Any idea what bird this is?
Check out the beak and the feet (known as talons). What do you think it eats?
Time for a tale – The Three Feathers:
Challenge – can you draw this one?This is a sparrowhawk.
Clothes and behaviour
The female (Mrs) and male (Mr) have the same colouring, but the female is bigger than the male.
Sparrowhawks are known as birds of prey. They are called this because of what they do; prey on smaller birds for food.
Sparrowhawks are agile fliers even through woodlands, reaching very high speeds to catch their food, which is usually small birds. This video shows just how amazing they are: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ra6I6svXQPg
I see a sparrowhawk regularly above my housing estate, looking for prey:
Whenever the other birds see it, they panic and fly up into the air, making a huge racket.
Nesting and young
Sparrowhawks built this nest:
When the eggs hatched, the parents were busy feeding their hungry children and very quickly, the chicks began to look like fluffy snowballs:
Feeding three chicks was tough and it showed. The picture below is of a very bedraggled parent, with poorly groomed feathers:
In Scotland there are bird observatories, where bird movements are watched and collated and in some places, birds are trapped and ringed (find out more about ringing in Chirpy Challenge 14 about the swallow).
This sparrowhawk was caught, measured, weighed and ringed before being released.
It was amazing seeing it up so close! The talons, beak and eye of a superb hunter:
See you next week 🙂