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We have had one for 2 weeks, birds will hardly come down, it always seems to come in October


Same down here in Devon Vicki, I dont like them, all the little birds have gone, although they always do this time of the year, there is a lot of food in the fields also still warm enough for insects for food.

I have had more wrens than usual, havent seen the nuthatch's for ages though.

Pheasants are our main birds at the moment, they come to the food everyday.  

Why be concerned about a sparrowhawk taking what it has evolved to eat. Nearly all hawks feed on birds, rabbits, small rodents and other creature's, you don't get vegetarian raptors. It's all part of life and nature's rich tapestry. They are entitled to live like any other creature and feed as they have evolved to do. Songbirds are prey items for a number of predators. Just because we like one bird over another, doesn't mean we should discourage another species of bird. Persecution of raptors, led to the wiping out of the Red Kite in the UK. Other raptors are persecuted by game keepers and farmers, which has led to a huge reduction in their numbers. If you have a bird of prey visiting your garden be grateful and enjoy their spectacle. 

People being influenced by the 'cuddly bunny' brigade and really soft in the head attitudes, fail to understand the basic rule in nature of only the fittest survive.

If you want an example of the rule of nature watch the David Attenborough series 'Life Story'.

Nature is an unstoppable force which we humans can never hope to fully control. 

Our ingenuity has led us to the place we occupy today, but ultimately, nature will, by whatever means, lead to the destruction of the planet we live on.

Every creature has the right to live, even if we don't like or want them. The world would be a boring place if we kept things from eating each other, and we would certainly starve.

Nature rules us, we deceive ourselves if we think otherwise.

Leave the sparrowhawk alone.


With you all the way Dave


Leave the sparrowhawk alone!! Who has said otherwise, living very close to Dartmoor I am well aware of animal instincts, as I expect are most people on here, we have all watched Attenborough.. I dont think there are too many 'soft in the head' people here either

No one has said here that they will persecute the bird, I am definitely not of the 'fluffy bunny'brigade, in fact, 

far from it. I just dont like to see birds taking young from the nests and ripping them apart. 



Sparrowhawks regularly visit the garden.  I havent seen them take a bird and I hope I never do.  I have occasionally seen a flurry of feathers on the lawn so I suppose either it or the local cat has been successful.  I once saw two magpies literally ripping apart a live bird in my garden and I've never felt the same about them since.  However, I do appreciate that nature has to take it's course and I do feel honoured when the sparrow hawk sits on my fence and watches me sitting in the conservatory.

All I do is make sure that my bird feeding station is close to cover, its also in a corner of the garden that makes it difficult for the sparrowhawk to swoop down and get away with prey.


We have an occasional sparrowhawk and other raptors about.  They rarely get anything as the feeders are all close to cover from climbers on trellis to shrubs and hedges where the small birds can take cover.   I take the view that sparrowhawks need to eat too and usually only get the old or very stupid birds.  

Don't like magpies but haven't had problems with them for several years but now I have jackdaws trying to nest on my chimney pots.  I hope they don't start causing bivver with the small birds.

I feed the birds all year so they get through winter fit and well for a successful breeding season and then have energy to hunt for suitable food for their broods and my colonies of sparrows and tits have increased several fold. can usually tell the difference between a Hawk kill and a cat kill.  The hawks pluck their prey and you just find a whole load of feathers with no sign of a body.

Cats don't pluck the feathers......just tend to maul the bird/mammal about and leave the mutilated evidence.

I know which I'd prefer in the garden.

"Our" Sparrowhawk made yet another kill the other day.......a Collared Dove on this occasion. 


Guys - sparrowhawks need to be culled in huge numbers before all the songbirds are eaten. Once the songbirds are wiped out, the sparrowhawks will turn on each other until there is one fat sparrowhawk left, which will then starve to death.


That sounds like a metaphor for what we are doing to the planet, Fishy


There just aren't that many sparrowhawks around.   Songbirds are at greater danger from modern farming techniques and chemicals and migratory birds are at risk form being hunted by poor communities in their winter quarters or on tehir migratory path.    

As long as enough of us feed birds all year and with appropriate food and cultivate our gardens in wildlife friendly ways to encourage insects and berries we should be able to keep some alive.    Cuckoos, for example, are more at risk in Africa than in Britain and Europe.

I really don't think any of us should be getting into " what birds we want or don't want in our gardens ".  It's a pointless exercise for one thing and for another, it strikes me as being somewhat arrogant on our behalf.

Nature usually balances itself is generally human interference which puts it out of kilter.

"Freedom of movement" being much in the news recently, we should be including Sparrowhawks too.  I wonder if Mr. Farage is likely to be reading this thread ?  Could help bulk out UKIP's manifesto such as it is

Fishy maybe humans should be culled instead, not sparrowhawks. Nature was here long before us and will be here long after us. Human beings are more of a plague on nature than nature upon human beings.



Dave, I do agree with your post above about Sparrowhawks...but we are part of nature too. We aren't from another planet


I totally agree Dave, I was being a little sarcastic  There is only one species threatening the existence of songbirds (and nature in general) and that is humans.

A similar instance of nature's delicate balance being upset by humans involved one of the big national parks in the US. I can't quite remember which one but wolves were persecuted to the point of total absence. As a result, the Caribou had no natural predator to control their numbers,thus they became so numerous that young trees were being grazed to oblivion. This of course had consequences for various forms of insect and plant life.

In short,the action of one species (us) caused a chain reaction right through the park's ecology. So what did they do? Brought the wolf back and everything was restored to its former glory. You can see this scenario repeated across the globe. Whales hunted,oceans polluted,rain forests destroyed and one single species responsible and multiplying like bacteria.

Oh good fishy, I'm not an unreasonable person, but people don't understand that we are here only through nature's good graces, and we mistreat it at our peril. We all, whatever our species, need to respect our place on a planet that is under huge stress by the activity of the dominant species. Much could be done to redress the balance but indifference and self interest dominates. I do not wish to see the future of my children and theirs leave a legacy that may be difficult or impossible to recover from.


Amen to that Dave  Well said.