A sparrowhawk returned to the garden a couple of weeks ago. The evidence lay around on various parts of the grass, plucked mounds of feathers. Close to the wall was the featherless body of its attentions. the Sparrowhawk was disturbed from feeding on its prize, a collared dove, when hubby went into the garden. The bird had been too big to fly off with in the Sparrow hawk’s talons, it had, therefore, succumbed to its attacker at the spot where it was caught. The Sparrow hawk returned later, leaving behind a well picked carcass.

Collared doves usually pair up. There were two that visited us regularly and happily sat on the washing line surveying the scene and just relaxing. That is, until the pair were split up. The mate has returned a few times to find its friend. It sits for a few minutes on the chain link fence that separates our garden from the neighbouring farm. Then the bird flies away. I guess it will stop seeking its mate soon.

P1020521 collared dove

Varieties of Pigeon continue to visit, as do Sparrows, Green Finches and Crows.The last two weeks have seen them joined by Thrushes. The thrush having a longer narrower beak than the usual visitors, have been voraciously nibbling away at the peanuts. Seeds have been a little slower to disappear.

P1020514 My Perch

It has been noticeable that many more of the smaller birds are giving food offerings to the bigger ones who cannot easily obtain the food from the feeders. My untested theory is that the little birds are keeping the larger ones close by to help ward off further Sparrowhawk forays. Crows are very good at mobbing Sparrowhawks. In addition, while birds are feeding, there will be birds on the ground who can alert them to dangers in the skies above.

P1020458 2010 April 10th Turtle Dove



  1. That made me sad reading that but thats the law of the “jungle” I suppose 😦 in fact in my daughters garden the other day a Red Kite grabbed a poor sparrow she heard this awful commotion and saw through the window the “carnage”going on its nature I guess…

  2. I shared my thoughts with hubby, who was dubious about the little ones feeding the big birds, that is, till he saw it happening. His view now concurs with yours and mine.

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