Sparrowhawk eating greenfinch in garden, watch video

January 29, 2012

in A selection of my garden wildlife videos, Birds, Gardening For Wildlife

All my articles, videos and work are funded by my teaching and sales of award winning bumblebee nest boxessolitary bee boxes,  and wormeries.

Sparrowhawk eating greenfinch video…

Sparrowhawk plucking collared dove

Greenfinch feeding on bird feeder in garden is ambushed by sparrowhawk, taken to fence and eaten, bit by bit, watch sparrowhawk spit out greenfinch’s beak. Some may find this rather gruesome, but sparrowhawks have to eat as well to live. Other animals kill birds, such as cats, do not eat them because they are already well fed but kill to hone their predatory hunting skills!

Sparrowhawks, particularly females, can kill larger prey than sparrows and can include collared doves and magpies.

I watched and filmed the bird in my garden. If you would like to participate in watching garden birds and making a pleasurable input towards “citizen science ” for the scientist as the British Trust for Ornithology then go to the BTO Garden Bird Watch

With thanks to Chris Down for photographs.

Sparrowhawk just killed collared dove

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

marian morrison January 29, 2012 at 10:50 am

Horrible!! I know they have to survive but the greenfinch is already in short number. Had a visit on the feeders just this week from the greenfinch hav’nt seen one for months. The sparrowhawk had better not come near our garden today, engrosed in RSPB birdwatch but thats easier said than done to try and count numbers!!!


nurturingnature January 29, 2012 at 11:39 am

I know Marian, but this is nature in its wholesome reality.Everything has its place in the fascinating web of life. At least it eats its prey to keep alive itself and feeds prey to its young to keep them alive.


Lynn Forman July 19, 2017 at 2:52 pm

I have just had a sparrowhawk grab a pigeon in my garden and was eating it i have two cats are they safe


nurturingnature July 20, 2017 at 8:52 pm

Yes! Cheers, George


marie thompson January 30, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Hi George, I like the picture of the peregrine falcon, I love the birds of prey and watching them stoop is awesome, we see a lot of them on the foreshore not prergrines but kestrels and sparrowhawks,,,but please George don’t villify the cats without them we would be knee deep in vermin and they are part of the circle of life, if they were wild instead of ‘domesticated’ we would be oohing and aahing at their ability to hunt. I think they get a bad press,
cheers Marie


nurturingnature January 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Ha,lol! Marie this would be true if they were native to the UK. They were introduced from North Africa by the Romans to kill rodents that were eating their grains. Our indigenous cat ( now called the Scottish wild cat) was wiped out as much of our wildlife was, particularly predators. They lived in far less numbers than the North African species……which we adopted and domesticated which caused it to thrive. Our wild birds evolved over countless years with the native wildlife population and adjusted its breeding numbers to cater for predation by the native species. Then along comes another predator, called the domestic cat….yet another introduced species, the grey squirrel, does a similar job to urban cats in the woodlands, forests and cities, predating on young birds in the nest and their eating eggs.


gumri April 26, 2015 at 4:03 pm

I don’t know why any “nature lover” would be offended by a Sparrow Hawk or any bird of prey, doing what it naturally does to live. I have seen Sparrow Hawks near my feeders. While unlike the sanitized TV nature shows rarely show birds of prey actually make their catch and eat them, it should be seen! Anyone offended by nature should definitely NOT eat anything that moves.


nurturingnature April 26, 2015 at 10:14 pm

Yes, thats why I filmed the whole process. It is a fact a life. Some people can handle that others have different views! Cheers, George


Nigel Marshall April 4, 2016 at 3:59 pm

I’d like to use your photo (please) of the sparrowhawk eating the green finch as stimulus material for my educational publication on Maths Skills for the new GCSE Sciences.
No funds but would naturally credit your website.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Dr Nigel Marshall, Mickledore Publishing


nurturingnature April 4, 2016 at 4:07 pm

Dr. Marshall, I will email you. Kind Regards, George


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