followed if as it headed for Kentucky.
I did get 7 of the 9 back, during 2 1/2 weeks following. I truly believe that someone took a few of them in for a few days, since they did not come home starving.

August 7, 2010

Today we tossed the birds from Calhoun, 16 air miles from the house. This was around 1 pm.
A little girl from my class actually released one basket after their bowling season trophy ceremony, and my daughter released the second.

I went home and no birds. I didn't stress overly much, knowing they could be taking a long way home.
So I took the girls to band picture day.

At 4 pm, we were on the field, the photographer was taking the group picture, and I looked up and saw my birds circling over the high school (where they have been tossed 4 or 5 times).
There were only 10 of my birds, with a brown bird chasing the last one, trying to cut it out of the flock.
Several times the hawk took one of my birds out of the flock and tried to chase it away.
I was glad to see that the other birds kind of circled, until the separated bird was able to rejoin the flock.

There was nothing I could do, this was still 6 miles from home, so I just watched and hoped.

Once I did get home, I was glad to see 11 of my 12 were in the loft.
While not happy that one is gone, at least the others made it safely.
And who knows, maybe #12 will make it, if it went somewhere to safety.

Aug 6, 2010

Short toss from 1/2 mile to the south.
Both teams, in 2 baskets.

Birds beat me home.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Aug 3-5

Strong electromagnetic storms are keeping the birds close to home.
We're loft flying daily, but have stopped road training until things settle down.

Monday, August 2, 2010

August 2, 2010

Today I took the 12 birds of the Gold Team to Dellinger Park, about 10 - 12 miles.
Released at 3pm, and they were home just after I got home.

The two little squeakers that were first hatches from my loft are now loft flying and trapping.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Aug 1, 2010

Took Blue Team out to half a mile, with Gold Team.

I put 6 Blue and 6 Gold in each of 2 baskets, and let one basket loose, then while they were circling I released the second basket.

The two groups merged, and circled a few more times, before heading off towards home.

All made it home safely.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

July 31, 2010

Went to Euharlee early today, so Gold Team got to fly.
Just over 10 air miles and they beat me home again!

I'm very excited with the progress of the Gold Team, and am glad that Blue Team has started their training.

Friday, July 30, 2010

July 27-30

July 27 was a high electromagnetic storm day, so let the birds loose at the Walmart parking lot.
Less than 20 minutes later they were home.

July 28 loft flying. Blues still are not routing.

July 29 I took Gold team to White, to Zach's house. 20 minutes later, Dani called to tell me they were circling the house.

July 30 I took both teams, Blue and Gold for an easy toss at the end of the driveway. About half a mile, but the first time out of sight of the loft for Blue team. They did well and flew straight home. Not sure what would have happened if it was just Blue team... Will find out soon enough.

Monday, July 26, 2010

July 26, 2010 - update and catch up

My Aunt contacted me, reminding me that I let my blog fall behind.
A busy week, then pneumonia will do that to you...

Had a bit of a busy time with band camp, but did releases
July 12, 14, and 16 from Adairsville High. Birds got home faster each time.
During band camp, the high school was the only choice for releases, since I was at the school from 8am until 5pm.

Then, on July 18 I had the birds loaded, went to a friend's house for a bridal shower.
It started storming, so I didn't toss on the way there, as planned.
On the way home, the storms became MUCH worse.
Birds rode home, and flew across the yard.

I ended up feverish that evening, and spent a week with pneumonia.
Released at 5 miles from all directions, since birds were always home in 20 minutes.
Tossed from Kingston, Harley Dealership at the interstate, and then up in the White area.

Finally got meds straight (thank you!) and am recovering. Still no energy, but feeling a little better.

July 23 (Friday) released at Food Lion. Woo hooo!!! Now we can service Adairsville!!
On July 25 (Sunday) we released almost at the Floyd Co. line to the west.

Grandpa (01 AU IPB B 17764) fathered 2 babies, hatched out July 24, 25.
Exciting times!

First babies will be moving to flyer loft today!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July 7, 2010

I realized that I'm only focusing on half the map, so today we backed down to 2.5 miles, and let them fly from the west.
Intersection of Cass White and I75. Lots of truck stops and other places there.

Birds swooped much lower over the road than I would have liked, then circled and eventually headed in what appeared to be the right direction.

