News and Stories

Update on Hawk Attacks on Lofts and Racing Pigeons (Last Updated 1st April 2009)

Dead pigeon next to news paper headline

John McCallum of Stirling thought the headlines in the days paper was apt when he found his latest pigeon casualty on 11th of February 2009.

John has been a part of the SHU/SNH/Scottish Government research work that has been taking place from January until now and has been meticulously recording his observations that will be analysed along with all of the others at the end of the research term.


Dear SHU,

I am not sure if you are still gathering photos of hawk attacks but have attached a couple of pictures of my bird killed this morning. For the past two years I have suffered greatly from attacks my a pair of goshawks that live just across the valley from my loft, having been forced to stop young bird racing in 2007 and old bird and young bird racing in 2008. Last year I bred 40 young birds and I eventually locked up the loft at the end of June when only 18 young birds remained and the old bird's were so traumatised that they would not go out. Since that time the birds have hardly been out at all but I started lettting them out again at the end of September but had to close them up again on the 21st October. Today was the first time the birds have been out since then and low and behold within an hour this was the result. One yearling hen brought down into a neighbours garden, I promised myself I was not going to let them out until the end of March but could not resist such a nice day. So I am just about at the end of tether and feel so helpless about the situation I face, I did say last year that if I continued to have problems I would have to give the pigeons up but it's hard to break the habit of a lifetime.

Yours in Sport

Sandy Robb

Bird killed in hawk attack.