What do you really know about sparrowhawks?
Other than them flashing by your kitchen window, flying away after an unsuccessful hunt or even a successful kill. There is so much more to learn about them. A top predator skilled in hunting its prey. But what do you really know about sparrowhawks?
What do sparrowhawks eat? Do sparrowhawks eat mice? Why do songbirds, which are their prey, nest nearby? What happens when tawny owls nest nearby? How old are juveniles when they are capable of hunting themselves? Do male sparrowhawks brood the eggs? Who builds the nest and when? What happens in the winter?
Having given dozens of talks about garden birds, I can say that many people who attend regard sparrowhawks as an evil predator, responsible for songbird decline. The RSPB states
” Sparrowhawks remove the most vulnerable individuals, so those with the best escape tactics survive. This brings immense stability to the system, as the fittest and healthiest individuals survive. These are much more likely to breed successfully themselves and produce a greater number of fitter young birds that have a better chance of survival.”
10 years in the making, Dave Cully of Sparrowhawk Island, went to great lengths to bring this absorbing film to you. He built numerous different platforms from which to view and film these fascinating birds.
Dave has devoted his one acre island on the River Weaver to wildlife. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Dave and having a tour of his ‘Sparrowhawk island’, about one acre of wildlife friendly woodland and scrub. Dedication does not come near explaining the time and effort Dave has put into making his films.
Narrated by Chris Packham, take a sneak peak at the Secret Life of the Sparrowhawk. I can absolutely say you will be amazed when watching Dave’s film!
Stuck for a fabulously interesting present for a nature lover? Like to learn more about these superb, agile predators and often maligned birds of prey?
Bargain priced DVD of this great bird available here
Interested in sparrowhawks different hunting strategies, techniques and prey?
Download a sparrowhawk leaflet by the BTO Garden BirdWatch Guide
Download a sparrowhawk information PDF by the BTOs Mike Toms
Interesting article here by Garden BirdWatch Shropshire Ambassador John Arnfield