Had a nice lady ask if they would come back, I told her no, they won't come back here, but they'll be at my house shortly waiting for me.
We talked for a few minutes, then I headed home.

Birds took a little longer than I expected to get home, but they all just appeared, circled over the house, then landed on the loft.

July 6, 2010

Loft flew Gold Team.

Hubby added lattice around the bottom of the loft, to keep the pigeons from hanging out under there.
Looks MUCH nicer!

Need another sheet, to do the ends.

Will be making a pen to include under the loft, to put the chickens in.

Picked up a pretty little bird in Canton, a bit older, had shown up at a lady's house, and she didn't know how to find the owner.
Bird only has a black snap on band.

Trying to locate the owner.

July 5, 2010

Released Gold Team at Adairsville High today.

Went home about an hour later, all birds were in the loft or picking at grass nearby.
Called them in.

Hubby made a door to keep W24 from sneaking out thru the bobs, since she had escaped again.

July 4, 2010

Gold team loft flew. All came in fine.

Went to Acworth to pick up one of my younger birds that had flown off on Monday.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

July 1 - 3, 2010

We camped July 1 and 2, coming home the afternoon of the 3rd.

Birds didn't fly Thursday or Friday.

Saturday the Gold Team got to loft fly.
Blue Team is waiting until I get a set of bobs for their side of the loft.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June 30, 2010

Today we tossed from 2.5 miles to the west.
Birds took 45 minutes to get home, but it was a different direction, and probably should have delayed the toss, since the K-4 warning was still in effect.

But all's well, my smart birds are safely home.

One of the 2 missing squeakers is sitting here, trying to figure out how to get back in to the loft.
Love those first few releases with the babies...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June 29, 2010

Today I opened the aviary to let the squeakers of Blue team out for the first time.
There were 27, including the Hawaiian bird who was just a little too slow to keep up with Gold team.
They are still all over the yard and buildings.

Took Gold team back to Cass Middle for the third time. They finally beat me home :)

Babies from a week ago are HUGE! It is absolutely amazing how fast they grow.

I'm taking the eggs from the other pair in the breeding building, and giving them to my archangels to foster. Then the whites can lay more eggs. Should get a lot more babies this way.

edit: as of dark, all but 2 of the whites are back in.

Monday, June 28, 2010

June 28, 2010

Second drop at Cass Middle (2.5 miles)

Half an hour, still waiting...

Birds flew in all together, right at one hour after release.

June 27, 2010

WARNING: Geomagnetic K-index of 4 expected

Loft flew yellow team today.

A bird has taken over the squeakers, and the parents aren't willing to fight for them.
Noticed some whole corn in the crop.

June 26, 2010

Saturday :)

Today was the first toss from Cass Middle.
Took the birds 20 minutes to find their way home, but they did, and trapped just fine.

June 25, 2010

Redid the one mile north toss. All birds were home within 10 minutes.

Hubby got the breeder loft finished, and we moved the 7 pair over, including the one pair setting eggs (they were fine with it) and even the pair with the squeakers (also fine)

Then, as I went to check one last time, a bird perched right by the door took off past me.
Of course, one of my good females.
Hoping 2009 AU NA 1306 comes back at some point :(

Thursday, June 24, 2010

June 24, 2010

Well, 2 days ago the 1 mile release went well, birds beat me home.
Today I went north (direction I expect most releases to come from) and let them fly.
All 12 flew off as a flock, heading in the right direction.
As I pulled off the small road I was on, I could already see the flock circling over what I thought was the loft.
Came down the driveway, and was surprised to not see my birds waiting.
After another 20 minutes, one bird came in. Seems a little dirtier than I remember, but other than that no problem.
He did circle for a while before coming in, seemed kind of flustered.
I'm wondering if a hawk scattered them over my loft? No sign of the others yet, it's been 45 minutes.

Whew! The other 11 just showed up, one hour after release.
I wonder if they came in, saw they were home, and decided it was still 'play time' so took off exploring?
And why was the one by itself?
The one that came in solo was very skittish, didn't want to land until I backed away, which is unusual.
It was one of the ones that stayed here when the 9 headed off a few weeks ago, and came back over a 2 week+ time frame.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

June 22, 2010

I've been trying to do most of my outside stuff in the mornings, as well as tossing in the morning, or noon at the latest.
Although the birds have been loft flying in the afternoons as well, by their own choice.
Today was just over a mile, and the birds beat me home.
Tomorrow I guess we'll fly here, then on Thursday we'll pick another spot on the one mile circle.
I don't want to overwork them, but at the same time, I don't want them to get bored!
Plus, we have band camp in a few weeks, and I'll be VERY busy with my kids that week.
If I can let them loose from the school, it will be my best chance that week.
Plus, we are hoping to use the birds as part of the marching show for Saturday competitions, possibly early season games, if halftime is early enough.

