I saw a really funny thing a few weeks ago- a Buzzard flew across our garden, hotly pursued by a crow, who was squawking at the Buzzard as he chased it. But the hilarious thing was…. a small bird about the size of a Finch flying also in hot pursuit of the Buzzard, just above the Crow- twittering away for all it was worth! They both had the same thing in mind- to chase the Buzzard away, but I couldn’t help thinking- would that little bird have been quite so full of himself without out his large and aggressive “mate” beside him!?
Wish I’d seen it. Wouldn’t it have been great if you’d had your camera with you.
A Buzzard being chased by a Crow! It is often Crows who are chasing smaller birds, so I wonder if he knew what was happening.
I bet it was the high point of the little birds day to join in. But this does prove to me that birds think things out
Here is a advice on stopping attacks – especially near a birdtable
Being a pigeon fancier for over 20yrs, i have tried many ways to deter attacks.
One of the best was when i hung old cds around the lofts, its almost stopped all attacks at the lofts.
If only i could hang them in a larger area. I hope that this may help those only trying to protect their birdtable.
Thank you very much for taking the time to share your knowledge.
Hello Brok and Hi Bev
Brok, I know the predatory instincts of the crow family, but sparrowhawks do so much damage and carnage
Garden birds have enough problems without sparrowhawks decimating an area. I don’t think people realise how much damage they do. The garden birds come to see a garden as a place of safety and a source of food. feeding helps them all through the year, especially during winter. I know you won’t agree but there are just too many sparrowhawks.
Sparrowhawks don’t just take the weak and the old. I have seen a sparrowhawk catch a young, healthy blackbird. Sparrowhawks take anything that is there and come back until there is nothing left to kill
Bev, Did you take a look at Songbird Survival?
I’ve been computerless and then internet problems came, so it’s good to be back to Bird Table News
I’ve recently been watching a large group of about 5 or 6 magpies, 3 being the young and very inquisitive. They have become the dominant members of our local back gardens.
3 or so months back I used to be waken by early birds, now it’s pretty much silent since these young magpies have been growing and foraging the area.
They are an absolute pest. They leave no stone unturned, are contantly pecking at the tarpaulin on our roof which has caused damp on our ceiling.
The poor blackbirds are absolutely helpless.
This morning I watched the pack of magpies working their way down the gardens, pecking at bikes, aerials, window frames and even amusingly attempting to disturb a grey squirrel (sadly another pest that has taken over) but with no luck.
I thoroughly agree that these birds must be culled and the animal rights activist need to stop being so uptight.
It will be an awful world without songbirds. Magpies are far from beautiful sounding.
Andrew please get in touch with a website called Songbird Survival. They are doing research into this and trying to save our songbird population
Andrew got in touch because he had seen this article on Bird Table News
My wife and I have been watching a Blackbird nest for the past month or so, the female laid two eggs in the nest which is in a Wisteria growing up our garden shed, the nest is only about four feet off the ground.
The eggs hatched after 10 days or so, and we have had a great deal of pleasure watching the parent birds going in and out feeding their young. Just yesterday, we discovered that one off the babies had left the nest and was found under one of our hedges close to the fence panels. It was being visited by the parent birds regularly.
Now, all of a sudden we are being pestered by a Sparrowhawk who is obviously after a quick meal. Both, myself and my wife have spent the whole day standing guard and trying to scare the hawk away when ever it appears.
I love birds of prey normally, and feel very privileged to have one visit our garden, but we have formed a special relationship with our family of Blackbirds and would hate to see anything happen to them. Isn’t nature cruel sometimes?
Nature is cruel sometimes. We forget don’t we, how uncivilised nature is and always has been
BUT – the sparrowhawk population is causing a lot of damage to garden birds
Take a look at the Songbird Survival website http://www.songbird-survival.org.uk/
they are trying to save songbirds with science
thanks for getting in touch. You aren’t alone with sparrowhawks taking songbirds, and you aren’t alone in spending time in the garden trying to protect the garden birds.
I get quite a few readers who spend time in the garden trying to keep birds of prey away. They go to a lot of lenghts to try and protect the garden birds as well. Maybe we should start a club.
I received this from a reader today
I am totally dismayed and horrifield by what has happened and continues to happen in my surrounding area.
5 years ago I used to sit in my sunlounge watching and listening to the beautiful small birds in my garden and round about. Unfortunately a pair of Magpies moved into a large tree a couple of doors away.
To begin with the other birds outnumbered them and managed although attacked to raise some youngsters.
The situation today is unbearable and I feel so helpless, we are inundated with Magpies and they have just about distroyed the small bird population.
I no longer sit and watch my beloved birds as basically there aren’t any left, just the odd survivor and empty egg shells littered about. I see myself as an animal lover but I must admit I detest Magpies and what they are doing to our songbirds.
I protected a blackbirds nest and 4 eggs from my 2 dogs and i was excited when the chicks hatched the other day.
