Author Topic: Sparrowhawks in garden  (Read 2125 times)

Sparrowhawks in garden
« on: February 23, 2016, 04:33:59 pm »
Any  recommendations as to how to dissuade the above beautiful but deadly birds from the garden?
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Re: Sparrowhawks in garden
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2016, 04:38:40 pm »
why?
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Pancho

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Re: Sparrowhawks in garden
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2016, 04:39:11 pm »
Why? It's nature!

I suppose you could eliminate their food supply by killing all the smaller birds.

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: Sparrowhawks in garden
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2016, 04:52:14 pm »
Peregrines. I'm reading The Peregrine by J.A. Baker – a book that turns mundane twitching into poetry – and he mentions peregrines catching both sparrowhawks and owls. Of course if you could induce peregrines to hunt in your garden, they'd also kill the other birds, which is presumably what you're trying to avoid.
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Re: Sparrowhawks in garden
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2016, 05:01:39 pm »
Another saying why? We have several feeders, and upwards of 40 finches, tits, sparrows etc. in the garden at any one time.  We've seen one kill from the local sparrowhawk.
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Re: Sparrowhawks in garden
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2016, 05:04:38 pm »
2 or 3rd kill in a fortnight today. Blackbirds.
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Re: Sparrowhawks in garden
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2016, 05:06:19 pm »
survival of the fittest, or fattest for the sparrowhawk.
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Re: Sparrowhawks in garden
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2016, 06:00:00 pm »
Difficult. It does show you have a healthy population of smaller birds in the area for it to be possible to support a sparrow hawk.
But they are fairly cunning. I have heard of them hunting along a row of semi-detached houses, going round the front of one pair, then into the back garden to try to make a kill, then round the front of the next pair and so on along the road.
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tiermat

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Re: Sparrowhawks in garden
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2016, 07:07:31 pm »
Just accept it is the best way. Feeling glad it's not a Goshawk helps, too. We had one of those in our area for a while, about the same time that a number of cats went missing.
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: Sparrowhawks in garden
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2016, 08:25:52 pm »
Well, cats probably kill more wildlife in general (as opposed to just garden birds) than hawks do.
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Wowbagger

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Re: Sparrowhawks in garden
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2016, 10:31:52 pm »
Firstly, I have to say I am a great fan of sparrowhawks and to have one in the vicinity is wonderful.

An observation: sparrowhawks often take their prey to the same place to kill and devour it. There was a time when pigeon remains were frequently to be found on exactly the same bit of lawn in our local park and I wondered why and how it was the sparrowhawk managed to catch and kill the pigeon in exactly the same place every time. The pigeon is bigger than a sparrowhawk and it would not be possible for the sparrowhawk to carry a pigeon's corpse (see also swallow* and coconut).

Then one day, when I was walking the dog near Hadleigh Castle, there was a kerfuffle in the hedge and a sparrowhawk landed slap bang on top of a collared dove. What happened next left me gobsmacked. The sparrowhawk, its talons gripping the collared dove's back, then allowed the collared dove to take off, and directed it to where it wanted it to go. I didn't see the conclusion of this particular meeting, but I feel sure it didn't end well for the collared dove. So the sparrowhawk does not carry pigeons after all! It steers them alive to its "killing field" where it then settles down to lunch. How sinister is that?

It would be my guess that your sparrowhawk has selected your lawn as its dining room, but it probably catches its blackbirds in lots of different places and then takes them there. I'm sure its presence would be likely to deter birds from coming into your garden, but I would just look upon it as a privilege to have such a wonderful but deadly creature to admire. As has been mentioned above, if we want sparrowhawks, then we must be prepared for them to do what sparrowhawks do. Drivers of motor vehicles no doubt kill far more local wildlife than sparrowhawks.

*European, since you ask
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Re: Sparrowhawks in garden
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2016, 11:03:26 pm »
Just accept it is the best way. Feeling glad it's not a Goshawk helps, too. We had one of those in our area for a while, about the same time that a number of cats went missing.