Second baby hatched from Red 1 and Red 2 (unbanded pair with snap on numbered bands)

Monday, June 21, 2010

June 21, 2010

Today we went out to about 3/4 mile to the south-east.

Released the 12 on Shotgun Road.
All were home within 15 minutes, again coming in as a flock.

Can't wait to start training for distance!

Today is day 4 of the canker prevention meds in the water (for my reference)

EDIT: Went out to feed and water to find that our first baby pigeon has now hatched!
Lee, its from two of your unbanded birds, now wearing red snap-on bands with 1 and 2 on them.
Also an egg from 208 and 21184 .
Those two have been sitting together for a while, but when I went to feed and water, there was one sitting in the nest bowl, and when he got up to feed, I saw the egg.
Rod, still waiting for the ones from you to pair up. They are being stubborn, or they are protesting the lack of an aviary in their side.
Worst part is, we were hoping to work on the green shed, to move the breeders over, and now I won't want to move the pair with the egg, since with the change in location, they'll have to pick a nest and all all over again.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

June 20, 2010

Today we tried the same spot, just over half a mile from the loft.
Released the birds, and they circled, then took off in the wrong direction.

We drove back to the house, and the birds weren't here.
But after just a couple minutes the flock arrived.

7 minutes from release until they circled the loft.
Not trapping quite as fast, but eh, it was a short flight, and they weren't done exercising.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

June 19, 2010

Did today's training toss 1/2 mile to the east today.
First time I've beat them home...
15 minutes, I'm getting a little worried.

EDIT: birds showed up at 25 minute mark, all 12 still in a close flock.

June 18, 2010

Another release, just over half a mile. This time to the west.

Birds circled 5 times, then headed straight across the field and were circling the loft before we got there.

Also, got our first wedding booking! Very excited, as the bride wants 6 birds, one for bride and one for groom, then one in a basket for each of their 4 children.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

June 17, 2010

The 12 birds from 'A team' beat me home today from a half mile toss! All 12 left the basket in a rush, circled 3 times, then headed straight home.
They were circling the loft before I got the truck in gear, and sitting on the loft waiting when I pulled in :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

June 14, 2010

Went out to check out the birds, there was one sitting on the aviary door. I didn't think much of it, except that I needed to be sure that I did a good count before shutting it next time.
Looked in, and everyone was looking bright eyed and wanting to be out.
I opened the aviary door, and out flew the birds, like we do every day. Then, as they flock and circle, I count, and notice there are 12 flying! How odd! I double check, and the pair with the eggs is still sitting inside. So another of my missing birds is back, this one after 16 days!
Since one showed up on Thursday (12 days) and then one today, I'm thinking someone must have caught them and fed them for a few days, then released, and that is why they are coming home in good condition.
These are young birds I bought the middle of March, who have only loft flown, except that one time that I got a little antsy and did a half mile basket toss.
I'm being alert for canker signs, but since everyone is looking good, I am going to treat the water, but let them loft fly.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

June 12, 2010

Wow! Didn't realize it had been so long!

So, I ended up with one more of the 'fly-off' birds coming home, after 12 days. Looks good, in fact, I didn't realize it was home for 2 days, although I did count an extra, but figured I was counting wrong.

Bird with the broken leg is back with the others, and limping a bit, but doing well.

Traded 16 breeders for 27 squeakers from South Carolina.
Noticed some pigeon lice on them as I was spraying (for that very reason) and then saw the same on my other birds.

All are now treated...

Nest with the 2 eggs on the floor of my flyer loft is occupied by 2 birds, one for AM, one for PM. Letting them be, and just checking on them. Hoping for my first squeakers soon.

I've loft flown EVERY day since the 3rd, and birds are doing great!

Friday, June 4, 2010

June 3, 2010

Let the 8 remaining young birds from Rod fly today for the first time since the fly-off.

I did let the little Hawaiian bird out on the landing board, and she did fly today.
Got a little worried, because I don't know where she went for a while.

