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02/06/2014 at 18:09

 Lib........yes I understand.........I think it is the gulls and crows which are pretty awful to watch.  The Hawks tend to hold and squeeze and, in my experience, the prey is dead before they begin to pluck and dismember.

As to the larger birds living longer and learning new tricks.......in the long term that's how species evolve isn't it ?

I suppose that is the way we got where we are today ........disgusting habits and all

Last year, we had to watch a very new Collared dove youngster...........in fact just had it's first feed from parent (or first that we were able to see anyway.)..........a crow came and attacked it in the nest but flew off when I went out in the garden.  The youngster, obviously dead, was left draped over the nest.  Our neighbours were horrified..........wanted me to climb up the tree and dispose of the little dove.  Pointless to do that and I explained the crow would be back to collect it's meal.....sure enough, within the hour, crow came and retrieved it's booty.  It's sad to watch but nature is nature and little you can do to alter it.

Do you remember that observation......"If you want to see the most dangerous animal on earth, just look in the mirror" ?  Awful but true unfortunately.

Sorry....wasn't meaning to rant

02/06/2014 at 18:19

Nature is cruel- it has to be to exist.

Once a work colleague and I rescued some swallows whose mud house had collapsed into a drain after a downpour. We fed them cat food with tweezers over night until we were able to rig up a contraption in the eaves. The parents had stuck around and were feeding them again, now in their plastic glue pot nest.

Some days later they had all disappeared- a feather nearby made us think it was an owl... As humanzees we could have just let them drown/ freeze to death in the drain but at least this way they fed something else. 

We can't save everything; that was the point I meant to make

02/06/2014 at 18:35

Victoria............so true

02/06/2014 at 19:25

You both speak wisely 

Sadly nature is indeed cruel in our eyes but you can safely bet that Sparrowhawks are not in danger of destroying this very planet on which we live. What may seem even crueller is the fact that Sparrowhawk chicks are hatching at the same time as baby Blue Tits are leaving the nest.This gives the adult Sparrowhawks a plentiful food supply with which to feed their own hungry chicks just at the right time.How they know when to time this I don't know,but its that brutal kind of logic that nature possesses and it works.The upside of this though is that there will always be some Blue Tits survive to continue the species.

02/06/2014 at 19:31

They don't 'know' how to time it.

Their distant ancestors raised their young at various times; those that raised them at the same time as the blue tits' ancestors had plenty of food and so their young were more likely to survive and raise chicks of their own, carrying the 'gene for' raising young at that time.  Those that tried to raise their young at a different time were less successful.

That's what Darwin discovered 170 or so years ago (only he used different examples).

03/06/2014 at 08:58

Much the same with Herons and elvers

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