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Hi
Im Beth and i am a University student. I am in my 3rd (final) year, and i have decided to write my dissertation on the 'threats and opportunities for Sparrowhawks'
I hope you don't mind me joining this forum, however any advice you can give me about Sparrowhawks is greatly appreciated, what you think of them and how they affect you and your birds. I have also created a questionnaire about Sparrowhawks hunting. I would really appreciate it if you would take the time to fill it out. Also if you know anyone else who has seen a Sparrowhawk hunting, please pass on my request.
Any help is massively appreciated!
Many Thanks
Beth
 

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Have completed.

Not seen many, but few is enough.

Had one in the garden in Norfolk, perched on a spade handle bold as you like only a few yards from the kitchen window, looking to grab one of the collared doves we put out food for. Disturbed, she didn't get her lunch. Think she caught a dove a fleeting blow, but the dove zipped up the next house's garden and into the open kitchen door. House being empty and us having access, we found the dove on a curtain rail with a spot of blood on the breast. Couldn't catch her, but she left OK.

The hunting female hawks also terrorized the ferals we used to feed in the park and killed one or two, probably weak or young ones.

I find it disturbing that the hawks haunt urban areas, but some of their larger prey can be found in those areas, so it's to be expected, unfortunately for the pigeons whose real natural enemy in the true wild environment would be Peregrines.

John
 

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peregrines

I did not know Peregrines and Sparrow hawks where considered to be the same bird. I have a smaller hawk then the peregrine here and have been lead to believe it is what they call a sparrow hawk. I have seen these birds take chickadees and finches from the bird feeder but they have left the doves and my pigeons to themselves. I can't say that they would not go for either one, for the most part the doves are in flight as this little hawk takes his prey. I think I now need to do a little more research on hawks myself. >Kevin
 

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I did not know Peregrines and Sparrow hawks where considered to be the same bird. I have a smaller hawk then the peregrine here and have been lead to believe it is what they call a sparrow hawk. I have seen these birds take chickadees and finches from the bird feeder but they have left the doves and my pigeons to themselves. I can't say that they would not go for either one, for the most part the doves are in flight as this little hawk takes his prey. I think I now need to do a little more research on hawks myself. >Kevin
Hi - no, they are not the same bird. In the UK, wild pigeons - rock doves - are still found on some remote parts of Scotland, and their only real threat is the Peregrine Falcon. In England, though, the far smaller Sparrowhawk takes feral pigeons and Eurasian collared doves, even wood pigeons on occasion (and they are big!)

John
 

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They hunt at the bird feeder, a few have tried to hunt my pigeons but without success, he was no match for the homing pigeons quickness and high flock flying...he just gave up...
 

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sparrowhawk

This spring while training my white homers, I lost a bird to a sparrowhawk. My bird was a youngster and only had flown not more than 250- 300 meters from the loft when she ( I think was a female) was attacked by a sparrow hawk. I had just released my rookie team and all of a sudden the hawk was in the chase. I think my wife was a bit traumatized by what she was seeing. (me too for that matter). Anyway my bird just was not fast enough, as I received a phone call from an elderly lady stating she had found my bird and followed up on the band number to get hold of me. Unfortunately the hawk did catch my bird and had a very good lunch. My first reaction was anger at the hawk, and guilt for not seeing the hawk before I released. But the anger has subsided because I can't blame the hawk for being a hawk and doing what is natural. I will never forget seeing the early part of the chase. I felt sick about it, but these type of things happen and can happen to any flyer. Now get this, 3 days ago the same thing nearly happened. I had a late round and am training some more rookies. My birds were coming in (12) of them. some had trapped in and all of a sudden I saw a brown flash of wings. HAWK!!! I ran around towards the landing board, I had 2 of my birds on the board and trapping, I went into the loft and did a quick count and found one was missing. By now I am frantic!! I did a look around and low and behold my missing bird was on the ground beside my little fish pond and hedge. The hawk had knocked him out of the air but apparentely could not manage to get down into the little space fast enough to get at my bird after he had hit him. I ran to catch my bird but he got up and landed on the landing board. I must say I have never seen a bird trap so fast in my life...I went into the loft, caught and assessed the bird and other than missing a couple of feathers on her back she is fine. I gotta tell ya, I am very very nervous about flying my birds now but they need to fly. I dont worry about my older flyers but the rookies are a different story. I have given the bird that was attacked a rest and have not flown her yet but the others flew today and all is well..



Hank
 

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wow, you all have pretty feirce sparrow hawks out your way. Sparrow hawks in Maine, mainly predate bugs and rodents and smaller reptiles. and yes, I've seen a successful hunt, nearly right under my feet. Had a pair raising kids at the old, not active fairgrounds where I live. I would walk through the infield, scare up those big flying grasshoppers for them, and they would come hunt, even with me there.
 

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We may be talking about two different species here

Falco sparverius (American kestrel) is often referred to as a 'sparrowhawk'

Accipiter nisus is the 'sparrowhawk' found in UK/Europe

John
 

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I was just going to say that John. Kestrels, were once reffered to as "sparrow hawks" but bow, they are called american kestrels.
 

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The sparrow hawk in the Uk and in the US are two totally different birds.I believe the one in the US is smaller and hunts much smaller prey than the one in the Uk.Not sure but i think its a tiny bit bigger than a kestral probably not big enough to take a pigeon.
 
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