DIVERS-- What are they? A species of pigeon that originated in Greece, their true name is Wutas. These pigeons when let out fly to great heights, and when a dropper is shown to them on the ground, they descend with tremendous speed to the signal bird (dropper), that a loud swoosh is all you hear from that speed. The birds descend at speeds up to 100 + m.p.h. The birds can be flown on a full stomach or crop, and still respond to the signal bird. Flight times can vary just as the amount of birds that go up to fly, times can be as short as 5 min., or as long as 1 hr., I've flown from 2 to 18 birds at a fly, however it seems that over 16 birds, there is reduction in speed. The competition for rapid decent is not as intense when to many are flown, there seems to be to much distraction on the way down. The speed has been so intense that the bloom has come off the wings creating almost a vapor trail against a clear blue sky, about a few feet above the ground they spread their wings and brake to an easy landing, almost on top of the dropper, they will group together, always herd them in after a fly, this instills in them the loft is the home, safe ground; no feed is required upon returning.
The Diver is a very intelligent bird and learns very quickly, they are calm attentive, and try to please their master. It is therefore our responsibility to be patient when training these fantastic birds, loss of patients, and or temper will greatly effect the birds and their trust in you, if you are upset do not train or fly the birds, wait 'till you calm down and try another day, this way you will not ruin good flyers, and all your work to this point. They can be flown after they eat, allow at least 30 min. before the fly.
COLOR--- Blue bar self, Blue bar white flight, or white tail, Black white flight, Dark checks, Red white flight, Grizzles, I prefer the Blue bar white flights and white tails, also the Black white flights, they seem to have more power, of course this is only my preference.
EYE--- The eye color varies, pearl seems to be dominate.
BODY---The birds are long in the body, the wings are very long and thin, the neck is short and thick, the bills are long, and are clean legged. For comparison, they are almost the size of a German Beauty Homer when standing. The weight however I would compare to a Tippler. The pictorial muscles are highly developed.
FLIGHT---The birds are typical highflying, they do not roll or tumble, in a few minutes they can obtain great heights; flying out of sight, they will remain so until they are brought down by a dropper. At very high altitudes one might have to have more than one dropper on the ground to create the signal. You can use the other flying divers, they will fly to the dropper, creating a commotion on the ground, this will attract the flyers, and the dive will begin. This is especially true on a clear day. Just a short note--They will out fly a falcon on the descent!
TRAINING---This is the critical part of the end result. The dropper must be housed with the Divers; they must know the signal bird, and accept it as the Matron of the group, I use a hen Diver for this duty, the young birds readily accept her. She has to have the primary flights of only one wing cut, all but the last one This will prevent her from flying about, and keep her on the ground. She must be clipped after the moult, or she will not be effective.The key of flying Divers is control; the birds must never be allowed to sit on the roof of the loft, tree, or house roof. These birds must be kept on the ground at all times, except when in flight. Patience is the key. When a bird sits on the loft you must have a stick about 5 ft., and gently with the stick flush the bird from the roof while talking to the bird, it will get the message. On the house roof a tennis ball is handy. Prior to training a young Diver has to have its one wing taped, use masking tape,and tape only the primary feathers this will prevent excessive flying while in the learning mode.
START---Take the dropper out in the yard; go to the loft fetch a young taped Diver, go a distance away from the dropper, face the dropper, release the young Diver, it will fly to the dropper, if there is any hesitation, use the stick and herd the birds back to the loft, talking to them all the while, be mindful do not allow the birds to fly, slowly walk them in, this is control. Try again if the flight is direct to the dropper, fetch the second bird and repeat the process, do the same as before, we must instill in the young Diver that the dropper is the Matron of the group and the control bird. This needs to be done for a few weeks, slowly increase the distance, again if the flight is not direct to the dropper, herd the birds back in, and start again. After a couple of weeks at a good distance away from the dropper, face away from her and toss the bird in the air, it should half circle and fly direct to her, if not, you know the procedure. When this face away toss is repeated for a couple of days and all perform as they should, you are ready for step 2.
STEP 2---Put the dropper out, fetch a young Diver, open the loft let the others wander over to the dropper; go tothe far side of the yard, cut the tape off the wing, and give the bird a good toss in the air facing away from the group. Yup! up and right to the group, your on the way, mindful not to quick. Only a couple of birds at a time, after the flight walk the group back to the loft, yes talk to them, they are smart. After a week you are ready for step 3. Patience I know you want them up.
STEP 3---Fetch one Diver at the same time have the dropper in your hand, toss the Diver in the air and give a shout as a fly signal (use the same shout all the time), the bird will circle and start to ascend let it make 2 circles; hold the dropper by her feet and let her flap her wings, this will attract the flyer when you see the recognition by the flyer let her go to the ground, the young Diver will decend to her, walk them in, repeat with another bird. A few days of this put 2 birds out keep dropper in hand never let a diver come down on its own, if you see it coming down toss the dropper to the ground. Remember control. You can now let them get some height and enjoy the fun! Always have the dropper in hand. Be mindful of the weather, overcast not the best, when you think it's not safe, DON'T fly there is always tomorrow. Control, I know it's hard; I love to fly them too, but the loss will hurt.
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