Welcome back to the Botanics Sparrowhawk blog. No photos this time I’m sorry to say. My camera is just not up to the job although I got quite a lot of video footage of trees where sometimes you can just make out the movement of a Sparrowhawk. They have been much easier to track down as they have been calling alot, a high pitched wheezy whistle, repeated over and over. Basically it is a begging call for food as although they are capable of flying pretty well, their hunting skills are not so good yet so they still rely on mum and dad. If I can, I will upload some of the videos so you can have a listen yourself for the tell-tale signs.
I was just out there this morning and am pretty sure I heard three individuals in a fairly small area (hint: woodlands are their favourite habitat). Although they are pretty good at staying out of sight in the depths of a bushy conifer, wait long enough and you should see them take to the wing eventually.
If anyone does get any good photos please post them on the various picture sharing social media channels with the hashtag #BotanicsSparrowhawks
Fortunately we also haven’t found any signs of casualties despite some aggressive mobbing behaviour by crows and magpies which I and others on the team have observed. Given the large number of surviving Sparrowhawk fledglings this year territorial disputes seem to be frequent occurances. If you find any evidence of the hostilities or demise by other means then please let us know.