HorseHawk image
The horse community is ecologically conscious. We deal with issues of manure disposal, mud management, land management, drainage, and pasture rotation. All of these require sensitivity to nature while allowing us to manage our horses and land in the best way possible. When we attract pests such as pigeons in our barns or rabbits in our fields, we have problems that need to be dealt with. Pigeons defecate in the barns, sometimes piling in areas that are unwanted or in ways which are not sanitary. Their presence in an arena can spook horses making for a dangerous ride. Rabbits and squirrels that dig holes in pastures create another danger to our horses.
Poison is usually not a safe alternative as there are barn cats and dogs to consider. Shooting these animals may not be safe either. A natural approach is to find a local falconer and invite them onto your land to trap the pigeons or allow the bird to hunt the pests. This is an approach to pest management that is gaining popularity among organic farmers as it is safe, natural, and effective. In Washington, land owners are protected when allowing others to hunt on their land by RCW 4.24.210, and many other states have similar protections for land owners.
Falconers all over the United States are always looking for new ground to hunt on and most are eager to find a local land owner who invites them onto the land to hunt there. The horse community has much land and is usually very eager to watch the natural relationship up close of predator and prey.
Postings are free - the intent is to connect the horse and hawk communities for each to mutually benefit.

Landowners image
Tips for land owners
Falconers will not take money for removing the pests or prey species - all they are looking for is space to let their birds hunt in their natural predator-prey relationship as they would in the wild.
These birds are nervous by nature and new surroundings and people can spook them. If a falconer is coming out, put livestock in a separate area, and put dogs away. Cats can be over-interested and pose a threat to small birds like a Kestrel or a Sharp-Shin, and cats may be seen as prey by a large bird like a Great Horned Owl. Many barn cats are similarly nervous and not socially oriented and will scatter when new people arrive, but if yours are more social, strongly consider containing them while the birds are out.
Also, take a look at the FAQ page for basic Q&A and some tips on interacting with falconers and their birds.
Land owners should also be aware that in many areas a falconer will need some written note indicating that they are allowed to hunt on your property with your permission. It is a great help for land owners to go ahead an download a form that can be modified for any specific situation or legal requirement. I have provided a sample one. I am not a lawyer and this is not a legal document, but this may give a good framework to protect land owners and falconers.
Land owners may also be interesting in attracting wild raptors through effective pasture management.
Prey of interest to the hawks and falcons: Pigeons, crows, squirrels, rabbits, quail, pheasant, ducks, and English Sparrows

California - Northern (Tracy area)
    Quarry: Pigeons and squirrels (and mice and rats)

California - Sacramento
    Quarry: Pigeons

Colorado - Central (Denver/Boulder area)
    Quarry: Pigeons and rabbits and possibly some pheasant and geese

Colorado - Central (Colorado Springs area)
    Quarry: Rabbits, jack rabbits, loads of squirrels

Florida or southern Georgia
    Quarry: Quarry, rabbits, squirrels, quail, other small game
    Contact: Karen at or

    Quarry: Rabbits, rabbits, and more rabbits (an organic farm)
    Contact: Lynn at

Washington - Eastern (Tri-Cities area)
    Quarry: Pigeons and more pigeons

Washington - Western (Redmond area)
    Quarry: Pigeons and more pigeons

Wisconsin - Waupaca County (Scandinavia area)
    Quarry: Pigeons and more pigeons

Falconers image
Tips for falconers
Landowners are wonderful ecological partners and we must keep that in mind. Most want to see a bird up close and even watch them hunt, especially on their land. Even if you are only going out to trap the barn pigeons, consider bringing a raptor so they can see one up close and learn a little about falconry. If you are going to be hunting the land, be sensitive to the land owners regarding dispatch and cleaning of quarry (leave nothing behind).
You are an ambassador to the equestrian community - make sure we are invited back another day.

California - Northern (Central valley area)
    Quarry: Pigeons and squirrels (anything from squirrels to geese)

California - Central (Dixon, Davis, Woodland, Winters, Vacaville, Fairfield and West Sacramento areas)
    Quarry: Rabbits and squirrels

California - Northern, Central, Coastal (Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Sacramento, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Sutter counties, etc.)
    Quarry: Pigeons, Rabbits, Pest Birds, Anything from Squirrel to Geese

Colorado - Central (Denver area)
    Quarry: Rabbits, ducks, quail, pheasants, and jackrabbits

Florida - North Florida (Suwannee County) and south Georgia (Valdosta)
    Quarry: Rabbits, quail, and squirrels

    Quarry: Various small birds
    Contact: Guru Jiwan Singh Khalsa 305-766-0694

Washington - Western (Lakewood, Tacoma areas)
    Quarry: Rabbits

All images and text Copyright © 2004 - 2020 - Lydia Ash