George has got in touch in reply to this post
I have to contradict the suggestion that they will not fly into prickly hedges.
I have just witnessed a further strike in our sparrow “sanctuary” cottoneaster type prickly tree.
That is the second in a week. Goodness knows how many happen unwitnessed.
Last year there were upwards of 30 sparrows, young and adult, at any time. Now, we are lucky to see more than 6 or 7.
How to stop attacks in roost areas is my main concern.
The hawk just blasts in unnerved by any deterrent I have tried, even us sitting within 8 feet of attacks.
He/she was harassed by a wood pigeon just now, but too late to save the female sparrow. She screamed a bit but to no avail.
We are devastated, having built up the population over the last 16 years.
There are often no signs of sparrows at all, hardly suprising, but we miss them so much.
That is interesting and terrible . I’ve always thought (and been told) that they do not fly into prickly hedges as they dare not – in case they catch any feathers. Which would make it impossible for them to fly and catch prey.
It must be devastating for you.
Songbird Survival are researching and trying to save songbirds with science. http://www.songbird-survival.org.uk/
Take a look as you may want to join them. I think there are more sparrowhawks than there used to be.