Top 5 Birds of Prey - Sparrowhawk

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Top 5 Birds of Prey - Sparrowhawk

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This week it is Bird of prey week on the forums. We will be showcasing a predatory bird each day with some information on them. We have picked five species of these fantastic birds that we will be showcasing during this week with a “top 5” poll on Friday. First, up the Sparrowhawk  (Accipiter nisus). The RSPB's Wildlife Enquiries team probably receives more queries about sparrowhawks than any other species. They can be confused with several other birds of prey.
 

As a top predator, sparrowhawks can only thrive if their prey - in this case songbirds - is present in good numbers and has a healthy population. Sparrowhawks are short-lived compared with other birds of prey. The average age for a sparrowhawk is 2.7 years, and very few live longer than seven years. A third of the adults die each year, mostly from collisions.  Around two thirds of the fledged young die in their first year, the most common cause being starvation.


· Female much larger than male. Both are barred on the underparts, the male tinged with rufous.
· Males back bluish, while females are brown.
· Distinguished from Kestrel by its rounded wings.
· Catches small birds in dashing low flight.


Autumn is a great time to see Sparrowhawks In the UK it is found everywhere, except for parts of the Scottish Highlands, the Western Isles and Shetland. Several factors contributed to a decline in sparrowhawk numbers in the past. Deforestation over thousands of years, because of man's need for firewood and agriculture, reduced the amount of suitable habitat. Sparrowhawks can now be seen in woodland and even urban gardens.

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  • Our resident daily visitor and I am always happy to see him

  • This week it is Bird of prey week on the forums. We will be showcasing a predatory bird each day with some information on them. We have picked five species of these fantastic birds that we will be showcasing during this week with a “top 5” poll on Friday. First, up the

    Sparrowhawk  (Accipiter nisus). The RSPB's Wildlife Enquiries team probably receives more queries about sparrowhawks than any other species. They can be confused with several other birds of prey.
     

    As a top predator, sparrowhawks can only thrive if their prey - in this case songbirds - is present in good numbers and has a healthy population. Sparrowhawks are short-lived compared with other birds of prey. The average age for a sparrowhawk is 2.7 years, and very few live longer than seven years. A third of the adults die each year, mostly from collisions.  Around two thirds of the fledged young die in their first year, the most common cause being starvation.


    · Female much larger than male. Both are barred on the underparts, the male tinged with rufous.
    · Males back bluish, while females are brown.
    · Distinguished from Kestrel by its rounded wings.
    · Catches small birds in dashing low flight.


    Autumn is a great time to see Sparrowhawks In the UK it is found everywhere, except for parts of the Scottish Highlands, the Western Isles and Shetland. Several factors contributed to a decline in sparrowhawk numbers in the past. Deforestation over thousands of years, because of man's need for firewood and agriculture, reduced the amount of suitable habitat. Sparrowhawks can now be seen in woodland and even urban gardens.

     

    Not always the best sight and the noise this Starling was making as it was ripped open was not pleasant but dispite that, the Sparrowhawk must be one of the most awsume birds to have visit your garden.This one dropped in for a spot of lunch a few weeks back in my garden in S.Beds PF