Sparrowhawk

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by rf065, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. rf065

    rf065 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Saw this bird at the bottom of the garden this afternoon,

    [​IMG]


    Just after I took this picture, it flew rapidly over to a nearby tree where a startled sparrow had to fly for its life as it was chased around the tree.

    Funny thing is, first one, then another magpie which had been about 50 yards away, flew over to the tree as if to protect the sparrow and chase the bird away. I'm thinking it is a sparrowhawk?

    Russ
     
  2. Howard

    Howard MB Club Veteran

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    Magpies and Crows will 'mob' birds of prey to try and drive them out of their territory.
     
  3. RodgerDodger

    RodgerDodger Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Yep - Sparrowhawk - male
     
  4. OP
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    rf065

    rf065 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    A hungry male, it left without catching dinner.

    We also get a lot of Kestrels hovering overhead too.

    Russ
     
  5. manalishi

    manalishi Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Here's a regular visitor to the feeders at my last house. One waiting for lunch to turn up:
    [​IMG]

    And one with lunch:
    [​IMG]

    Have seen them catch prey as big as collared doves.

    Cool birds, but not that fast when I've watched them work. Now a merlin... that's a fast raptor! :eek:
     
  6. verytalldave

    verytalldave Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    What fabulous photos. Thanks for that.
    You are lucky to live where birds like that abound.
    The closest I get to anything like that is to spot the occassional Kestrel hovering by the side of the M25. Although, having said that, I havent seen one for ages. A couple of my local favourite birds are Jays and Bullfinches.
    Hardly in the same league as Sparrowhawks or Merlins.
     
  7. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    Had a sparrowhawk that used to visit the garden of my old house near Woking ... used to eat doves/pigeons on the lawn.
     
  8. bigyin1

    bigyin1 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    WOW cracking pictures :) During the summer i'll see 2-3 buzzards most days on the way back home and quite often there will be a few around the south side of buckingham that i can see from my office window (binoculars always ready) :bannana:
     
  9. IanA2

    IanA2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Yes I've seen crows try this on with a kite with limited success....must say it's wonderful to watch.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008
  10. verytalldave

    verytalldave Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Was a time - not that long ago when Kites were as rare as Ospreys. Good to see that there now appears to be an increase in population over the wilder parts of the UK.
    I wonder if this might have anything to with the general decrease in sparrows and songbirds?
     
  11. Roger Jones

    Roger Jones Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    You are guaranteed to see kites almost by the dozen in parts of the Chilterns, especially around Princes Risborough. I've also seen them south of Luton recently. The one that really surprised me was circling over a garden in inner south Oxford. They really are magnificent: huge birds with a wingspan of 5' or more; easily distinguished from buzzards by their forked tail (buzzards have stubby tails) and by flying/circling nearer the ground and often just a few tens of feet up.

    They don't go after sparrows and songbirds. They are mainly carrion eaters, plus some small mammals. It's the sparrowhawk that goes for small birds, but not so many as to make an impact on their populations. Nor do cats have a significant impact, as the RSPB acknowledges. It is changes in farming, plus the change of gardens to concrete, brick and decking, that explain most of the decline in small-bird populations.

    The RSPB site is excellent. You can even listen to sound files.

    http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/r/redkite/index.asp

    http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/s/sparrowhawk/index.asp
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008
  12. IanA2

    IanA2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    and also by their very distinctly feathered wing tips....
     
  13. manalishi

    manalishi Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    The sparrowhawk(s) above were in regular suburban London (Stanmore - near Harrow). Sometimes see them here (Suffolk) but not so often.

    I found the other (slightly gruesome pic). Pretty much concluded that with so many feeders in my garden, the hawk was treating it as a regular dining spot.

    [​IMG]

    If you get the chance to go the Stonham Barns bird of prey centre, you can see some VERY big raptors up close (not just owls): http://www.the-owl-barn.com/bbop/page50/page50.html
     
  14. Stratman

    Stratman Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    When you are on your travels you are guaranteed to see red kites on the M40, quartering the ground in the cutting just west of Stokenchurch. This was a release site about 15 or so years ago following a project to reintroduce these magnificent birds to the British Isles after they died out. The release was a great success and the birds have flourished there.

    If only they would prey on those pesky parrots that have established themselves to the detriment of Green Woodpeckers around southwest London.
     
  15. tobus10

    tobus10 Active Member

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    Not a sparrowhawk

    During the summer early one morning I heard birds squarking over the road from me,looking out of the window two Crows were attacking another crow eventually they killed it and cleared off. In the past have seen crows kill small birds but never one of their own?
     
  16. verytalldave

    verytalldave Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I have heard that Rooks will attack a stray Carrion Crow or Jackdaw if it flys into their territory.
    Maybe thats what you saw..............
     
  17. OP
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    rf065

    rf065 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    One of the most impressive birds I've seen was a Hen Harrier, it flew in front of the car last year on a trip to the north of Scotland, couldn't get my camera out in time which was a pity. I was disappointed to read that one got killed last year when the young royals were out shooting. No one else about, but they said it wasn't them.

    [​IMG]


    Russ
     
  18. Stratman

    Stratman Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Of course it wasn't them. After all, the royal protection squad are famous for letting a tooled-up Joe Public within shotgun range of their meal-tickets.
     
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