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
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