All my cats wear bells on their collars - it is an early warning system for the birds and works effectively. Something I would encourage all cat owners to consider if their cats are to go outdoors. I find it reduces the amount of 'presents' the cats bring home. On the occasion when the cats loose their collars (quick release) I tend to find a few dead creatures - it's usually at this point I notice their collars are missing. I do however always have a few as back ups and they are never without their collars for long. I just wish I could train them to bring them home with them - I've lost count of how many I've had to replace! I am pleased to say that the dog does not bother any visitor to the garden unless they bring him a biscuit treat!
|Kooki in the bird table|
|Female sparrow hawk|
My apologies if you are squeamish - I do not mean to cause upset. Mother nature is a wonderful thing and whilst we can all enjoy the pretty little birds that visit our gardens, we should also be aware that other birds/wildlife need to survive. At this time of year, food is particularly scarce.
Although I live in a city called Edinburgh, Scotland - my home is in a rural area right on the outskirts, we are surrounded by fields, woods and a river. We have a plenty of prey in the vicinity for hawks, owls and the likes, so I suppose it was only a matter of time before something like this ventures into the garden for easy pickings. Apparently she has been seen every morning since, perched on my shed roof or thereabouts (I work nights and am never up in the AM!) this week. I wonder, will the owls we hear at night ever appear?
This sparrow hawk is the first 'first of 2013' - I wonder what else will visit? Have you had any firsts so far in 2013?
Sparrowhawks are small birds of prey. They're adapted for hunting birds in confined spaces like dense woodland, so gardens are ideal hunting grounds for them. Adult male sparrowhawks have bluish-grey back and wings and orangey-brown bars on their chest and belly. Females and young birds have brown back and wings, and brown bars underneath. Sparrowhawks have bright yellow or orangey eyes, long, yellow legs and long talons. Females are larger than males, as with most birds of prey.
If you would like more information on the Sparrowhawk - please visit the RSPB website.