hears an alarm amongst the birds as a female sparrowhawk
swoops over the hedge at our feeder and takes her prey to the border alongside
the lawn. She mantles (spreads her wings over her prey) and, after a minute
or so, flies off with it towards the wood.
was probably one of the goldfinches which are our most
regular visitors to the niger seed and sunflower hearts. I feel guilty
about putting the goldfinches in danger but a sparrowhawk could strike
just about anywhere, at any time in the wild. I like to have the goldfinches
about but I also like to see sparrowhawks and the brutal fact is that
they have to eat too but any bird that they take from our bird feeder
- even a humble sparrow, their nominal prey - is going to be one that
I wish could have got away, just this once.
Richard Bell, email@example.com