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Talkback: Sparrowhawk overhead

I hate the damn things, nothing is keeping their numbers down. they are costantly in my garden. we have no pigions. so they pick off my song birds, i have very tame black birds & a couple of treasured thrush's. I am sick of finding feathers all over the lawn. They have regular feeding times, so if im in i can foil their feeding on my birds.So next time give a thought to birds we love to hear & deter them from your garden.


  • they are lovely birds,but like the other comments i wish they wouldnt catch the smaller garden birds.i have one that has twice now landed outside my window with a black bird and pigion for his breakfast,and all that was left was a puff of feathers on the lawn..and have i got my camera ready for a shot of the bird!!! no,he lands about three feet away from the window,a love/hate bird.
  • Last year l also saw one it was trying to get to sparrows in the front garden hedge
  • We have a sparrowhawk that is quite a regular. Thankfully, nine times out of ten he flies off empty taloned. Unfortunatly now and then he catches a woodpigeon or collared dove, as they usually sit atop a tree and are an easy feast for the sparrowhawk.
  • In the past year or two I have had sparrow hawks hunting through/over my garden with sightings now becoming quite common to my delight. I am still hoping to be visited by a peregrine as they are known to be in the area especially if it can knock a few feathers off that damned grey assassin that seeks my fish and frogs.

    According to my bird handbook, there is very little difference between the wingspans of kestrels and sparrow hawks with the former being the slightly bigger. I admit I was very surprised to learn that.

    It is sad when a rarer species becomes the prey but don't forget how scarce raptors became thanks to DDT and other poisons, so we should consider ourselves fortunate to be visited by them and try to appreciate their supreme flying skill.
  • We used to have a grand sparrow hawk living in our garden. He kept the pigeons and rabbits down to reasonable numbers. Now he is gone the pigeons and rabbits are a growing problem even though we had mixamatosis in the summer.
    He never bothered my small birds and they were not frightened of him. He built the worst nest I've ever seen.
  • A few weeks ago I was outside watching dozens and dozens of swallows swooping about getting ready for their long journeys from these shores. It really was a fantastic sight.........then all of a sudden a sparrowhawk appeared from nowhere and took a swallow.....all the other swallows mobbed the hawk....their alarm calls were deafening!! I couldn't see whether or not they made him drop his prey but it was a pretty amazing thing to witness.
  • Interesting. I see hovering birds but from far away. Always wonder what they are. :)
  • I first saw one a few years ago, zigzagging low across my front garden and settling in the viburnum. It was a thrilling sight, but I can relate to susanc's 'love/hate' comment. It's easier to feel ok about creatures' need to hunt when you don't see them do it!
  • I loathe them, with a vengeance, to see them carrying off a shrieking starling with the starlings mate in hot pursuit, it also calling turns my stomach. I dont like them, I never will... and no, I dont eat meat. We have them in our garden all the time.
    I do understand that they are only being a sparrowhawk, but I totally disagree that they wouldnt eat all the birds in their own territory, as well known organisations say. What with cats, window strikes, and loss of habitat birds are having a tough time. Its time to limit their numbers in my not so humble opinion
  • I was delighted when my local sparrow hawks nested in my garden. It was lovely to see the parents come to to the ground to feed the youngster and to see the chick climbing into one of my large trees for the night. They mainly eat the pigeons in my garden and although I do not especislly like to see them killing the songbirds I know they have to eat and are fighting to rear their youngster. The RSPB have investigated sparrow hawks effects on songbirds and found that sparrow do not reduce the songbird population in a garden and if the sparrow hawk vanished, songbird numbers would not increase. Sparrow hawks only live for about 3 years. I will be very sorry to loose mine.
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