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Bruce Banner

We Have A Hawk In The Garden.

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Two days ago we noticed a mess on the lawn, feathers everywhere and a partially eaten pigeon. We thought it must be a cat, but no. Yesterday a hawk appeared and spent about an hour munching away, when he had his fill he flew off. As the weather is cold, we decided to leave the half pigeon as it would stay fresh for him and this morning he's back, munching away.

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We had one a few years ago. The day the wildlife officer had come to walk round the field that's now the allotment. She was just asking us what wildlife we'd seen in the area when it turned up ripping a pigeon to bits. :)

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Interesting that it came back for more, do many birds of prey chop and change between fresh food and carrion like this?

Fine looking specimen, whatever it is. I had something which looked very similar visit my garden a few times over a couple of days a few years ago, no 'kills' on our patch but would sit atop the hedge/fence for a few minutes then fly off.

Maybe if recently independent they take a bit of time to get sorted out.

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Strange it just left it there for other animals to get ticked into if they fancied ? Do these type of birds not take their kills away and store somewhere ?

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Guest eight

Here he is, can't get a decent picture through the window.

Wow. Got any chainmail gauntlets lying around? You should try to tame it. We live near a railway station - I'd love to have a hawk on permanent pigeon detail.

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I have never known one come back again for the same kill. They usually pluck it a bit on the ground and then take the corpse with them.

Unless they're disturbed doing that and then they may circle and then come back immediately. So that seems unusual.

Really impressive birds. If you spend enough time in the garden during the summer you can recognise the alarm call that the small birds let out when they see one of these coming to warn each other - it's like a quick-fire series of squawks - and can then sometimes actually see the bird coming swooping in for a kill.

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Strange it just left it there for other animals to get ticked into if they fancied ? Do these type of birds not take their kills away and store somewhere ?

A pigeon would be a bit on the heavy side (close to the same weight as a female sparrowhawk 10-12oz) but smaller birds it would be the case,most birds of prey have a favorite plucking post within their territory

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We had a pair last year or the year before, in residence very nearby, and we'd see them regularly. I only saw them take a couple of collared doves, but then I'm not watching the back garden all day.

This then raises a dilemma regarding putting up feeders when the small birds stand to be taken by the larger ones when they come for the food.

But then the location of the (readily available live) food might have been a factor in the decision by the sparrow-hawks to nest where they did, likewise it would have been a potential factor in the decision by all the other birds to next near the food source which you shouldn't then simply remove.

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This then raises a dilemma regarding putting up feeders when the small birds stand to be taken by the larger ones when they come for the food.

You're probably increasing the population of all birds by adding stuff (the feeders) to the bottom of the food chain, so a win-win (other than for the individual birds that get eaten, but that's nature for you). I'd only be worried about the effects feeders have if they're not doing much more than providing fun for the local cats.

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