Greater Spotted Woodpecker killed by bird of prey (Hawk). Re-siting bird table?

Real highs and lows yesterday in the garden. Two Greater Spotted woodpeckers are regular feeders on our nuts/fat balls and can often be seen 'examining' weathered garden furniture (i guess for insects). Sadly one of them was 'bombed' into our windows before it was killed as it flew across the lawn. My son saw it all - he thinks it was a hawk. He said the woodpecker was feeding on the nuts before it was attacked. Should I resit bird feeder? It is near the house which is like an L shape. Garden has mature mixed woodland on two sides, open arable fields to the back (about 100metres from house) high stone wall to the front with a country single road track and arable fields beyond. The garden is about an acre (half lawn and half mature bushes, lots of ground covers, brambles and some longer grass). We are lucky enough to enjoy lots of wildlife (green woodpecker/s), badgers, foxes, stoats, a goshawk (last summer - killed a pigeon and ate in garden; breathtaking!) plenty of birds including a very occasionally sighting of a gold-crest. Last year we found what I think was a juvenile greater spotted woodpecker with its head pecked out. Then later the same day I witnessed another greater spotted woodpecker being attacked by two magpies - again feeding on the nuts and then herded into the house/windows. It hit the house/windows and fell onto a garden seat below. Totally exhausted and rather dirty (magpie's feet?) I rescued it and gave time to recover (about 30 mins). Think I saw it again, can't be sure as we had a couple of regular visitors. Now concerned that the sighting of the bird table is trapping the woodpeckers - should I move it? We have a mature oak tree to the edge of the garden - maybe nearer that? I'd be very grateful of any advice - please be honest if I'm doing the wrong thing.
  • Hi Libby. I'd be inclined to move the feeders a bit closer to trees or bushes to allow the feeding birds a refuge area. Sparrowhawks will still dive into trees and bushes but it will give the Woodys a fighting chance.

    Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos

    (One bush does not shelter two Robins)

    Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)


  • In reply to monkeycheese:

    Thank you - I will move them right now. I know the hawks have to eat and that woodpeckers are partial to some rather unsavory habits themselves but I suspect we have altered the balance a bit. Thank you.

    Ive put some photos of the woodys on the photo section. First time so I hope I've done it correctly!

  • In reply to libby W:

    Hi Libby welcome to the community

    I can't add anything to what Paul has said but if you look here it will explain how to put your photos in here if you want

    My Flickr photos

  • In reply to Alan.:

    Libby, hi from Anglesey.   It sounds as if you have a lovely area and plenty of wildlife - a Goshawk feeding in the garden - wow.  That's a sight I would have loved to see.   Yes I agree with the others and moving the feeders would be beneficial to all the birds as they need cover from the predators.   Would love to see some of your photos.

    Lot to learn

  • In reply to gaynorsl:

    I've added a couple of photos of the goshawk - see photos ( not brilliant quality). Gives you an idea - completely stripped the pigeon, by the look of it with its feet mostly.

  • In reply to libby W:


    The photos are of a female sparrowhawk. Would be very uncommon to get a goshawk in a garden.