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.