Racing Pigeons VS. Raptors (Ep.3) - Falcon's Marathon Chase

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Please watch in 4K. This was a long chase by the falcon. The pigeons went very high in the sky so the falcon was determined to eat. The chase was more than 1 hour long. The day before I fed them a too big racing mix percent and too many grams per bird.

00:35 - After the initial breaking attack, the pigeons group back in the flock while "racing" with the falcon in a straight line.

01:39 - A hawk attack - this year there were many hawk attacks like this, high in the sky (falcon style), and rarely ambush attacks.

01:52 - Vertical falcon stoop in the middle of the flock, choosing the pigeon that remained in the falcon's path. This was Coronita, a 7 years old female and she got back with a few missing tail feathers. She did mistakes almost every winter but somehow she manages to survive.

02:45 - You can see the annoying hawk waiting under the flock while the falcon chases them, hoping to attack a pigeon that escapes from the falcon and dives to the loft... this is how many losses happened. The best pigeons stay in the flock until the end and come home as a flock.

03:00 - The falcon's "jump" through the air, I've filmed this several times over the years... it is an extraordinary move it does, the pigeons must be extremely careful and with fast reactions to avoid this kind of unexpected attack.

03:44 - Unfortunately here I missed one of the most impressive scenes of this winter. When the falcon dropped down after that pigeon, the pigeon did about 10 tricks in the air to avoid being taken and getting close to the ground it did a final crazy manoeuvre because the second falcon was coming horizontally trying to catch it (maybe the female or the competitor falcon because then the first falcon left immediately and was screaming). The pigeon is a few months old and is a grandson of Coronita. It got a few missing tail feathers like her. Unfortunately when they got out of my camera frame at that extraordinary speed and zoom, I had no chance of finding them in the sky and refocusing.

04:11 - With pressure over the flock, only the most fit, healthy and calm pigeons can keep the sync with the flock and this makes it easier for the falcon to select a target that he has more chances to catch.

05:53 - After about one hour, more than 50% of the flock already separated and dropped to the loft, one by one, risking to be taken by the female falcon or the hawks. The best of the best pigeons remained in the clouds as a tight flock to fight with the falcon and it had a hard time separating them again.

07:58 - Whenever I go to the loft and call them, they drop from the sky. I must be careful to do that when there is no hawk waiting to ambush but sometimes I fail. In the very difficult days, once they land at the loft, I must call them in extremely fast, we have a few seconds before the hawk arrives from the forest to ambush.

This was one of the hardest days. Besides the missing feathers in Coronita and her grandson, 2 youngsters were taken: one at the beginning of the chase (son of Coronita, as I mentioned the family has a weakness) - the falcon gave it to the female falcon and then went to get one himself. He spent more than an hour to get the second one very high in the sky (sometimes invisible even on max zoom) - the second taken was a pied, one of the biggest and heaviest of the youngsters. 15 taken so far this autumn and winter (from hundreds of combined hawk +falcon attacks).

Thanks for the soundtrack:
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