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


geese formationCanada Geese are one of the many migratory birds found in Canada who migrate to a more southern climate during the winter months. Most geese winter in southern U.S. and Mexico, but due to the noticeable changes in our climate, many geese are still wintering in the southern most regions of central and western Canada, where winters are not lasting nearly as long as they have in the past. Many geese are still migrating, but are just not travelling as far south as previously recorded.

Almost everyone in Canada has seen geese flying in a V shape formation, but many people are still unsure of the direct benefit of this formation to the geese. Geese fly in a V formation for one main reason, energy conservation.  

Migrating can be a long and tiresome journey, and being an egotistical goose in this situation, can lead to mortality through starvation or over exertion of energy. Thankfully through evolution, geese and other migratory birds have developed behavioural traits that allow them to work as a team versus as an individual, providing a mutually beneficial outcome for the entire flock.

Each goose shares the responsibility of leading the flock. This position is the most difficult to hold due to the fact that the leading goose is subject to the largest amount of wind resistance, and consequently the largest energy expenditure. Each goose behind the lead flies slightly higher than the goose in front of them. This reduces the amount of wind resistance each successive goose is experiencing, in turn reducing the energy output required to migrate. All members of the flock are willing to take turns in this position, only to spend an equal amount of time flying in a low energy cost situation. Migratory birds are truly the epitome of teamwork, and would experience a large population decrease every year during migration if it wasn’t for this wonderful evolutionary adaptation.

falconers association(Photo provided by the North American Falconers Association)

LUBBOCK, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) - The following is a news release from the North American Falconers Association:

Birds of prey have captivated human hearts for untold centuries. If you are one of those captivated, the North American Falconer's Association (NAFA) invites you to join us to see these amazing creatures up close. NAFA will present a virtual cornucopia of visual delights at their annual field meet in Lubbock, Texas from December 2 - 7. Throughout the week, the lawn of the meet headquarters at the MCM Eleganté Hotel & Suites will be covered with a host of hawks and falcons, along with falconers from all over the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and other areas of the world. That is, when they're not out and about the Lubbock area hunting with their birds.

Falconry, the sport of taking wild game in partnership with a wild bird of prey, is a time-honored, traditional hunting method that dates back to the very beginning of recorded human history. Today, falconry is practiced by an estimated 5,000 men and women throughout the United States. The field meet is their once-a-year get-together.

The annual field meet is not a competition. Nor is it a falconry exhibition. It is largely a social gathering where falconers can meet other falconers from the far corners of the country.

(and the world) to exchange information, share experiences, purchase falconry equipment and hawking "furniture" from the wide variety of falconry craftspeople, and discuss training methods and falconry standards. Along with the basic camaraderie between falconers, the annual meet provides a venue for the annual NAFA business meeting where issues pertaining to falconry are discussed and decided.

Interested observers are encouraged to visit the weathering yard during the meet to see hundreds of raptors of all varieties. You will see everything from the smallest North American falcon, the American kestrel (commonly known as the Sparrow Hawk) to a golden eagle. Redtail hawks, peregrine falcons, gyrfalcons, Harris' hawks and goshawks will be there in abundance along with a couple of exotic species from other parts of the world.

You are welcome to take all the pictures you want from outside the weathering yard enclosure. And with the falconer's permission, you can also take an up-close-and-personal shot outside the weathering yard enclosure. Visitors are also encouraged to ask questions, and perhaps even arrange to accompany a falconer on a real-time hunt to see what falconry is really all about. Falconers are almost always willing to talk your ears off about their birds, but like in the general population, some are shy and quiet. If one falconer isn't very talkative, go ask another. As a group, falconers rarely bite!

Bottom line, come out and enjoy these majestic and stunningly beautiful birds with us. The weathering yard is located on the grounds of the MCM Eleganté Hotel and Suites and the public is welcome to come and learn about the sport of falconry.




  • Hunting wild game in partnership with a bird of prey.
  • A time-honored, traditional hunting method that dates back to the very beginning of recorded human history.
  • The most highly regulated hunting activity in America, requiring both State and Federal falconry permits (in addition to local hunting licenses), along with a two-year apprenticeship period under the supervision and guidance of an experienced falconer.
  • The primary force behind restoring the peregrine falcon from the brink of extinction. Falconers were the first to notice the decline in peregrine populations, and many falconers donated their own birds for the successful captive breeding and restoration programs that allowed the peregrine falcon's removal from the Endangered Species.
  • Practiced by both men and women.
  • A non-consumptive form of hunting and resource utilization. Falconry has no impact on populations of wild birds of prey, nor does it impact game populations. Falconry birds continue to do what they did in the wild, only with the addition of a human partner. Additionally, most birds taken from the wild are returned to the wild to join the breeding population.
  • Based upon centuries-old tradition while also including cutting-edge technologies such as radio telemetry.
  • Based upon sound resource management and conservation.
  • An intimate form of bird watching. Through a mutual bond of trust and respect, falconers are allowed to observe, and participate in, a dynamic aspect of Nature's circle of life.



  • A competition.
  • About keeping birds of prey in captivity for the purpose of exhibition. Falconry birds are released nearly every day and can choose whether or not to return to their falconer. The bird can fly-the falconer cannot.
  • About starving a bird of prey into submission. Quite the contrary. A falconry bird is a fit, healthy athlete capable of performing at the utmost peak of its physical abilities and endurance.
  • About keeping an exotic pet.
  • A weekend-only, when-you-get-around-to-it activity. Falconry requires a daily commitment to the bird's health and wellbeing that includes regular hunting.