Hmm... according to wikinaccurate a female goshawk weighs ~1.2kg. Our smallest cat weighs >3kg.

T42

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Re: Sparrowhawks in garden
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2016, 10:38:52 am »
Then one day, when I was walking the dog near Hadleigh Castle, there was a kerfuffle in the hedge and a sparrowhawk landed slap bang on top of a collared dove. What happened next left me gobsmacked. The sparrowhawk, its talons gripping the collared dove's back, then allowed the collared dove to take off, and directed it to where it wanted it to go. I didn't see the conclusion of this particular meeting, but I feel sure it didn't end well for the collared dove. So the sparrowhawk does not carry pigeons after all! It steers them alive to its "killing field" where it then settles down to lunch. How sinister is that?

Bloody marvellous.  Reminds me of that parasitic wotsit that modifies the circuitry of some tropical beastie so that in contrast to its normal habits it climbs up a tree-trunk to the best place for the wotsit's offspring to hatch, eat hearty & flourish.  Nasty all the same.
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tiermat

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Re: Sparrowhawks in garden
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2016, 11:01:18 am »
Just accept it is the best way. Feeling glad it's not a Goshawk helps, too. We had one of those in our area for a while, about the same time that a number of cats went missing.

Hmm... according to wikinaccurate a female goshawk weighs ~1.2kg. Our smallest cat weighs >3kg.

It's not the size of the cat dog bird in the fight, it's the size of their talons.  Having been scard stupid by looking up from the washing to see a Goshawk sat on the decking, staring at me, I cn confirm that a) they can be big and b) their talons are large enough to wrap around a cat's neck...
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contango

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Re: Sparrowhawks in garden
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2016, 12:47:10 am »
2 or 3rd kill in a fortnight today. Blackbirds.

It's sad when songbirds are killed like this but the fact there are enough of them to attract a sparrowhawk is a good thing.
Always carry a small flask of whisky in case of snakebite. And, furthermore, always carry a small snake.

Re: Sparrowhawks in garden
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2016, 07:15:06 pm »
Nature red in tooth and claw I`m afraid !! Friend has regular Sprawk visitations, often takes smaller passerines only bird it struggled with (and abandoned apparently) was a Great Spotted Woodpecker which put up a bit of a fight.

As above presence of Sprawk indicates a healthy ecosystem; used to be loads hedgehog kills on roads, fewer now as population decrease. Increasing otter population locally monitored thro` (sad) increased road kills--I`ve seen three dead in a decade on same stretch road.  Nature all in balance except for human intervention.
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Wowbagger

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Re: Sparrowhawks in garden
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2016, 07:59:08 pm »
A few years ago I saw a sparrow hawk chasing a green woodpecker. The green woodpecker was certainly quite alarmed at the prospect of being someone's Sunday lunch but I didn't think the sparrowhawk was trying very hard. I gained the impression, in fact, that it was just being a git.

I saw a pair of mistle thrushes seeing a sparrow hawk off once. it didn't hang around.
Eating's a serious business. Don't bollocks around wagging your tail.

Re: Sparrowhawks in garden
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2016, 09:34:55 am »
A few years ago I saw a sparrow hawk chasing a green woodpecker. The green woodpecker was certainly quite alarmed at the prospect of being someone's Sunday lunch but I didn't think the sparrowhawk was trying very hard. I gained the impression, in fact, that it was just being a git.

I saw a pair of mistle thrushes seeing a sparrow hawk off once. it didn't hang around.

There was a very interesting post a few days ago on Radnorshire Bird blog about similar; but in this example (seen by a Ranger at Elan Valley) sprawk caught the green woodpecker and they tried to drown it in a puddle; quite astonishing behaviour
....after the `tarte de pommes`, and  fortified by a couple of shots of limoncellos,  I flew up the Col de Bavella whilst thunderstorms rolled around the peaks above