Hi Folks, I live in the suburbs of Birmingham West Midlands we have a large garden with many mature trees at the end. Yesterday I saw a bird sitting on the outer branches of one of them. It was similar to a sparrow hawk but larger, very dark upper, barred chest sand a very noticeable white under parts. Of course after I had studied it through my bins I went to get my camera and when I returned it had flown! I looked it up and a goshawk description matched exactly. Could this be possible in this area? Thanks folks

isn't wild wonderful

  • Not that would be considered normal Goshawk territory but I suppose not impossible if it was just passing through. Some female Goshawks are quite large and can match a male Gos. for size. If you are sure of hour sighting pass it onto your local recorder or group as others may have seen it so it would help confirm your sighting


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  • The only thing that the description says that rules out sparrowhawk is it was "larger". The rest could be applicable to the considerably more likely sparrowhawk. Size is always difficult, esp when there's some distance as in this case. Highly unlikely but not impossible is probably as close as it can be re it being a goshawk.
  • Thanks Robbie, I haven't seen it again, but as we frequently have a sparrow hawk quite close to the house-sadly have seen many a "kill" I am still sure it wasn't a sparrow hawk, if Goshawk unlikely perhaps it was some escapee. Maybe I will never know but thanks anyway

    isn't wild wonderful

  • Yes thanks Seaman I have put a message on our local forum

    isn't wild wonderful

  • No probs. Out of interest, apart from size, how did it appear different to those you have seen closer up?
  • In reply to Robbo:

    Hi, it sat very upright unlike or S hawk who always sits on a pole in the garden slightly angled. its tail was quite a bit longer and as it was on the outer branch of the tree I could see it's under part was much bigger and whiter. Thanks for your interest , Marian

    isn't wild wonderful

  • In reply to Anthony James:

    One can never say never but a Sparrowhawk is much more likely to see in a garden than a Goshawk. Female Sparrowhawks can be up to 25% larger than the male. Take a look at these two big girls for example.

    What do you think. Could it have been a female?



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  • In reply to Anthony James:

    ......and two of a young male we had visiting a couple of weeks ago. Quite upright.

    Shame about the twig, and taken through glass and on full zoom......but the posture is fairly typical.

    The more I read, the more I suspect it being a sparrowhawk. Outer branches of trees add more weight (pun intended) to sparrowhawk. As you can see from TJ's photos, your description matches his individuals.

  • In reply to Robbo:

    Yes TJ and Robbo It must have been a female we have only had a male before- I'm disappointed but at least I was thrilled for a short time Thanks all

    isn't wild wonderful

  • Anthony, I'm not able to confirm or deny the sighting, however, I would take Robbo's response as pretty accurate, he is a good source of information.

    Its that KitKat moment (you may remember the KitKat dancing panda advert), it always happens when the camera isn't ready, I've been there too many times before, so unless I'm due to go anywhere, my camera is always on standby. Here we have buzzards and sparrowhawks and once, a kestrel, but only the once.

    I'll also say hello to a fellow West Midlander, I'm over to the East of Brum.

    Another possible source for info could be the West Midlands Bird Club who might be able to help a little more.


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