Came home from band meeting, and all the birds were in.

Talking with LJ about trading some breeders for some squeakers, to get back up to a number that I can actually start out with.

June 2, 2010

Let everyone rest today, starting to lose hope that the other 5 will show up.

June 1, 2010

Put a splint on the injured bird. She seems comfortable now, and is eating and drinking (and pooping).

Just hoping she does well.

I've also ordered splints for future use, since taping the leg was difficult.

May 31

My oldest came running in, yelling 'One more home!'.
Yes, one more of my birds returned from Sunday's fiasco.
But, 1387 showed up with a broken leg. What do I do?
I went ahead and let her into the loft to eat, since she had made such an effort to get home, but will move her to a small cage later for safety.
Should I try to splint, or leave it be? She cannot perch, and when I walked away, she was eating while laying down.
This only leaves 5 out, which is terrible, but not as bad as when it was 9! And if this one could make it in wounded, I'm not ready to give up hope on the others, although I will be buying more squeakers.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

May 30, 2010

At 7:30 one of the missing birds appeared, #W23

At 8am 1396 made it home

Next bird came in around 2pm. Not sure of the number yet, since both legs are covered with a grey mud. Not sure where this one stopped for a drink of water, but I'm sure she'll be happy to have a drink of fresh water.

Still waiting on 6, or 7 if that one from Lee decides to come back (doubtful)

May 29,2010

Space Weather Message Code: WARK06 Serial Number: 167 Issue Time: 2010 May 29 1142 UTC EXTENDED WARNING: Geomagnetic K-Index of 6 expected Extension to Serial Number: 166 Valid From: 2010 May 29 0808 UTC Now Valid Until: 2010 May 29 1600 UTC Warning Condition: Onset NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at www.swpc.noaa. gov/NOAAscales

Unfortunately, I didn't heed the warning...

Released 14, plus one bird from Lee in KY by accident.
10 birds flocked together, and took off.
The other 5 hung around, and trapped fine.

I'm afraid the 10 headed to KY, but I know my young birds aren't ready for a flight that long, so hope they find somewhere to roost, and come back tomorrow

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May 26, 2010

Our first real test, the 14 were basketed and taken to nearby Clear Creek Elementary School.

Released them in the front parking lot at 2:20.
Drove home, which is a lot further than the .6 miles the birds will need to cover, and no birds!

Fed and got out the whistle. After a few minutes a single bird showed up, and quickly trapped.
2 more showed up within 10 minutes of release, and sat on the shed nearby.

2 more at 15 minutes out, who trapped immediately, then another 2 at 20 minutes out.
So half of them in 20 minutes.

At 25 minutes out, the first 7 have trapped. And oooh, large hawk just flew over... I guess the others are waiting til he disappears.

Now it's 2:53, 33 minutes since release, bird #8 just showed up, and is sitting in the pine tree.

Right at 3pm, 4 more birds showed up. 2 trapped immediately, 2 landed on the garage roof, then flew to the loft roof and trapped. Not as much sitting around this time, they all seem in a lot more of a hurry to trap than on past flights.

A single bird showed up at 3:10, and then the hawk made another pass by.
This bird is MUCH larger than the Cooper's hawk who got one of my birds earlier.
I'll try to take a picture, but do not think I have the zoom necessary to identify it.

Still waiting on one bird to show up unless one snuck by me. I'll check the loft and count feet and divide by 2 shortly.

EDIT: Last bird showed up about an hour late.

We definitely need more practice at this distance! But tomorrow is loft flying.

May 25, 2010

Today we basketed the birds, and went to the other side of the southern neighbor's property. About 1/4 a mile, released all 14.

All made it back safely, although there are still a few who don't trap as fast as the others.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May 24, 2010

Today Char helped me basket the birds for the first time. She accidentally caught a couple that were not supposed to fly, so we hand released them just in front of the loft.

All 14 circled the loft a few times, and then came in one by one.
The last few came in when they heard me feeding.

Tomorrow we fly from the neighbor's yard, about a half mile away.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

May 23, 2010 - First time away

Today I took all 14 of my young birds, put them in the basket, and we headed up the driveway. We went about 1/4 mile, to where you couldn't see the house or the loft, and hand released from there.

Birds flew up nicely, and circled a few times, while I got in the truck. By the time I got here, the first 3 were circling the loft.

