October 9th   Leave a comment

The sparrowhawks of Crail had a good summer and there are several young birds hunting through the gardens. I see one or two every day, usually alerted by the alarm calls of the blue or coal tits. I found two kills in my back garden over the weekend: a house sparrow and a blackbird. Both of them young birds. The maths are stark. A blackbird might get four or five chicks fledged each year and only one or even less needs to survive to the next year for the population to remain constant. Most will get eaten by sparrowhawks or starve in cold weather in the coming months. But the same stark maths applies to the sparrowhawks and most of the youngsters that are wreaking havoc now will not make it when the weather gets colder or when they meet an owl or even a peregrine.

A young sparrowhawk – this one in John Anderson’s garden in Bow Butts

Posted October 9, 2017 by wildcrail in Sightings

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