I am sorry. See article below. The trap web page is no longer
available for public access. The people who raise hawk food
(roller pigeons) have killed thousands of red-tails, Cooper's hawks,
and peregrines who naturally attack the genetic mutants that the
fanciers produce. Roller pigeons have seizures in mid-flight,
which attracts hawks and other predators. If you want access
to my trap page, please contact me via email, and if you are a
licensed falconer, I will give you the link. The pigeon
fanciers keep and use hawk traps, and I do not want to contribute to
the unlawful destruction of these birds of prey.
Thanks, Chuck Redding
MIGRATORY BIRD ACT: Four Inland men
are among suspects accused of killing raptors to protect
11:42 PM PDT on Thursday, May
By JENNIFER BOWLES, SANDRA STOKLEY
and IMRAN GHORI
Seven Southern California men,
including four from the Inland region, were arrested Wednesday
on suspicion of
killing scores of red-tailed hawks
and other raptors that prey on the pigeons they breed for aerial
The men have been charged with
violating the federal Migratory Bird Act, which protects
misdemeanor count carries a maximum
sentence of six months in federal prison.
Brian McCormick, 40, of Norco,
denied the charges Thursday and said he was "extremely shocked"
agents showed up on his doorstep at
7:30 a.m. Wednesday. He said that while hawks and falcons cause
"devastating losses" to enthusiasts
who breed and raise champion birds, he would never kill them. A
pair of roller pigeons that perform
backward somersaults while in flight can fetch $300 to $500, he
"For me the loss is emotional," McCormick said. "I raise 100
birds to make a team and half of them are eaten by
birds of prey. It's heartbreaking."
Besides McCormick, those arrested
were Darik McGhee, 38, of San Bernardino; Timothy Decker, 60, of
and Rayvon Hall, 46, of Rialto.
Also arrested were: Juan Navarro, 44, of Los Angeles, who is the
president of the National
Birmingham Roller Club; Keith London, 42, of South Los Angeles;
and Efren Lopez Jr.,
28, of Hacienda Heights. McGhee, reached at
his house in a working-class neighborhood of north San
declined to comment on the charges
filed against him. Hall was still in custody and unavailable for
his son, Jermale Hall, said by
phone. Decker was not home Thursday.
Pigeon enthusiasts throughout the
region kill an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 Cooper's hawks,
red-tailed hawks and
Peregrine falcons each year,
according to Ed Newcomer, an undercover agent for the U.S. Fish
Service who was involved in the
In this particular case, the
raptors were shot in traps, beaten or suffocated after being
sprayed with a bleach
and ammonia solution that created a
poisonous chlorine gas, according to court records.
carcasses were recovered from some
of the homes and one defendant told an undercover agent that he
had filled a
five-gallon bucket with talons that
he had cut from slain hawks.
Scores of Birds Shot
Lisa Nichols, a special agent with
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service based in San Diego, said it's
not a case
of just one bird being shot; it was
"It's a huge impact on the
environment when you take out a predatory bird. It's going to
change the balance of
nature," Nichols said.
The wildlife service was aided in
the arrests by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and
wardens from the
California Department of Fish and
Game, Nichols said..
Joseph B. Chalk, who runs a raptor rehabilitation center in San
Bernardino with his wife, Linda, said in the
past 20 months they have treated at
least 25 raptors wounded by gunshots, including one found in
was shot in the wing.
"It will never fly again," he said.
"It's heartbreaking because we do this just out of a passion
that we have
for the birds of prey and we don't
need anymore business like this where they are shot."
Some of the men arrested were
affiliated with clubs that breed rolling pigeons for
National Birmingham Roller Club.
Cliff Ball, the group's national
fly director, said the sport is similar to dog shows, with
international competitions. The
pigeons, he said, are judged on their speed, quality of backward
while in flight and aesthetics of
Joseph Johns, assistant U.S.
attorney, said some enthusiasts fly their birds at times of the
day and year when
there are fewer predators.
"Clearly other individuals are a
bit more egocentric and arrogant and think that they can just
natural predators show up," he
He called the crimes ironic because
pigeon hobbyists inbreed a genetic defect that causes the birds
to seize up
and tumble in flight. He said that
makes them appear to be distressed and an easy target for
"These hobbyists are breeding hawk
and falcon food," he said.
According to court records, Newcomer attended the Pageant of
Pigeons that was held in San Bernardino on Nov. 19
where a raffle sponsored by the
California Performance Roller Club included two hawk traps as
He also attended a roll pigeon
flying competition at McGhee's home on April 7, records said. At
Newcomer overheard Hall talking
about a falcon living on the state building in downtown San
Hall told the guests that he and
McGhee went down to "see if we could get a shot at him,"
Newcomer quoted Hall
as saying. The two discussed
shooting the bird from the top of the nearby Radisson Hotel but
decided it was too
risky because there were too many
people nearby, according to records.
Several hawk traps were found at
the homes of the suspects.
Jermale Hall said authorities found
a hawk trap at their house but denied his father used it to trap
"It wasn't even set up," Jermale
Hall said. "It was sitting in a dark corner. We don't even use
McCormick, a magazine editor, said
a trap found on his property is used to capture cats that
McCormick said all types of birds
-- not just pigeons -- have been his passion since his
childhood. He owns
several hundred exotic birds,
including parakeets, finches, cockatiels and parrots.
He said he keeps five teams of
roller pigeons and participates in competitions about twice a
month. A team is
composed of 20 birds. McCormick is
a past president of the California Performance Roller Club and
California State Championship in
McCormick said birds of prey have
even attacked and eaten young, inexperienced birds housed in his