I started getting a little worried, because the others took a while longer, but all but one made it to the house in 30 minutes. I'm not panicking, because maybe the missing one took a wrong turn. I'm sure it will be here shortly...

Tomorrow will be loft flying, I'll put them on the landing board, and open the door.

edit: all 14 made it in safely YAY!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

May 22, 2010

Today I flew 10, from the far side of my house (first time they haven't been able to see the loft when released).

5 were in within 30 minutes, 2 more as soon as I blew the whistle after feeding a bit early, and the other 3 are sitting in a tree watching.

But they all figured out where the loft was, so I'm happy!

Edit: less than an hour since release and one of the 'hold outs' has made it safely. The other 2 are still circling.

Edit: all birds made it in safely!

Friday, May 21, 2010

May 21, 2010

Heavy rain today, so no one flew.

Swapped the nest bowls for deeper dog food bowls, to see if it makes a difference.

Oh, last night at shipping night for the NARPC, I was given a beautiful baby pigeon to train.
My first true 'racing' pigeon, and she just flew in from Hawaii, via Delta :)

May 20, 2010

Let 6 fly for the first time. WOW! Those birds really fly high and fast!!!

I waited til the first few had stopped to rest, then went ahead and fed. 3 came in fast, 2 more a bit later, with one waiting til the next afternoon to come to the loft, in the middle of heavy rains.

But they are definitely making progress!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 19, 2010

Picked up 4 beautiful pure black pigeons today, as well as a pair of white fantails from Debbe Peacock.

Didn't get to fly anyone, because I wasn't home in time for them all to be safely in by dark.

Blacks are set up in separate pens, and I'll add nest bowls tomorrow.

They are beautiful birds, way beyond what I expected!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 18, 2010

Well, the weekend had iffy weather, so no flying.
Rain, thunder, and winds all weekend.

Today, Tuesday, was nice, so I had 9 birds jump from 4 feet into the loft.
The other 4 got to fly! ~^~

All flew around, ended up on hubby's shed, and were back in the loft within 2 hours.
Fastest they've all made it in so far!

Friday, May 14, 2010

May 14, 2010

Let 4 birds loft fly today.
I let them out at 4, and by 6:30 all were back in tonight, that's a first!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

May 13, 2010

Didn't toss today, just put birds on the landing board, shut the trap, and put out food.

Blew the whistle, and they came rushing thru the trap to eat.

Went to shipping night for the North Atlanta Racing Club, watched how the birds are checked in.
I'd love to race, if I can get the money for a timer...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 12, 2010 - Training

Once again, tossing from just outside the loft, but this time about 3 to 4 feet away.
Blew the whistle before tossing the first one.

Tossing lightly onto the landing board, and the birds run thru the trap to go eat.

No problems.
Hoping to step back a bit further tomorrow

May 11, 2010 - training

Sticking with tosses into the open loft, from about 2 feet away.
All 14 went in well today.

Monday, May 10, 2010

May 10, 2010

yay! 1397 returned today, and made it back into the loft.

definitely seems the biggest problem the birds are having is simply hitting the landing board to go thru the trap!!

Rainy and windy this afternoon, will work on the board practice again tomorrow

Sunday, May 9, 2010

May 9, 2010 - Loft Flying

Today we tried tossing the birds from 4' away, onto the landing board.
13 of the 14 did great, but 2010 UA Queen 1397 took a detour.

She has hung close, but hasn't come back in yet. Still watching and waiting.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

May 8, 2010 - training

Since the hardest part of this week's first loft flight was the landings, I had planned to start practice tossing, to show the birds where the landing board is.

Today stayed pretty breezy all day, so that has been put off for now.

