Saturday, 24 October 2015

Sparrow Hawk

She's a familiar sight in our garden, causing pandemonium amongst the little garden birds. They're quick to dive for cover as she jets in, silently, and swiftly, a fighter - an efficient killer on the prowl, the hunt is on.
Look away now if you are of a nervous disposition!
We did not see the brutal act take place
and accidentally disturbed her whilst she ate
but she'll be back to finish off the pigeon
if not, tonight, the fox may find a tasty treat
 Mortes
I hope its gone by the morning, but who will clean the feathers up?

35 comments:

  1. That's what we call nature and living life to our / its nature, don't we?
    Beautifully pictured.

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    1. It's the survival of the fittest in nature

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  2. Dear Rosemary, Let the wind take the feathers. Your Sparrow Hawk is a Beauty. Birds of pray circle over our farm and everyone hides or sounds the alarm. Your first photograph is especially beautiful.

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    1. Dear Gina - the photos could have been better if they had not been obscured by glass in our windows, but they are better than I thought they would be. At the moment it is wet so the feathers are stuck to the patio!!!

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  3. Oh my goodness.
    How ones survives and one dies.
    Nature is amazing.
    I suppose the feathers will flitter away in the breeze..

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    1. The fox removed the offending body during the night - thank goodness

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  4. A beautiful bird and one that we see regularly here in Broadsands and did in Brixham too. One of my lovely rock pigeons, which came into my Brixham garden every day was killed by the Sparrowhawk and I was upset to find the body and feathers just like the pictures you have taken, but it's nature and not man, so I can forgive.

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    1. Today I found the white waxy imprint of the pigeon on one of the bedroom windows - she obviously chased it and that is where it broke its neck trying to escape.

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  5. "Nature red of beak and claw" I believe the quotation is. Or something like that. "Tooth and claw" perhaps? Oh well, "beak" is more appropriate here.

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    1. I suppose a bit of gore is suitable during this Halloween season.

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  6. We see Eagles and hawks in our seaside village and in the past week there have been cougars as well. We aren't the only ones making our way on this planet and I applaud the way your photos remind us of that. There's something vaguely Old Dutch Master in the theme even if the dead bird isn't meant for the stew pot!

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    1. There was a sense of the primeval watching her tear into the pigeons breast ripping it out so quickly and efficiently.

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  7. Doves are the prey of choice for the hawks around here. Nature. Beautiful but brutal.

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    1. She really is a handsome warrior - I love her eyes always on the watch.

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  8. Hello Rosemary, For several years I had hawks perched daily on the fence in my back yard. I am not sure what prey they were after, but I never found any "surprises" in the yard; perhaps once they caught something, they took it to the near-by woods. I loved seeing them in the yard, and as long as they didn't tangle with skunks, I was content to let nature take its course.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - if they catch mice or something similar in size then they usually fly off with them, but this pigeon was almost the same size as the hawk. A skunk could have left behind some rather unpleasant smells I imagine!!!

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  9. Well done to you for capturing this unruly bird on camera Rosemary. x

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    1. I like your term unruly bird - she is certainly a law unto herself - the photos could probably have been better if I had not been stuck behind the glass in the window

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  10. Great to see the sparrow hawk in action, glad you did not see the murder that´s not fun, but that´s how nature behaves. Despite the glass you were lucky to be able to make these photos.

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    1. I found the white waxy imprint of the pigeon on an upstairs window this morning so the Sparrow Hawk was chasing it. Fortunately the glass has only slightly impaired the images.

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  11. Great pics, Rosemary! Life is cruel...

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    1. Yes, it is a jungle for animals out there - the survival of the fittest

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  12. We have had them (or red kites) in our garden occasionally, and although the "birds" disappear as you say, it is all the feathers and that is quite upsetting isn't it. xx

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    1. Fortunately the body had been removed by the fox during the night who ate it all and left us with the wings!

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  13. They are the same size but so different in strength.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    1. Yes, the power and strength of the bird was very impressive when I watched it ripping the pigeon to bits.

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  14. Wow, amazing photos! This post reminds me of H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. Have you read it?

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    1. That would have made a good title for the post - I haven't read the book but do intend to and I recall she won the Costa prize for it.

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  15. Stunning series of photos, even the one of the dead pigeon's missing heart. It reminds one to seize the day ....

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  16. Amazing photos, Rosemary. I too would have been captivated by the scene, Nature in Action. I am unfamiliar with the Sparrow Hawk, but it certainly appears to be an efficient hunter. It reminds me of the time I took pictures of one our our lorikeet birds being killed and consumed by a snake. I'm sure you were pleased the fox came and took away the remains. The last photo is particularly poignant.

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    1. She was very efficient and strong at ripping open the body and eating the part she wanted, but her eyes were always on the look out, and that is how she spotted us as we hid.

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  17. Wonderful to be able to get close enough to photograph a Sparrow Hawk. We had one fly through our garden last winter just clipping the hanging bird feeders, I don't think it caught any thing on that occasion.

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    1. I had one get its feet caught in the bird feeder, and it hung up-side-down for several minutes whilst I watched. I decided that I would have to try and release it but as soon as I opened the patio doors it quickly shook itself free and was off.

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  18. She is very beautiful, but of course deadly. What wonderful images you captured here. Nature is red in tooth and claw. Out Hawks are so quick (or I am so slow) that I can never capture them with the camera.

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