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Impact of predation by raptors

Updated: Feb 7, 2023

The Scottish Homing Union (SHU) is concerned about the increase in incidents of raptor attacks on racing pigeons and in particular believes that their occurrence is now unacceptably high and threatens the future of pigeon racing.

A report investigated the significant losses of racing pigeons caused by raptors such as peregrine falcons and sparrowhawks, focusing on the predation of Scottish racing pigeons by these raptor species. The aim of the project was to quantify the nature and extent of losses caused by raptors in Scotland, to identify techniques to minimise these losses and to assess the effectiveness of these deterrent techniques.

The study was unable to provide an accurate estimate of losses. These varied geographically and temporally, the data were derived from reports from members of the Scottish Dove Union (SHU), and therefore may have been subject to reporting errors.

In terms of techniques to minimise losses, Scottish Homing Union (SHU) members used deterrent techniques such as balloons, whistles, cat-eyes, owl replicas and mirrors/reflectors. However, most members found these techniques ineffective. Owl replicas and cat's eyes were the most commonly used. The mirror/reflector was found to be the most effective in reducing losses to raptors.

RACING PIGEONS – IMPACT OF RAPTOR PREDATION (R/AC3/B/01/96) I. Henderson, D. Parrott & N. Moore Central Science Laboratory
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What is your opinion on the increasing incidents of raptor attacks on racing pigeons in pigeon racing?

  • I am concerned and support efforts to minimise losses

  • I am not affected by this situation

  • I think that current techniques are insufficient

  • I am impartial and have no opinion

You can vote for more than one answer.


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