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KEF, how amazing.
Kef, oh that is so sad. i find this part of nature unbearable. if i see magpie's or jays hanging around the nests of the birds in our garden, i shoo them away, squirrals too.
Artjak, your conversation with mr blackbird is amusing. my husband tells me he answers me because he thinks i'm a threatening male. haha but i do think a blackbird has the most beautiful sound ever. enchanting.
we had a big archway over the back gate and whilst washing up at the sink i saw a pidgeon just about to land on top of the gate when this sparrow hawk flashed by the window, flew at the pidgeon as it took flight, caught it in flight and went through the gap between the top of the gate and the arch... it was amazing accuracy as the gap wasn't even that high.
We get sparrow hawks, I know they are magnificent birds ( or so they say )but I'm so sad when they snatch someone. Thankfully they don't eat very often unless they have young. Usually if undisturbed they will pluck their kill on site, otherwise take off with it. I've seen a blackbird taken. They are sneaky and sit in the apple tree waiting until the little birds think they've gone and come back to feed again..then it's me running out clapping waving and frightening half of the village.
Chocolate vine #1 is in flower! It didn't seem right happy with its slightly shady trellis but now that it's foudn the sunshine at the top it's growing faster and flowering. Of course it's flowering where I can't reach to sniff the flowers, but, hey, it's flowering. That gives me cause to hope for more accessible flowers on vines #2 and #3.
Also, I have two blue tits, one coal tit and one robin coming very close for mealworms plus a great tit, a sparrow and a female finch that come within a few metres.
Now, if that wandering cat would just be so kind as to eat a few of the lily blossoms when they open ...
Wintersong looking good
KEF; to hell with Sparrow Hawks being magnificent! Last spring I had 11 goldfinches feeding at the Niger seed. The Sparrow Hawk took 10 of them!
Its nature. Enjoy the sight of all the birds. Numbers will balance out.
A world without raptors would be diminished. We get to enjoy viewing nature , it is not there to act as we would wish.
Would we like to see tigers extinct because they eat pretty Bambi? I think not.
reiver; it was NOT natural; 500 years ago, there would have been far more small birds; the numbers could have bourne with 10 finches vanishing from a very small area, THAT would have been natural, but birds now have a greatly reduced habitat; the numbers simply don't balance out in the 21st century.
I have to disagree with you, Artjak, because without the apex predator to take out the sick and dying, then disease spreads amongst the general population and the whole population is weakened. If all the sharks are removed from a coral reef, the general health of the wider fish population declines. Carnivorous birds have their place in the ecosystem. Survival of the fittest. A balance will always be maintained.
The balance has been lost already fb. Man has made sure of that and continues to do so.
Today I feel so happy because it has been sunny and warm. More forecast for the weekend
The greater habitat for birds, (woods, meadows and hedgerows) has been ruined, (yes, by man) The huge amount of gardens in the country has become their habitat. We feed birds through a hard winter to ensure their survival. Otherwise there would be fewer small birds as many would not survive their first winter. The hawks move with their food. It just seems a bit more brutal when it is in our own backyard. If the small bird population declines, the hawk population declines. A balance is always maintained. Only when man goes in for wholesale slaughter, does the entire population get wiped out and a species becomes extinct.
Saturday is the "Rocky Plant " show at Wimborne Minster , and I am going to Wisley on Sunday. So I am very very happy... where did you buy those sungalasses ... I want some..
down at the bottom, need to scroll down
Oh, yes.I never noticed that before.. thank you... my life is now enriched.
Part of the reason hawks do so well in gardens is that we tend to put the feeders where we can enjoy watching the birds on them. The feeders should actually be away from big windows, close to lots of connected dense cover, and protected from hawks by a surrounding hedge or mesh of some sort. Hawks love a clear run at the feeders. Putting them in the middle of a hawthorn tree where you get scratched every time you refill them is better for the small birds. I've got one of those big "dining hall" cages at the end of the "scrap hedge cuttings" heaped behind the shed, and that provides pigeon-proof and even starling-proof feeding for the small birds, and it's cat-proof and hawk-proof as a bonus, and I've got feeders on a pole between tall fence, tall compost heap and two tall trees down by the water where there's a whole lot of "hedge" growing, so the birds can get to and from the food relatively safely ..... without me ever knowing about it.
I do have a clear line of sight from near the shed to that feeder pole, though. It turns out brown rats can get through or under that "squirrel-resistant" bell-shaped cage to get at the treat pellets, so it's good to be able to get another kind of pellet through to the rat.
Today I am happy,because the sky is blue,the sun is shining,and we are about to have breakfast in the garden for the first time this year
Charlie you're absolutely right- I used to have a little feeder near the house and tucked inside a pyracantha. The little birds could all get in but it kept magpies and starlings -and the squirrel (!) - out and even the coal tits stayed and ate their food by the feeder instead of flying away to eat. I had a bird table and other feeders in a different partof the garden. At my last house we had feeders between the pond and the conservatory so we had a wonderful view but the sparrow hawk did hide in the cherry tree nearby. The small birds had good cover in the clematis etc right next to the feeders so they rarely got caught. We had the best of both worlds! The pheasants were tame and we could often hand feed them- they sometimes jumped onto the window ledges of the house. They nested across the road in our neighbour's garden but we always worried about them crossing the road!
When we start feeding birds regularly we create a feeding station for the ones we choose to like and a an opportunity for those that like to feed off those we choose to like. If you don't want to see raqptors feed from your garden remove the temptation by forcing the ready-meals to do what they were naturally inclined to do, that is search and scavenge the hedgerows.
Their is natural cycle to life, predation is part of that cycle. we need to learn to live with it. No Sparrow hawk or other natural predator ever did as much damage to the world as we did.