As the nest was near my front door i could see the chicks clearly.
The next day magpies raided and took 3 of the 4 chick. Lucily we saved 1 and return it to the nest on for the magpies to return and take the other 2. Im devastated that i protected them from my dogs and then magpies kill them all.
How kind of you to protect the blackbirds nest from your two dogs and I know how you feel when you say you were excited when they hatched. You were lucky to be able to see them from your front door
Magpies!! Magpies can do so much damage in such a short time. I really don’t know why there isn’t more about this by the RSPB
I belong to Songbird Survival – http://www.songbird-survival.org.uk/
Why not take a look at their website and you’ll see that this sort of thing happens a lot.
thank you for telling me about this. I hope you don’t blame yourself as there wasn’t anything you could have done about it
Hi Trish, Its been a while since I wrote so thought I would let you know our news on sparrow hawks and crows!!
I haven’t seen as yet a crow on our garden chasing or indeed eating a song bird but I’m sure things like that happen as Tina wrote in this previous comment.
As you are aware from my past posts we have a major sparrow hawk problem on our garden. I have in fact had a visit for the last few weeks by crows, joining our jackdaws and jays. This has lead I believe to the two sparrow hawks going hunting across the river on two of my neighbours gardens as if it comes here the crows and jackdaws mob and chase it every time!
This leaves the small birds to eat in relative peace if they are around. On the odd accession they aren’t around the sparrow hawk tries its luck but I have made it more difficult for it.
We bought two ground feeder cages as we have a huge amount of birds so needed more than one. To entice them in we put live mealworms as nothing else seemed to get the blackbirds in! Well its worked and the blackbirds bring their young too and they all sit inside eating .At first I left a door off till they got used to it but have replaced it now and they hop in happily.
Even the small birds love it especially the bullfinches which I find amazing as the seed they eat is sunflower seed hearts on a feeder normally but they are happy to enter a ground cage to eat them from the tray on the floor.
The crows and jackdaws I feed up the garden in a big tray and they love it they eat everything and seem to leave the small birds in peace. The magpies eat there too but they are a bit of a nuisance but the two mallards that have taken up residence on our garden keep them in check from time to time.
Yesterday I saw the sparrow hawk swoop towards the hanging feeder pole but missed because the ten foot garden canes we put around confused it. Then two crows feeding at the same time up the garden,took off after it and it was amazing to see, they flew out of view so I don’t know what happened. In the ground feeder below was a little great tit stood motionless for a good few minutes till he suddenly decided he was safe and carried on eating !So I feel the ground feeders are a success.
My two neighbours have stopped feeding their birds as the hawks had most of them which is so sad. They have more open ground on their gardens so not as much cover as we have, so are looking to change that with covered ground feeders and shrubs etc. It seems the problem is a lot bigger than people believe. Any how we will carry on feeding them all as safe as we can as they are dependant on us now aren’t they.
Lovely to hear from you.
First – can you tell me which ground feeders you have. I have a ground feeder but the blackbirds can’t get in as the wire mesh is too small. This means I have to find various ways to feed the blackbirds separately and that can be a challenge!
How lovely to see all the birds safe in the ground feeders and I’m glad the canes are working with the sparrowhawk. I still have some canes plus some chicken wire round an area where I put bird food
You are feeding them as safe as you can and they do depend on us don’t they. they cheer the garden up don’t they. These garden birds also make me laugh when i see their antics when there are a few different types of garden birds together
they must know they are safe in the ground feeder. I bet that’s one of the few places they are safe. It seems amazing how they learn and adapt – even the Bullfinch has adapted and is surviving.
I wonder if we should invent a safe bird’s nest area. Now there’s a thought
Lovely to hear from you and so pleased you are like me and still feeding these garden birds. I sometimes wonder that they survive at all
I also wonder if the reason that we don’t get sparrowhawks is because we are troubled with rooks and crows – and they chase the sparrowhawks away here as well. Maybe
I hope all this rain hasn’t caused too much damage to the young nesting birds.
Take care and thank you for getting in touch. Hope to hear from you about the type of ground feeder you have
Lets keep feeding these garden birds!!
You seem to have Garden Ground Feeder Cafe in your garden! Open all Hours!
this is in reply to this post on Bird Table News
I have witnessed on two separate occasions this week a magpie kill a female blackbird.
One was in my garden and another at the top of my road. It had grabbed the blackbird by the neck and shook it like a terrier dog would.
It then flew into nearby trees and a pigeon flew straight at the magpie and had a bit of a dingdong.
When I went back indoors the magpie came back and retrieved the dead bird and flew off with it.
It feels like all out war between the birds around our area. I wish I could deter the magpies as they are scaring the smaller birds from out garden.
WHY NOT JOIN SONGBIRD SURVIVAL. I HAVE JOINED
It is doing such a lot of good work – trying to save our songbirds by scientific study.
Predator birds are killing our songbirds, but no one seems to be talking about it