Sparrowhawk numbers

I think  the RSPB believe that all hawks should be protected.

I don’t believe that.  Sparrowhawks seem to be coming more common and numerous. 

Sparrowhawks have no natural enemies so if they take up residence in an area and raise young each year they will need food.

A gentleman in this area has seen sparrowhawks take song thrushes time after time.  I think the Song Thrush numbers are  under threat.  The sparrowhawk is not

If the sparrowhawk is protected and has no naturel enemies then they will become common – and then maybe will not need protection.

I belong to the RSPB, but I have also joined Songbird Survival.  Songbird Survival is a charity trying to stop the decline in bird numbers.

It believes that one of the reasons for the decline in bird numbers is uncontrolled predation.

So we have two opposing views. Interesting. 

I’ll put more information on about Songbird Survival soon.  Or you can just google Songbird Survival.

5 thoughts on “Sparrowhawk numbers

  1. Thomas

    I don’t think you can ever blame natural predators for doing what they do naturally. Songbird numbers have declined because of changes in our farming and living practices (lack of food and nest sites) and probably due to ever increasing numbers of cat ownership (there is stong evidence cat predation takes millions of songbirds each year), none of these are natural controls in this country.

    Its always a very easy route to blame a natural predator, because then we don’t have to make changes to our lives. Many natural wild predators do not have predators themselves, but the fact of the matter is that what keeps them in check is numbers of its prey items. If a predator out eats its food source, it will then either starve or just breed less and then its food source should recover.

    Don’t forget that sparrowhawks and song thrushes have been continually existing alongside each other far longer than we have been around and should we disappear they would continue to do so.

  2. Trish Post author

    Thank you getting in touch and writing this. In a lot of ways I do agree with you. Yet I still think that the RSPB are too much ‘on the side of’ birds of prey. Not necessarily sparrowhawks, but birds of prey in general.

    I agree with you about the lack of food and nest sites. That is why I am putting together a bird friendly plant list.

    I have a category about cats – cats kill birds. I don’t understand how cat owners can let this happen.

    Yes sparrowhawks and thrushes may have existed alongside each other before we were around, BUT the thrushes would not have had to put up with domestic cats, lack of food and nest sites that are making reducing their numbers today.

    Thanks once again. Getting different views and getting comments like this is one reason I keep birdtablenews going. Cheers. Trisha

  3. Liz

    I agree with everthing Trisha has said. My garden in Aberdeen has been visited by sparrohawks which have taken a few of my precious garden birds which I love and cherish. When I visited the RSPB website and phoned to ask for advice, I found them more interested in the welfare of birds of prey and the introduction of more of them into the area (which is highlighted in our local paper and seems to come under ‘conservation’), although they did send me a fact sheet detailing ways to deter sparrowhawks, like hanging up CD’s from trees, which hasn’t worked. We have also a problem with crow/rooks/ravens which swoop on our baby birds which have flown into our garden to be fed by their parents. I am very interested in knowing more about ‘Songbird Survival’ and any ways to protect baby birds from predators. With reference to cats – I have a high fence which I have nailed ‘anti-cat’ rubberised prong lengths which stop cats from gaining access. I am so glad to find people concerned about garden birds. Cheers. Liz

  4. Trish Post author

    Hi Liz, I am so glad that you are glad that there are other people interested in birds.
    here is a link to songbird survival

    It is very strange that there are two organisations who have totally differing opinions.
    I tend to come down on the side of Song Bird Survival.
    I belong to RSPB and Songbird Survival.

  5. Arlene Morrison

    ~ Hi Trish ~so do I!I also belong to the RSPB and lots of other animal charities.
    I also sponsor a Tiger,Lion and a Polar bear ~but recognise that their long term survival will probably rest in the creation of areas where they they are provided for and have adequate food supplies and not right next to human habitation!
    I think our small bird population have enough problems surviving without the growth of large numbers of birds of prey~ beautiful but deadly!~ and yes that is why we don’t have wolves bears etc in the park!!

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