Hawk sightings well below average
Sparrowhawk sightings in gardens were “well below” average this winter after a wet June hit the small birds they prey on, experts said.
Sparrowhawks are most often seen in gardens in autumn and winter, when there are more juveniles and they follow birds such as blue tits which flock into gardens to feed.
But while January 2016 saw the highest average counts of the birds of prey for that time of year, their numbers have been “abnormally low” since last summer, said British Trust for Ornithology’s yearround Garden BirdWatch.
They were only seen in 8% of gardens monitored weekly for the scheme, well below average, and down from 13% of gardens in December 2015.
Claire Boothby, of Garden BirdWatch, said: “The surprise appearance of a sparrowhawk is always a dramatic garden event and one that has been witnessed by fewer people.”