A Beautiful but Unwelcome Visitor to Our Garden

Our local Sparrowhawk is regular visitor to our garden. It does take a few birds, and as it's been rightly pointed out, we do set the table for it by feeding the other birds. I've only once seen it attempt to kill anything, it was on the ground and had a loose hold of a blackbird and as I chased it into a corner it let go. The blackbird flew off. Mostly, I've just seen the feathers left on the lawn and it seems like Collared Doves are the most common casualties.

  • As you say they are a beautiful bird, it looks like he has his eye on you.
    I think when you see them catch anything it is best to leave them too it, it may be hard to see but he/she could be starving or have a family to feed, if I see it in my garden I walk away from the window and leave it alone.

    My Flickr photos

  • In reply to Alan.:

    I see your point of view, it was us that created the situation as well. I'll look the other way in future. It's what I tell my wife when animals kill for food out in the wild, but seems different when you get to know individual birds in you garden.
  • Yep I agree with you it is hard to see something being killed in your garden and when I first saw it I did like you, I chased one off a Blackbird and saw the Blackbird scurry under a bush, It was pointed out to me on here when I first joined that not only could the Sparrowhawk have not eaten for days that it could also have already injured the Blackbird that would go on to die a slow death.
    Unlike some I can't take any photos until I know the prey is dead.

    My Flickr photos

  • Just to supplement what Alan wrote, which I agree with.....the male sparrowhawk may well currently have his work cut out feeding the rest of a family. The other thing to consider is, is it better for him to be taking 'common' garden birds, or struggling species? Hard to watch......I showed my wife a young blackbird a couple of years ago when I'd just got in from gardening. At the same time as pointing it out, just outside the kitchen window, a sparrowhawk crashed in and caught it. I remember at the time thinking that's zero youngsters again this year.
  • What a brilliant photo.

    We have a similar scenario here, I think grey herons are superb looking birds, and we have regular visitors to the garden for one reason only, we have a small pond with fish in.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • It's weird I have a pond that is designed for fish and natural wildlife, its a magnet for birds bathing and unfortunately a couple of Herons sometimes show up! I have lost several prize fish, its a very mixed feeling losing fish you have looked after to a bird that's doing what comes naturally and I also personally admire!
    As people who have great respect for nature, sometimes we have to remind ourselves that the animals will take advantage of artificial situations we created, after all from their perspective they see my pond as easy pickings, its our fault, not theirs, they eat fish and I gave them the situation to do just that, and we must not only accept we are making an environment that nature is not only tolerating but flourishing in!..It's perhaps wise to see the big picture,... but not always easy!
  • In reply to wildwaters20:

    wildwaters20 said:
    It's weird I have a pond that is designed for fish and natural wildlife, its a magnet for birds bathing and unfortunately a couple of Herons sometimes show up! I have lost several prize fish, its a very mixed feeling losing fish you have looked after to a bird that's doing what comes naturally and I also personally admire!
    As people who have great respect for nature, sometimes we have to remind ourselves that the animals will take advantage of artificial situations we created, after all from their perspective they see my pond as easy pickings, its our fault, not theirs, they eat fish and I gave them the situation to do just that, and we must not only accept we are making an environment that nature is not only tolerating but flourishing in!..It's perhaps wise to see the big picture,... but not always easy!

    You mean something like these two videos?

    Blackbird on the fountain

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfBVT7K35wI

    Heron stalking the fish in our pond!

    https://youtu.be/7UV_KIVFJac

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler