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News, little truths and wisdom regarding Pest Bird & Animal Wildlife Control, Falconry, and Birds of Prey....


It may seem quite inconceivable that a small bird could bring down an airplane. Sadly, it continues to happen to both commercial and military aircraft.

The danger is real and the danger is ever present, especially for smaller aircraft. A bird (sometimes even more than one) flying or being sucked into an aircraft engine often causes catastrophic engine failure and subsequent loss of human life. Such was the cause leading up to last year last year's fatal crash of a Canadian military Snowbird demonstration jet in Kamloops, B.C. 

The Royal Canadian Air Force's Directorate of Flight Safety released its final report today on the accident, which took place on May 17 of last year and killed Capt. Jenn Casey, the public affairs officer for the aerobatics team. The investigation found that a single, small bird was sucked into the engine of the aircraft — Snowbird 11 — following take-off. That resulted in a compressor stall and a loss of thrust as the aircraft was trying to climb.

"Evidence suggests that the damage caused by the bird ingestion was insufficient for it to cause a catastrophic failure but rather the engine most likely continued running, albeit in a stalled condition," the flight safety report concluded.

Most accidents occur when a bird (or birds) collides with the windscreen or is sucked into the engine of jet aircraft. These cause annual damages that have been estimated at $400 million within the United States alone and up to $1.2 billion to commercial aircraft worldwide. In addition to property damage, collisions between man-made structures and conveyances and birds is a contributing factor, among many others, to the worldwide decline of many avian species.

Jet engine ingestion is extremely serious due to the rotation speed of the engine fan and engine design. As the bird strikes a fan blade, that blade can be displaced into another blade and so forth, causing a cascading failure. Jet engines are particularly vulnerable during the takeoff phase when the engine is turning at a very high speed and the plane is at a low altitude where birds are more commonly found.

The force of the impact on an aircraft depends on the weight of the bird and the speed difference and direction at the point of impact. High-speed impacts, as with jet aircraft, can cause catastrophic failure. 

The Canada goose has been ranked as the third most hazardous wildlife species to aircraft, with approximately 240 goose-aircraft collisions in the United States each year. 80% of all bird strikes go unreported.

Hawkeye Bird Control Inc. has extensive expertise in resolving bird and wildlife control problems at airports.

Hawkeye's Dan Frankian is recognized as a leader in Wildlife Hazard Assessment for Airports in North America. He has presented at every Birdstrike conference in the last 10 years and has spoken at the U.N.

Please contact us to learn more about bird strike solutions and/or to schedule a Wildlife Hazard Assessment

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  1. How many species of owls are there?

    In Canada, we see around 15 different species of owls. Those include Great Horned Owls, Great Gray Owls, Short Eared and Long Eared Owls, Barn Owls, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Eastern and Western Screech Owls, Burrowing Owls, Snowy Owls, Northern Pygmy Owls, Flammulated Owls, Barred owls, and Boreal Owls.

    This may seem a lot… but there are over 200 owl species worldwide. Owls can be found on every continent except Antarctica.

  2. Where do owls live?

    Owls can be found in many habitats; from mountainous regions to forests and deserts. The snowy owl is at home in colder climates. Owls are hard to spot; not only are they mostly nocturnal but, they also blend in fabulously with their surroundings. Owls will stalk and hunt their prey from high up in trees, but that’s not necessarily where they live. They often make their home in lower shelter, such as bushes, shrubs and tree trunks. The burrowing owl even takes shelter in underground dwellings dug by other animals.

  3. Do owls migrate?

    Some owls do migrate but many of the species found in Canada stay here year round. The ones that do migrate, will generally only go as far as the northern United States. Great Horned Owls have been observed to migrate east, rather than south. When food becomes scarce in the prairies, they head up to 1500km east or south-east.

  4. How long do owls live?

    In the wild, most owls get to be around 10 years old. In captivity, they can live almost twice as long. Mind you, life expectancy very much varies according to owl size and species. A small barn owl may only live to be 4 years old while a larger bird like the snowy owl can easily live to 10 and over.

  5. How do you tell a female owl from a male?

    Size is often a first indicator: Like many bird species, a female owl will generally grow larger than a male. Certain species have distinct markings as well… for example, female barn owls will have a brown throat where males have a white throat. But, without seeing a male and a female of the same species sitting side by side, it would be next to impossible to tell for the average owl watcher.

