Macarbre massacre in suburban garden

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Don’t panic – this was not the evil work of a maniac on the loose but a Sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus, doing what nature designed it to do.

A male Sparrowhawk brought down a Wood Pigeon in the garden last week and proceeded to rip it apart.

Not a pretty sight, maybe, but a remarkable one given that the pigeon was larger than its attacker!

(Images can be enlarged by clicking on them)

Sparrowhawks are the most common bird of prey to visit inner city and rural gardens in the British Isles.

Like all great survivors in the natural world they are opportunists.

Bird feeders attract their lunch and these amazingly agile birds take advantage.

Once content with a Tit, Finch or Blackbird it would seem Wood pigeons are becoming increasingly preyed on.

This isn’t surprising given that Wood Pigeons are also visiting garden feeders with increasing regularity.

And judging by how fat some pigeons have become living the good life they are probably far easier to catch than nippy small birds.

What additional effort it takes the Sparrowhawk to hold down a Wood Pigeon is probably more than compensated for by the amount of food it provides.

The images shown are of a Sparrowhawk feeding on a Wood Pigeon brought down in the garden of our previous house.