A sparrowhawk’s kill

posted in: Feeding-vertebrates, Raptors | 1

“My first job on a morning is to let our Cairn Terrier out into the garden to ‘do her business’. On Monday morning this week I went into the kitchen and saw through the window a dark shape drop onto the lawn. I could see immediately that it was a male *sparrowhawk that had just caught what appeared to be a blackbird (above). This was exciting for me since I had never actually seen a hawk in my garden even though we often found feathers from previous kills.

“I immediately rushed into another room to get my camera which happened to have a 500mm f4 lens attached. Hoping my camera settings were appropriate I immediately started taking shots through the closed window and between vertical blinds.

“It only took the hawk about 7 minutes to completely devour its prey and was truly amazing to watch.

“The photographs did appear to be a little misty due to the fact that they were taken through a double glazed window. A little later I found quite a few shots were spoiled by movement because of the slow shutter speed resulting from the poor light. However I rescued some good shots on the computer later on.

“In all the excitement I forgot about my dog and found her sitting glumly in a corner with her legs crossed!

“One of the shots I am particularly pleased with – it’s the one where the sparrowhawk is looking down into the face of its prey and I daresay you could add a caption such as ‘How are you going to get out of this, then’ (above).

Renton Charman
26th August 2009

*Northern Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

All images by Renton Charman.

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