Usual be­hav­iour?

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

I have a photo of a Spar­rowhawk eat­ing a pi­geon by a grave­stone in Mar­low Ceme­tery. Could you tell me if it is a com­mon­place oc­cur­rence to see them eat­ing their prey, not afraid of peo­ple pass­ing by? This is the first time I have wit­nessed one. Su­san King, via email

QS­par­rowhawks can be very sin­gle-minded birds, es­pe­cially when hunt­ing or eat­ing, of­ten pay­ing no at­ten­tion at all to peo­ple when ac­tu­ally on prey, as this bird is. It’s not un­usual at all to be able to get very close to Spar­rowhawks, al­though once they feel threat­ened enough they will take off. It’s pos­si­bly this dis­re­gard for hu­mans that makes them one of the most likely rap­tors to visit gar­dens.

A

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