The brave woodpigeon and the sparrowhawk video

September 22, 2017

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

This was one gutsy woodpigeon with attitude!

I have seen adult Woodpigeons (Columba palumbus) show similar behaviour towards Collared Doves and even Magpies when driving them away from food. I have seen many sparrowhawks attack and kill smaller birds, such as a greenfinch, blackbirds and others, as well as hunting mice on foot! Collared Doves being larger are taken by female sparrowhawks, which can be 25% larger than males. To tackle a large woodpigeon like this would also likely be a female sparrowhawk.

Woodpigeon about to attack a sparrowhawk with prey

It is difficult to see whether the captive woodpigeon is an adult or a squab. What biological reason would there be to defend another woodpigeon? Would a woodpigeon defend its partner like this or would it only defend its own chick? (squab). This brave adult’s behaviour is a first for me, with its upright chest, half extended wings and aggressive flying at the sparrowhawk to drive it off the sparrowhawk’s prey. Such combative and posturing behaviour is often shown towards other woodpigeons, particularly male to male. This bird had character and guts.

Excellent DVD ‘The Secret Life of the Sparrowhawk’, which took 10 years to make!!

BTO info sheet Woodpigeon

Territorial and other Behaviour of the Woodpigeon

BBC film ‘The bird that nurtured its mortal enemy’ where a female woodpigeon attempts to brood a nest with 3 hobby chicks!

Interested in birds and gardens? Join BTO Garden Birdwatch. A Citizen Science Project

With thanks to my observant daughter who filmed this unusual incident!

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: