This rather wet Sparrowhawk decided he was going to sit out the rainy morning right next to the bird feeders. He has done this a couple of times in the last few months. Now I know that a Sparrowhawk in the garden would probably worry half the people reading this post. “That Sparrowhawk will kill all the song birds”, would be a common thought in reaction to the sight of this marvellous predator.
The reality is that the number of prey species control the number of predators and the presence of a top predator like the Sparrowhawk means there is a healthy population of the song birds upon which it feeds.
The pair that patrol my patch have had a relatively hard time this winter as the throng of siskins and other finches at the feeders have been so numerous that the Sparrowhawk is spotted long before he can get close enough to make a catch. What’s worse is that the siskins seemed to taunt him at every missed swoop, just keeping out of reach in the thicket of dogwood stems!