  6. What do owls eat?

    Generally speaking, owls mostly eat small mammals, but also frogs, snakes, insects, and even fish. It very much depends on the size of the owl and the prey available in the area.

  7. How do owls hunt?

    Extremely efficiently! They have VERY good hearing and eye sight AND their flight is pretty much silent, allowing them to attack without warning. Their sharp talons are able to crush prey and their beaks do the rest. Barn owls’ hearing is so acute that they can even detect prey covered by leaves or other debris.

  8. Do owls have great eye sight?

    Oh yes, owls have excellent eye sight. At least, at a distance. Owls are far sighted – that means, they can see objects much better or clearer from far away than up close. Owls have also excellent binocular vision – meaning that both eyes can focus on one object at the same time. This produces a great improvement in depth perception.

  9. How do owls see in the dark?

    Owl eyes have large lenses close to the back part of eye (the retina). These large lenses let in more light to reach the retina compared with other animals or humans, helping them to see better at night. The eyes take up about half the volume of an owl skull and they can also rotate their head up to 270° allowing them to see their prey at different distances even in the dark.

  10. Do owls have great hearing?

    Because Owls are generally nocturnal, their hearing is highly developed and sensitive. The ears are located at the sides of the head, behind the eyes, and are covered by the feathers of the facial disc. The asymmetrical ear openings permit sounds to be perceived in only a fraction of a second—allowing them to hear mice under the snow in winter. A very pronounced facial disc will function like a "radar dish", guiding sounds into the ear openings. What we often think of as ears (those tufts of feathers) are actually just decorative feathers.

  11. What type of predators do owls face?

    Depending on the owl's habitat, size and species, foxes, snakes, squirrels, wildcats and eaglescan all pose a threat, especially for young or injured birds. But, their natural camouflage helps hide them and sharp talons can be used in a confrontation.

  12. What are the mating habits of owls?

    While most owls (just like most other bird species) start their mating rituals in the spring time, Great Horned Owls begin the process in October and November. This is a time where they are most vocal. The courting ritual usually includes a male owl calling a female to a suitable (in his opinion – she will be the judge of that!) nesting site and may include special courtship flying maneuvers and/or offerings of food. Mating owls spend a great deal of time together. They may rub their bills across each other’s heads and facial discs. This is called preening.Many owl species are monogamous, many mating for life.

  13. When do baby owls learn how to fly?

    Owlets will start their flight training at about 9 weeks old. Roughly 6 weeks after hatching, they will start to wander around on foot and after another 3 weeks or so, they will take flight. Their parents may still continue to feed and care for them for several more months. Some owl species look after their young longer than others. Barn owls, for example, will have left their parents’ home range completely by 14 weeks.

  14. How long does it take for owlets to grow up?

    By 40 days old, many owlets are able to leave the nest. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they up and move away, though. They may still stick around to lean on their parents for a couple more months. By the fall, they will be ready to find their own home and mate.

  15. What differentiates owls from other birds of prey?

    Owls are almost entirely nocturnal. Other birds of prey are not. As a result, an owls eyes are different than ANY other bird species.. both in design and function. Their flight is near silent; again, unlike other birds.

  16. Are you allowed to keep an owl in Ontario?

    You may not own, buy, or trade an owl in Ontario UNLESS you have permits (such as a falconer’s license) and a vast amount of experience with owls. Please also understand that owls are not pets. Birds of prey do NOT make pets.

  17. What to do when you find an injured owl?

    If you find an injured Owl, minimizing stress must be the first priority. Birds are often killed by shock rather than their injuries. If the owl allows you to pick it up, it is almost certainly seriously injured and/or traumatized. Please don’t cause more stress by examining the bird yourself. If you can, cover or gently wrap the owl in a light blanket and place it in a darkened box until you can get it to a vet or a rescue/rehabilitation center such as Hawkeye. Do NOT try and feed the bird. If you have an injured owl please call us at 416.429.5393

raccoon indoorsDid you know that Toronto has been dubbed the ‘Raccoon Capitol of the World’? Estimates put Toronto’s raccoon population well over 100,000. Originally from the tropics, raccoons have slowly migrated north and can now be found all over North America - as far north as Alaska, as well as in Europe and even Japan. In fact, Japan is bemoaning many ancient temples being destroyed by raccoons. Raccoons are highly adaptive, both in terms of habitat and food. Scientists have studied raccoons for decades and still aren’t close to fully understanding raccoon behavior. Raccoons are intelligent and highly skilled when it comes to raiding your garbage or gaining entry into your home. Learn how to prevent raccoons from accessing your home or failing that, remove them.

