Tag Archives: birds of prey


Sparrowhawks are a nightmare in the garden.

We had 6 pairs of blackbirds and the sparrowhawk had the lot, plus a pair of thrushes.

We also had 22 collared doves and it had everyone. when it had cleared the garden out it just leaves – to find another garden to decimate.

We have tried to grow things round the bird table and put obsticles up so the sparrowhawk cannot just swoop in and take feeding birds. These vandals have to be checked


I received the above comment from Sally at Top Veg. I asked two different organisations and received two very different replies


It is most distressing for bird lovers who try to help song birds. Our charity is fighting the entrenched view of the conservation establishment that everything finds its own balance – this in our managed environment is nonsense.

Our research with the BTO and the University of Reading is aimed to show up the real dangers of uncontrolled predation.

The reply above is from SONGBIRD SURVIVAL


The sparrowhawk issue is one that many people with bird tables find hard. Sparrowhawks were decimated in the 1960 with farm chemicals and following the banning of these they started to recover. There is now a healthy population and anywhere that their food congregates they will feed.

I am not suggesting we should not feed the birds and enjoy watching them, just that we have to accept that predator birds eat others.






Yorkshire Wolds Bird News

I received this bird information from someone who lives nearby and thought I’d share it with you – 

These are some of the birds of prey we get nearby. 

Just to let you know that at 7am yesterday (Thursday 12 March) there were three Barn Owls at Tyre Eye. One was in the field above the sewage works, one was in the dale beside the big quarry and one crossed the road in front of me. Although it was at windscreen height it got across safely. During the winter we have had the odd sighting from home mainly at dawn and dusk. At one point we were beginning to think one was roosting in the incomplete garages on the building site opposite. Three is the best count of barn owls I have ever had in the village.

A few weeks ago, the weekend after the big snow fall when the village was supposedly cut off, there were three Common Buzzards over the plantation in Sowersby’s Dale almost opposite your farm. Again this is a village record although I did have a single along Kilham Road a week later.

Friends have reported seeing a Red Kite in that area while driving in January but not since. That would be a personal first for the village if we got one of those.


Thank you, David for sending me this.  If you have any more bird notes or birdy info  please let us know. 

It’s good we have so many barn owls, but annoying that they don’t seem to be using the Barn Owl nest  box we put up.

I have never seen a red kite, but it’s interesting to know there has been one nearby.

Buzzards –  I have heard of other people seeing buzzards, so they must be surviving round here.

If birds of prey arrive naturally in an area that seems to me to be OK.  It is when they are re-introduced unnaturally that the problems must appear.

Birds of prey do eat other birds.  I have seen a sparrowhawk with a blackbird in its claws.

There is a report by the British Trust for Ornithology that last year was a very poor breeding season for our garden birds.  Numbers of our gardens birds are dropping  (more of that later in the week on this blog ).    I don’t think we want to lose any more to birds of prey that have artificially been reintroduced.

But it is interesting to know what is in the sky in the area where I live.

PS  :  Tyre Eye is the top of a steep hill.  Over the years the name has been changed, but originally it was called Tired Ewe.  This is because the hill was so steep for ewes to climb they were tired when they got to the top!  I say Top of Tie Ow.  I suppose as it’s never written down it can be spelt any way.  End of Yorkshire Dialect notes.