MAY 5, 2010

The one missing bird is sitting in my old dead pine tree right now.
I was dozing on the couch, after spending the day at Special Olympics with my class, and also watching my daughter compete.
Daughter and I both have pneumonia now, but she didn't let it hold her back.
But I saw a white flash by the window, jumped up, as the missing dove made a second pass by the house.
I fed, and have whistled, now just waiting for her to figure out how to come back into the loft for a meal.
Hopefully she'll figure it out before Mr Hawk comes back around.
2010 AU Queen 1396 has made it home! This was the Necaise family bred bird out of the ones I got from Rod.
Yes, I know now they weren't QUITE hungry enough, but the weather was perfect and I got excited.
I definitely know better next time.
She spent the last hour going back and forth, from shed top to shed top.
We have the loft, hubby's shop, a red shed (holds air compressor), a grey shed (holds holiday and camping stuff), a white shed (holds horse and goat feed)
She went back and forth multiple times between these, looking in the window at the other birds, who were behind the trap.
Finally she flew over, landed on the ladder that I keep moving elsewhere, and someone keeps moving back in front of the loft.
She sat on the top of the ladder, about 5 feet from the landing board, until she finally just hopped across, where a bit of feed was waiting, in case the birds waiting inside had finished their meal.
I do have a question. If the birds are not eating the peas, does this mean I am feeding too much? I thought maybe they were too big for them, but maybe they just like the other stuff better and I do need to cut the feed back again.

May 3, 2010

So, I get home today, feeling better than I have in a week. The weather is gorgeous, skies are blue, no winds.
Figure, what the hey, I've been waiting for a day like this for my first loft release.
So I get my courage up, and open the front aviary door. The birds crowd the front of the aviary, but no one is brave enough to take the first step.
Finally, one pair of birds fly from the aviary to the ladder, and back to the top of the aviary. I'm wondering if others will follow, when the two take off!
And this is no short little wing stretch! The two fly around the house a few times, flying low over my roof, where I sit on the porch with daughter and husband watching.
Then they split, one heads west, one north towards a huge oak tree.
North bird flies at full speed straight for the tree, not slowing at all, then trying out those air brakes a bit too late. He flies THRU the tree branches, coming out the other side, and then around for another go. This happens several times, until he finally grabs a branch hard enough to make a stop.
West bird, circles, then disappears. I blow the whistle, nothing!
At this point, I'm getting worried! I head over to close the aviary and get the others behind the trap, but a second pair makes a break.
These do the same as the first pair, circling wide, then disappearing in separate directions. I'm getting frustrated!
I close the door, lock down the bob, and then put down food, whistling repeatedly to let all know dinner is served. One the others are thru the bob, I open the aviary door, and wait.
Several hours later, I'm still waiting. I do find one hawk enjoying a fine white meat dinner (see pic) and then find that one bird has somehow snuck back into the loft.
I whistle, whistle, whistle, one bird shows up out of nowhere, and takes turns sitting on the roof of hubby's shed, the roof of MY house, and the roof of the loft.
He occasionally tries to get to the landing board, but ends up on various parts of the aviary, confused.
We're still waiting for him to figure his way to the landing board, where I have food sprinkled.
One is still missing in action tonight. Will go do a final loft count in a bit.
So, what did I do wrong?
I know I should have had them a bit hungrier to fly, but the weather was so unexpectedly great, I felt I had better take advantage of it.
Anything else?
What type of hawk is my neighbor today?

April 24, 2010

Well, my little guys and gals did great today!
We had a break in the heavy rain, so I ran out, to put the birds into the aviary.
Once all were in the aviary, I flipped the bob down, and put their food in the feeder tray.
I blew the whistle, and after about 30 seconds, the first bird made it thru the trap.
After that, they all followed, one after another.
Within another minute, all 16 were down and eating!
I'm really excited, and trying to contain my impatience. I know I need to continue trapping them all week, before their first time outside, but
it's hard!
Oh, I also got my website a little more in order. Fixed broken links, added more information, etc.
Just need to take more pics of the birds and the loft now that the aviary is on, and the outside is painted.
All is going smoothly!

April 23, 2010

My young birds came to their new loft last Saturday. For the last 2 days they have been very alert, and jumped to the feeder as soon as I blew the whistle.
One or two would hit it as soon as I dumped in food, but the rest seemed to wait.
Today I put them in the carry cage, scraped perches and the solid half of the floor, then put the carry cage on the landing board and poured their food.
I then blew the whistle, and watched as they tried to figure out the bobs.
I half pushed one from the top hole of the cage, and after that one went thru, the other 15 QUICKLY followed!
We'll do this for the next couple weeks, then see if I'm confident enough to let them loft fly...
Feathers Aloft http://feathersaloft.com
North Georgia

April 17, 2010 Birds are Here

Today was the big day!
I drove to Columbus GA to meet Dr Rod Smith to pick up my first birds.
Came home with 16 unflown young birds, most right at 5 weeks old.
Also 8 breeders and 4 little white ringnecks.
Came home, put the birds in their respective lofts, and watched the fun!
The older birds quickly started bickering over who was claiming what spot, while the younger ones fluttered around, sitting on the sill leading to their aviary and hopping on and off of the perches.
I went and checked on them right after the sun went down, and everyone appeared content.
I'm sure there will be plenty of squabbles, as everyone figures out which perch is whose, and which nest box.
The ringnecks are sitting in their cage right next to me, occasionally making soft contented noises.

