Daily Archives: December 10, 2009

Sparrowhawks find a clever way to catch prey

At Yorkshire Water’s Top Hill Low nature reserve there has been a display of Sparrowhawk’s new way of hunting.

Tophill Low Warden, Richard Hampshire said ‘ The behavour we have been observing at the reserve shows this species is no bird brain, observing and learning how its prey escapes before using this knowledge to its advantage to help it secure some very easy catches.’

98% of a sparrowhawks diet is made up of other birds.

It is believed that this new way of hunting shows sparrowhawks are highly intelligent birds and can learn the behavour of their prey and use this to give them  an advantage so they can catch more birds.

These sparrowhawks at the Nature Reserve have learned how to get other birds to knock themselves out!

They do this by forcing their prey to fly headlong into the glazed window of a feeding station!

Well I never!

Staff at this reserve have now put silhouettes of falcons on the windows.  This is to try to keep the smaller birds that are fleeing from the sparrowhawk away from the window.

Now that sort of hunting takes thought and brains.  Who would have thought it of a Sparrowhawk.

I seem to remember that on Autumnwatch  there was a sparrowhawk shown drowning a Magpie!  The sparrowhawk pushed the Magpie under the water.  Killing the magpie this way would be less dangerous to the sparrowhak.

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Take a look at this video of a sparrowhawk in our garden