Daily Archives: March 21, 2010

WAYS TO STOP SPARROWHAWK ATTACKS IN GARDENS

I’ve received such good ideas from two readers  – and here they are

From Garth –  

If there are too many attacks try –

  • moving the feeders around, regularly
  • if possible, don’t concentrate the feeders,
  • note the general line of attack and break up the line of flight. I have put in vertical bamboo canes a few inches apart and
  • also have individual feeding spots so that an early warning can be given by a solitary feeding bird.

The worst time of the year is when all the young tits are feeding and the hawks have young too, so this is when tactics are important to reduce carnage before your eyes.

I love to see a hawk and it is also a good sign things are right in the bird world as a lack of them means there are problems.

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From Shell –

We stopped using our bird table because of sparrowhawks. We placed some feeders in thick bushes but the birds prefer to eat from the ground now. I had not option because the hawk kept lingering around ready to swoop. I was going to use the birdtable  again but I thought it may attract the hawk again.

I think they can snatch birds off the ground and that’s why I’ve

  • camouflaged the area with various plants and shrubbery so that it would have a hard job getting to the birds. The hawk seems to have gone now that I have done that, I am still wary though.
  • I’ve fed birds under the bushes too, especially when it’s really windy which they seem to appreciate.
  • There are no cats around so we place the food on ground feeders surrounded by large plants. This has helped a lot.

I would love to put the table back up but the hawk used to wait in the trees and if it happens to fly over it will see them hanging around the table.

From  Arlene –  April 2010

My bird table has a roof and has been enclosed by my husband on three sides by the largest plastic mesh I  could find~ the open side nearest the lounge window.

It took  awhile for them to get used to it but they hop through as though it wasn’t there now.
All the little birds hop through the mesh or through the side bits under the roof and the bigger birds such as Blackbirds come round the back.

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This is from Mehr in Sweden and her views are the exact opposite – but things must be different in different countries.  In some ways what she says is true – but I think sparrowhawks do get an unfair advantage when they visit bird tables and gardens.  They can cause so much carnage and a lot of our bird numbers are declining.  You just have to visit the RSPB site to see that. 
From Mehr
  • if you want to worry about something, dont worry about how life and nature does, it has always done it long before we were here, worry about what your living is doing to the environment and extinction of species allover the planet, SH for exemple 30 years ago……….in nature animals only kill for living, we are killing, to extinction, just for lyxius living. let natur be alone if you can not love all of it….
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Please let me know if you try any of these ideas, if you have problems with birds of prey in your garden or if you have any advice, thoughts or opinions.  Thanks.