Although its origin is uncertain, falconry is an ancient activity, with earliest available records dating back to at least 722 B.C. in what is now modern-day Iraq. Records of trained goshawks introduced to Japan from China date back to 244 A.D. European records emerged in 400 A.D., indicating that falconry was limited primarily to royalty and the upper classes. Falconry most likely traveled to the New World with the Spanish exploration of Mexico in the early 16th Century. However, the first reports from Hernando Cortez' expedition into Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) cited the availability of raptors for sale in the markets of Montezuma's Aztec empire.

The first falconry club was formed in North America during the 1930s, but disbanded during World War II. Individuals continued to practice falconry through the Post-War period and the North American Falconers' Association (NAFA) emerged in the 1960s. From there, state organizations formed, including the Texas Hawking Association (THA) in 1970. Today, THA boasts 200 plus active members who are deeply interested in raptor conservation promoting falconry through community outreach programs.



Falconers played a huge role in the formation of the Endangered Species Act and the restoration of the peregrine falcon that resulted in the delisting of the peregrine falcon from Endangered classification. It was falconers who noticed the rapid decline in peregrine falcon populations during the mid-1960s. Falconers pushed for the creation of the Endangered Species Act that protected the peregrine falcon (and other species like Bald Eagles) so that steps could be taken to rescue the peregrine falcon from the brink of extinction. Falconers developed captive-breeding programs. Many falconers donated their own birds to the restoration of the species through captive breeding.

(News release from the North American Falconers Association)  

alternative pigeon control

Anyone living in a major city knows that pigeons can be quite the pests. The amount of excrement that they produce is almost insurmountable at a whopping two tons per year for a flock of only a hundred birds. Think about the amount of pigeons we see in a city like Toronto, Ontario. That amount of pigeons and the fecal matter they produce could cause serious problems for commercial infrastructure and properties through increased maintenance, but can also be a real health risk as well.

The main form of disease transmission from pigeon to human is through their droppings. Most people think, “Okay, well then I just won’t touch the droppings…” But the problem with this is that as the excrement dries, a powder is released into the air which can then be inhaled by humans unknowingly. The pathogens contained in these excrements can cause disease or unwanted symptoms in humans. This is one of the reasons why a high population of pigeons in such a tight nit area can be such an unwelcomed presence.

In attempt to solve pigeon control problems, techniques such as relocation and bird spikes have been used. Relocation involves capturing all pigeons in traps with the use of a one way door and some bait, and then releasing them elsewhere. This process unfortunately is futile as pigeons can find their way back to their original location with ease. Bird spikes are exactly what they sound like, spikes to prevent birds from landing in certain areas. These can be dangerous if installed incorrectly, and can also be flat out ineffective as pigeons are quite smart, and will just chose to move to a neighbouring area. With the repeated failure of these techniques, a company in California came up with an interesting alternative; “birth control” for birds.

“The Pigeon Control Company” in California calls this “A better approach to pigeon control” with their product OvoControl: “birth control” for birds. This may not be the best solution for every pigeon situation, but this company was looking to create an alternative long-term solution that did not involve euthanasia. The product is fed to the pigeons in a pellet like form throughout their reproductive season. The pigeons will still attempt to breed as usual, but their eggs will not be able to develop. On average, one breeding pair of pigeons can produce 40 babies annually. But with this method, population increase can be decreased by 90-95%. This product is said to be safe for the consumption of birds and its only function is to stop the eggs from fertilizing; the effects of this birth control wears off after a few days. This may not be the best option for you, but it may be a suitable option for some people.

To find out more about pigeon control and methods that can be used, check out our pigeon control section. We offer many alternatives including euthanasia, and would be happy to assist you with any of your pest bird or wildlife problems.

Flocks of geese, gulls, and other birds are invading air space and are causing a real safety threat for passengers of small planes. These flocks have been the number one cause of small plane crashes in the 21rst century, and have even caused some catastrophic plane crashes in the United States as well. There was a near miss in 2009 where a US Airways Flight hit a flock of geese and had to make an emergency landing on the Hudson River. Luckily there were no passenger fatalities, but this was a real wakeup call to the danger and potential severity of bird strikes. Approximately 17,000 bird strikes have been reported annually since 2011 and this number is expected to grow by roughly 10% each year without the intervention of a more effective method for bird control in these airspaces.

Previously, trained birds of prey or piloting drones have been flown around to eliminate flocks in airspace environments. But these methods can sometimes be unpredictable and costly. Once a flock perceives an erratic and immediate threat, they will no longer act as a flock, and will begin to act individually to evade danger. For this reason, Engineers at Caltech’s Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies came up with the idea of autonomous herding drones.
These autonomous herding drones have been designed to pose as an external threat to control unwanted birds in airspace environments. Without the presence of that immediate threat, a flock can be herded as a single body, moving in a single direction, responding and reciprocating the actions of the birds closest to the external threat and changing course accordingly.

The engineers that designed these drones specialize in autonomy and robotics. Their precise and accurate positioning reduces any chance of these birds acting individually. To determine these positions, a mathematical model of flocking dynamics was created. This model took into consideration many variables to optimize efficiency; the way flock formations are built and maintained, how threats are communicated from one bird to the next, and how these flocks respond to various threats coming from different angles. The main objective of this device is to ensure safe and effective removal of flocks from airspace environments.

This method was first tested on a flock of birds in Korea. Dozens of birds were reoriented successfully with the use of a single autonomous herding drone. But even though this method was successful with smaller flocks, the limiting factor for this method seems to be how to optimize the efficiency for use with much larger flocks of birds. The team at Caltech will be attempting to use multiple autonomous drones at once in order to deal with higher quantities of birds. So with this up and coming technology, there is most definitely hope for a decrease in the amount of aviation disasters due to bird strikes.