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Postby RoRo » Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:25 pm

Our swallows are being picked off one by one by a sparrowhawk that comes into our barn and treats it like a McDonalds, I think they are protected so mustn't shoot them and I know it's natures way but it's horrible coming in to a mass of feathers - any ideas. Can't close doors because of the horses (and swallows).

Many thanks.
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Postby peter » Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:33 pm

How nice to have a Sparrowhalk.
Only seem to get kestrels round here.

Let nature take its course, it's not all cuddly you know. :?
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Postby Mole » Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:13 pm

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Postby madasafish » Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:38 pm

We have an occasional sparrowhawk.
4 years ago I was painting the garage doors oitside. A big Bang.. looked round and sparrowhawk had caught woodpigeon and flown into another garage door - about 3 metres away.

Woodpigeon is not so dazed so flies away: sparrowhawk gives me the look "it's your fault!"
and then flies away...

Feathers on the lawn every 3 weeks or so: mainly pigeon..
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Postby Monika » Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:52 pm

Sparrowhawks catch birds for food so let them get on with it, RoRo. Death is never pleasant but at least it's for a purpose. Our local sparrowhawk pair, particularly the female, regularly take their pick at our bird table but, then, we have already had four broods of blackbirds in the garden with three or four youngsters each, so if predators didn't take any we'd be overrun by blackbirds next year. They are already driving us crackers by coming into the house for currants!
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Postby Johnboy » Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:13 am

Hi RoRo,
Have a Sparrow Hawk that flies over my property at 11am every day and so regular you could almost set your watch by it. I have never ever seen a SH have a go at any of the Swallows. The hawk for that is the Hobby and I had one last year that was attacking the young Swallows. I actually eats them on the wing and if you watch with binoculars you can actually see the bird spitting out the bits it doesn't want.
It's very sad to see the Hobby at work but as Monika says it is their food and that is nature at work.
The SH that frequents here lives on Pigeons and it uses the bottom gate post as it's plucking place and there are many feathers and wings and the like around.
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Postby The Novice » Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:15 am

Hi Roro
You are quire right about not being allowed to shoot the sparrowhawk. They are protected and you could find yourself in jail if you did. The only way you will get rid of the sparrowhawk is to shoot all the sparrows (but fortunately the same protection applies to them) because if there's an insufficient food supply for the sparrowhawk and the sparrows to survive side by side then the sparrowhawk will go elsewhere. Unlike humans (and cats), they are responsible about their hunting and so they won't hunt to extinction even in just the local area. If they did, they would also die. I think we just have to accept that a daily pile of feathers shows that you have a sound wildlife population around you and it is working just as nature intended. Even if it is sometimes quite sad in its way.
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