I have come across a sparrow hawk in my garden watching my birds (I keep budgies and they have outdoor flights)...
it was just sitting there and let me walk right up to it... I noticed what I remember to be a silver leg ring on its leg... I initially thought it was injured and tried to catch it to take to my local bird of prey hospital but it eventually flew off after a few attempts of me getting it... it was so calm and had no worries about me being near it, so I’m wondering if it wasn’t wild... I’m pretty sure it will be back now it knows my budgies are there (not that it can get to them- double wire!).
if it belongs to someone then I’ll try and catch it, but obviously don’t want to try and catch a wild one!
any advice welcome!
Hello Laura and welcome to the community forum. Yes, Sparrowhawks are all part of the species that get professionally ringed (by expertly trained and licensed ringers) and the grey metal ring will be one issued by the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) and have a unique code number (normally 7 digits of letters/numbers) which identifies where the bird was rung, by whom, date of ringing and data such as age of bird, sex of bird, etc.... This will likely be a wild bird so you no need worry about it being an escapee belonging to someone or fear that it is injured if it can fly off. Very often these type of predatory birds have such an intense focus on prey that they see (ie, garden birds and your budgies ! ) and get so fixated on their subject that they are not fazed by the presence of humans until you get too close. They often lay in wait for periods of time before pouncing on an unsuspecting bird. Other times they fly in at rapid speed to swoop and grab. So, just ensure your budgies are well secured so they stay safe. If you get close enough to photograph the whole ring number (which is often too difficult as you need to get shots at different angles to read the whole thing) then you can submit the code via THIS LINK. You will need to see all 7 digits clearly to report the code; they will then send you all the information on the Sparrowhawk you saw ringed.
"Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"
Interesting and excellent reply ( as always Hazy). Last evening my local BBC news showed a ringer recording wildlife, thought you may be interested, scroll to 12.58 for this clip. www.bbc.co.uk/.../spotlight-evening-news-19092019
EDIT as Hazy discovered in following post....
sadly this episode is no longer available
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