Notes on Use of This Blog


1. I have a policy that I always reply to comments on my blog, even if it's just to say thank you.

2. Please don't submit comments that include your own web address. For obvious reasons, they will not be published.

3. I'm now on Twitter - @RichardPegler1

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Scourge Of The Garden

We have a male Sparrowhawk that is currently visiting us on a regular basis. Whilst it does not seem very successful in its hunting attempts, it is wreaking havoc on my garden birds.

The real problem is that, when the Sprawk appears, the birds (understandably!) panic, and we are getting several window strikes each day. I've even had the Sprawk hit the window less than 6ft (2 metres) from my head! Unfortunately the window strikes themselves have led to some casualties, and in recent weeks we have lost a Long-tailed Tit, a Goldfinch, and a Collared Dove presumably with broken necks.

I moved some of the feeders so that (I hope!) there is less chance of them hitting windows as they flee. If this doesn't work, I might have to consider stopping feeding for a while - but I don't want the birds to desert our garden.

Sparrowhawk (male) - our garden
Managed to get this image with the old Nikkor 80-400 lens, whilst the Sigma was being repaired.

9 comments:

  1. Lovely image Richard. Do you neighbours have feeders out? I wouldn't remove the feeders, the passerines will return but so will the sprawk. I know some people use them stickers that have silouhettes of bird of prey on them as it does stop smaller bird when fleeing from heading towards the windows, but at the same time it makes the passerines nervous. But better nervous then dead.
    I did see a company that has invented glass that doesn't block vision for people looking out but has a "trick" reflective quality that birds can see it's "solid" sadly at the moment it's only availiable for tower blocks...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your suggestions Douglas. The immediate neighbours don't feed the birds. If moving the feeders away from the glass doesn't work, I'll perhaps try some stickers - perhaps some that just show the birds that there's something there, rather than scaring the hell out of them. I don't want to obscure the glass too much from inside as I often take photos through it (the above Sprawk image is an example).

      Delete
  2. Well.....we have the same issue here in Tucson. While they'll cause havoc for several days at my garden, they usually will move on allowing the little birds to come back. Very cool bird though:) Great shot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chris. From my past experience, they do tend to be self-regulating, leaving the birds in peace whilst numbers (their food store!) build up again. This one seems to be a little more persistent, however!

      Delete
  3. Hi Richard,we've had one visit us once or twice,our Cat use to carry out a patrol,which kept it at bay.
    It also likes our neighbours Gardens,with luck it may disappear.
    they sometimes do.
    Great shot.
    John.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you John. We're keeping our fingers crossed, as we haven't seen it for a couple of days now.

      Delete
    2. Spoke too soon - it's just been back, but unsuccessfully!

      Delete
  4. Join the club Richard. We have the same problem, same raptor species, same window strikes. Its a no win situation isn't it, stop feeding the birds which move on - as does the Sparrowhawk - to get caught elsewhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Pete, I guess you've got the right attitude. Hopefully, feeding the birds results in a significantly positive contribution to their welfare when all things are taken into consideration.

      Delete

I'm pleased to report that the anonymous spam problem seems to be solvable without using word verification. I'm now just using the 'Registered Users - includes OpenID' option in Blogger settings, and I'm not getting any spam - touch wood! I've also not received any contact from people saying that they are no longer able to make comments.