Greater Toronto Area residents may come nose to nose with a raccoon or five more so now, during the fall months, than most other times of year. And while you may be sympathetic to the animals seeking shelter for the upcoming winter months, you definitely do not want that shelter be in your home, shed, or under your deck or roof.


Why is there more raccoon activity in the fall?

The inevitable drop in temperature occurring anywhere from September to late November, is the signal for raccoons to make provisions for surviving the harsh Canadian winter. A warm, dry, and quiet space is most desirable… and your basement or attic, shed or garage may be a perfect fit. You will want to put a stop to that before one or more raccoons can settle in and hunker down. While raccoons do not hibernate, per say, they do enter a state called torpor – basically a very light version of hibernation. While in a state of torpor, raccoons will mostly sleep; their body functions will slow to bare minimum to conserve energy and body weight. Torpor may be interrupted by a couple of days of warmer temperatures, where raccoons may venture out at night for a snack.


How can you discourage raccoons from moving in for the winter?

Raccoon prevention is always better, easier, faster, and cheaper than raccoon removal. First off, take a walk around the outside of your home, your shed, garage, or any other outbuildings. Check for holes, tears, missing shingles, have a look at your foundation… anything that could be or become an access point. Don’t forget to trim tree branches that lead straight to your roof. Securely store away household garbage and eliminate any other food or water source, as much as possible. Also check your chimney – consider adding a chimney cap. In Toronto, call the Raccoon Control experts at Hawkeye to assess any vulnerability and do the repairs needed to keep your home raccoon free this winter.


A raccoon got into your home or attic – now what?

Now is definitely the time to call the professionals. All of Hawkeye’s Animal Control technicians are licensed trappers. There are a variety of raccoon traps available and we will discuss the options with you. We’ll want to make sure the raccoon(s) can be removed from your home humanely and without coming to harm. Once the animal is removed, we will clean and disinfect the area and close up any entry points.

Please don’t attempt to do this part yourself. Raccoon feces are toxic and should only be handled by professionals.


What if it’s the end of winter and you discover raccoons in your home or attic?

Ah, now things may be more complicated. You may now have a mother with kits living with you. A female raccoon will give birth to her offspring as early as March and she will do what she must to protect her young. Her offspring may stay with her throughout the year. You absolutely do not want to try and remove her and/or the kits by yourself. Mama raccoon will almost certainly be extremely aggressive and under no circumstance do you want to separate her from her kits. Please call a wildlife specialist such as Hawkeye if you need to remove a raccoon family.


Should you wait until the raccoons leave on their own?

No, you should not. Raccoon excrement (feces and urin) is highly corrosive and will almost definitely damage any structure. The odor, of course, is not desirable, either. Additionally, raccoons are the #1 carrier of rabies and a number of parasites such as roundworm.


In conclusion: Fall is the time of year where securing your home, business, or outbuildings is of utmost importance. Preventing raccoons from gaining access will save you much money and stress. Call Hawkeye Bird and Animal Control today for an assessment and/or for your raccoon conrol and removal needs in the Greater Toronto Area.


Hire Hawkeye to Rid Your Property of Raccoons

Hawkeye Bird and Animal Control services residential, commercial, and industrial properties in the Greater Toronto Area, Golden Horseshoe, and many parts of Florida. Unlike other wildlife control services in the GTA, Hawkeye holds the following licenses: Trapping of Fur Bearing Animals Permit, Falconry Permit, and Pest Control LicenseThis allows us to employ control methods in addition to the relocation of captured raccoons.

We are also the only pest bird and animal/wildlife control company in the country designated "Certified Wildlife Control Professional" and we are permitted to euthanize pest animals in accordance with the Canadian Veterinary Association’s standards.

Our services include animal and bird controlfalconry experiencebalcony cleaning and netting, cleaning and exclusion. We guarantee results and offer permanent solutions that exceed our competitors.

