Sparrowhawk (Collared Dove down!)

Discussion in 'Nature & Wildlife' started by JeanLuc, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Saw this female Sparrowhawk in the garden this morning, just after she had struck a Collared Dove in a nearby tree. In the one of the pictures, taken when she was near the path, you can see that the dove is still alive whilst being plucked - not for long though! Then she moved nearer to the hedge before being disturbed by people walking along the lane nearby. The pictures are a bit fuzzy as I had to take them through the windows, which are sorely in need of cleaning when I can summon up the enthusiasm.
    At least it's nice to know that the local Sparrowhawks are helping to reduce the ever-burgeoning population of Collared Doves - now if we just had a Goshawk to deal with the Wood Pigeons ..........

    DSC_5582.jpg
     

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  2. Figaro

    Figaro Funster

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    A like hardly seems suitable but nature in action. Impressive work by the sparrowhawk.
    As you say, get it trained on the pigeons and sent it over to me please ,!
     
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  3. Wildbill

    Wildbill Funster

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    Nothing wrong with tho's photos to me thank's for sharing(y)
    BILL
     
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  4. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

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    I agree - but some cracking photos.
     
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  5. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    we have a sparrow hawk who regularly takes a wood pigeon in the garden, cant really think why they mess around with sparrows if they can take a pigeon :)
     
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  6. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    A Wood Pigeon is at the limit of a female Sparrowhawk's ability. They tend to go for things like Collared Doves and Blackbirds more typically. I guess the name comes from the hunting habits of the much smaller male Sparrowhawk which can just about manage a Collared Dove with luck, but is more likely to go for smaller birds including Blue Tits and House Sparrows.

    I have to say that I have never seen a Sparrowhawk take a Wood Pigeon. I don't suppose you are lucky enough to have a Goshawk living nearby? It would have to be on the edge of pretty extensive and undisturbed woodland I think. If so, you can tell by the size as a male Goshawk is about the size of a female Sparrowhawk, but a female Goshawk is as big as a Buzzard and a very powerful predator.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
  7. Pausim

    Pausim Funster

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    We have a Sparrowhawk which does garden pigeon control for us from time to time. Our local household recycling centre uses a larger hawk for bird control, I think it is a Gosshawk. The handler said it was on the Council payroll.
     
  8. Head Gardener

    Head Gardener Funster

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    We are incredibly fortunate to have both a male and a female Sparrowhawk visit regularly.

    They are unusual in that the two birds can share a hunting territory because the male (much smaller) hunts the smaller songbirds - tits, finches and so on, up to small Blackbird in size, and the female hunts from Blackbird up to Wood Pigeon. As they are not competing for the same food they can co-exist.

    The male flies through nearly every day and whilst it is sad to see him leave with lunch, we know that we’re saving far more small birds through many years of regular feeding than we are losing to predation.

    Congrats on your pictures, @JeanLuc , I know they are not easy to get!


    Sorry, just re-read thread properly and see that @JeanLuc has said all this. We have had the good luck to see “our” female with a full sized Woodie on a couple of occasions. Hell of a lot of feathers!!
     
  9. SpeedyDux

    SpeedyDux Funster

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    There's a pile of black feathers near my bird feeders. Either a Blackbird or maybe a Starling has met its Sparrowhawk doom.
     
  10. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

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    Sitting at my computer yesterday afternoon I looked up just in time to see a sort of staccato bit of birdflight and an explosion of feathers. There's both a kestrel and a sparrowhawk been patrolling for a few days, I expect it was the sparrowhawk, there will be plenty of small mammals for the kestrels, but I couldn't really tell.
     
  11. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    We arrived back home one day in the car to be confronted by the sight or a Sparrowhawk eating a still live pigeon in the middle of the road outside our drive. Given there were no perches nearby it must have got it in mid air. It gave us a look that suggested we would be next if we got involved. Just managed to get in passed it without upsetting it too much.
     
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