April 2, 2010

OK, got yet another question for ya'll...
Loft construction is well underway, but hubby and I are having a disagreement and need some advice.
We are in Georgia, where the summer heat stays in the 90 degree range for months. In the winter, we get down to the teens, occasionally single digits.
Loft faces west, since south was not really an option with our setup.
The floor is done half in wood, half in expanded metal, as well as vents along the eaves, and then the large screened aviary windows.
My loft design had a large screened aviary across much of the front, 2 actually, one for each side.
Hubby thinks the top 2/3 of the aviaries should be metal roofing, to block the sun.
Hubby is afraid that if the entire thing is screened, or even uses greenhouse panels, that the birds inside will get too hot.
I'm thinking that the metal roof will still conduce heat, as well as cutting down on the airflow. I would prefer the greenhouse panels, since they would keep the rain from falling on the aviary, but still let the light in.
Oh, and yes, that old dead pine tree will be coming down. As much as the guineas appreciate it, I don't want a hawk or owl to find it a convenient perch to wait for a meal.
Pictures found here
Please note that the rest of the site is still very much under construction, and isn't yet ready for viewing...
Suggestions? Comments? I'd like to give hubby a yay or nay tomorrow if possible, so he can get the one aviary finished once he finishes the roofing tomorrow.
I get my birds in 2 weeks...

March 21, 2010

Thank you to everyone for the positive feedback! And a big thank you to Cathy for the offer of the pics, while I wait to get my own.
We are now up to 3 framed in walls, and hope to get all outside walls on today, if the rain holds off.
Then the interior walls, and I can start adding nest boxes and perches to the sections.
Maybe paint by the weekend...
My pretty green metal roof will arrive on Wed or Thu, and I'll have a page up with pics soon.
Hubby is actually enjoying this, especially since he decided he needed a miter saw for the aviary. So long as he gets a tool now and then, he's more than willing!
OK, loft is 16' long. Studs are 2' apart, and I'm debating....
I'm starting with 16 yb, and 4 breeding pair.
Should I have a 4x4 section for the breeders, a 4x6 section for the yb, and then a 4x6 section for storage, sink, and an isolation cage?
Or 2 sections 4x6, with the storage section 4x4 ?
Decisions, decisions... and a week ago I thought I'd have a 4x8, with no storage or sink...
absolutely thrilled!

March 20, 2010

(this post copied and pasted, as I try to keep history on my birds)

Well, after a year of research and mostly lurking on these lists, I've finally got a start!
Yesterday hubby built my loft floor.
Instead of the 4' x 8' starter loft I had originally planned, I now have a 4' x 16' loft going up.
2 sections, each 4' x 6', plus a 4' x 4' center room, for some storage, with a sink.
I will have some electricity, at least a few ceiling fixtures and an outlet or two.
Will have a 6' high lattice ceiling, to keep birds from getting to the fixtures, and keep them all reachable.
I will be picking up birds the 3rd weekend in April from Mississippi. Once again, thanks to all of you!
Last night I went to a local racing club, where I joined both that and the AU.
I was kind of surprised that there are no other females in the club. A bit disappointed in that, but maybe they were hiding...
I know some of the old guys at the club last night were surprised that I had done research, and had picked up on what they thought were secrets.
Had one ask what type of floor I was putting in. I was able to tell him that the back half is solid, the front is expanded metal (yes, I have been paying attention on these lists)
He was shocked, and very impressed.
I did see one white racer in the trailer that they were loading last night for a training toss today. Hmm, wonder if I should try at least racing with the club....
Then I bought my domain, and made a SMALL start on a site. I have plenty of time, since it will be a while before I am able to do releases, but I do have this cool new email address Smile emoticon
Oh, I will be putting pics of the loft as it is built. Once the sun finishes rising, I'll head out and take pics of the floor.
Anyhow, I am so excited, and just wanted to share.
Feathers Aloft
NW Georgia