For and against sparrowhawks

I received two comments about sparrowhawks –

Thomas said,

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.

  • It’s 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.
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    Liz 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.

    [ad#125x125square]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

  • 1 thought on “For and against sparrowhawks

    1. TopV eg

      Sparrow hawks are a nightmare in the garden. We had 6 pairs of blackbirds & the sparrow hawk had the lot, plus a pair of thrushes. We also had 22 collared doves & it had every one. When it has cleared the garden out it just leaves – to find another garden to desimate.
      We have tried to grow things around the bird table, & put obstacles up so the sparrow hawk cannot just swoop in & take feeding birds.
      The RSPB has a lot to answer for – these vandals have to be checked.

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