Hawkeye specializes in providing humane and natural, environmentally friendly services, solutions, products and systems for pest animals and wildlife who are in conflict with humans or property. Control methods include, animal removal, repellents, barriers as well as human protection from damage, disease & health hazards.

Now with 7 Locations ( 6 In Canada and 1 in the U.S), we are ready to serve you better in Acton,  Toronto, Oshawa,  Bowmanville,  two locations in Mississauga and West Palm Beach in Florida.

Contact us today or Email us at [email protected] if you need help with pest wildlife/animal control and/or pest animal removal. 

Pest wildlife animals like BatsBears (Black, Brown), BeaversBobcatsCats - Domestic (Feline), ChipmunksCoyotesDeerElkFox,  GroundhogMartenMinkMooseMuskratPorcupinePossum/Opossum, RabbitsRaccoonsSkunksSquirrels (Black, Grey, Red) and  Lynx

Related Articles: Raccoon Control and Removal in Mississauga »


pigeon control in toronto"Feeding pigeons" may invoke visions of Julie Andrews and 'Tuppence a bag' but in the City of Toronto that may well become a thing of the past. In July 2021 a motion was passed to consider a ban of feeding pigeons in the City of Toronto. The reasons given included piegons gathering in large flocks interfering with the enjoyment of public as well as private spaces, significant property damage, attraction of rats and health risks to humans

Toronto Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam brought forth the motion which is set to explore the feasibility of implementing such a ban with a report back expected next March. 

To put things into perspective, the City of Toronto spends a small fortune each year on pigeon control and associated clean-up. Property Management Compnaies spend millions more. Pigeon droppings are more than just unsightly; they do pose health risks and due to their acidic nature they do cause a fair bit of damage to structures such as buildings (especially, historic ones), monuments, and perhaps most importantly bridges and overpasses. Steel structures in particular fall vicitm to corosion from bird droppings.

Toronto has a well fed and well bred pigeon population. For many years, pigeons were a protected species and their population allowed to grow - out of control, by many accounts. There are no specific City by-laws that restrict or prevent individuals from feeding wildlife outside of a City park. As a result, public spaces such as sidewalks, plazas, boulevards, squares, and laneways are overwhelmingly inundated with pigeons who continue to be attracted to these spaces. 

So, what can you do to deter pigeons? 

First off, as a concerned citizen you really should NOT feed pigeons. In Toronto, or elsewhere. Ban or no ban.

Secondly, as a home or business owner you will probably want to consult with a Pigeon Control and Removal expert, such as Hawkeye.

There is rarely a one time or one-fits-all solution and a multi pronged approach in terms of pigeon control methods is most effective. We use proprietary pigeon traps that work extremely well. We often pair trapping with Falconry - the practice of flying birds of prey in areas heavily infested with pigeons. In contrast to 'fake' bird of prey (see below), real hawks or falcons pose actual danger to pigoens, and they know it. Taking advantage of the natural relationship between bird of prey and prey, we are able to achieve consitent pigeon control without lethal measures.

For high rise buildings, corporate signage, etc., a physical barrier may be in order - we do that, as well. From balcony netting (and cleaning/disinfecting) to installing a range of pigeon deterrants and ledge protection systems. All of these methods are designed to work in the long term by making an area unattractive, unsuitable, or unsafe for pigeon roosting and nesting.


Do 'fake owls' keep pigeons away?

No, they do not. At least, not over any length of time. Pigeons will learn very quickly that there is no real danger and ignore the owl (or other prop).


Do sound devices keep pigeons away?

Again, not over a polonged period of time, no. Pigeons will get used to the sound emitted, learn that there is no danger, and happily resume congregation.


Contact Hawkeye Bird & Animal Control and let us help you get rid of pigeons at your home or business.

Now with 7 Locations ( 6 In Canada and 1 in the U.S), we are ready to serve you better in Acton, Toronto, Oshawa, Bowmanville, two locations in Mississauga and West Palm Beach in Florida.
Contact us today or Email us at [email protected] if you need help with pest bird control and/or pest bird removal.

Pest Birds like CormorantsCrowsDucksDovesGeeseGrackelsSeagullsPigeonsRobinsSparrows and Starlings.

Bird Control Services in West Palm Beach, Florida »  | Please contact us for services in other Canadian Provinces and the U.S.


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