Hi, I also have the sparrowhawk problem in a medium sized garden in chorley lancs. I was congratulating myself that we had only lost one bird(sparrow) this year until we lost three more in the last week or so.
My problem is that I have a flock of 40 odd sparrows and another of 20 odd goldfinches. Along with a few tits that makes for a noisy garden and inevitably attracts the sparrowhawk.
For a number of years I have used plastic garden mesh, 50mm hole size, on trellis’ around the feeders. Have seen the hawks splat themselves a couple of times on this. I also use a circle of the mesh around the feeder, hung from an inverted metal hanging basket.Until now this has worked a treat and I have witnessed numerous unsucessful attacks, in one case four in a couple of hours. My feeders are near to thorny cover.
However I am considering building a large cage of plastic mesh in the bushes at the back of the border and putting the feeders inside it. At least then the birds wont be caught napping. I havnt tried canes but it seems a good idea. As does spreading the feeders out. Any good ideas anybody esle has I would love to know. Regards billm
thanks for getting in touch.
First of all here is a link to Song Bird Survival http://www.songbird-survival.org.uk/ They are trying to save songbirds and are doing a lot of work.
I think it’s right what you say about a noisy garden. I hadn’t thought of it before. Of course sparrowhawks will be attracted by bird song. I also have a lot of noisy birds in my garden.
the problem is that no matter how many bird feeders you try to make safe – the birds still have to fly to and from the feeders. I think your ideas and what you are doing are great. You deserve a medal. Maybe we all deserve medals!
At the moment I have stuck canes into the ground and put old boxes etc round the canes to fill in the gaps between the canes. The only way the garden birds can get in is through the top. this makes the area safe when they are feeding on the bird food and also means that blackbirds can get in to get at the bird food. This seems to be similar to your plastic mesh idea. As you say at least the birds won’t be caught napping when they are feeding
There is also the idea of balloons to keep sparrowhawks away
Here is the link
and here is a photo
Thank you for getting in touch. I’ll be writing more about this, but have to go and feed the birds now
Bev, thanks for reminding me about the Hawk deterrant balloons