Male Sparrowhawk– Yesterday the grey-backed, smaller male Sparrowhawk (the female and juveniles are brown-backed) was heralded in the garden by loud alarm calls from other birds. Sweeping through the garden, too fast to photograph, here it is recently, looking dapper, and an older photo by Lynn, where it is eating a Collared Dove. No one is certain why many raptors exhibit ‘reverse dimorphism’ (meaning the males are smaller than the females) but it it is thought to relate to their need to be very manouevrable in dense woodland, hunting for the incubating female
Sparrowhawk- male eating Collared Dove
, and/or the female’s need to have enough bulk to produce eggs. Conditions: Cloud and sunny intervals and showers Temperature: Max 20- Min 12C.
This gorgeous male Sparrowhawk flew into the garden to remind us that the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch is this weekend. The biggest citizen-science scheme in the world, if you put it in your search engine you will find simple instructions, a bird guide and a form so all you have to do is watch and record birds in your garden, park etc for any hour over the weekend. We have been lucky to have an astonishing 24 species visit our Sheffield city garden this week(we also do the BTO weekly recording so we look most days) but the RSPB are just as interested in low recordings- it is a survey to monitor bird trends. Conditions: Rain, cloud and some sun. Temperature: Max 7- Min 1C.