I have had some good encounters with Sparrowhawks over the last few weeks. I posted about one fairly recently and in the last couple of days I also saw a couple of sparrowhawks, one of which was being pursued by a crow, flying quite high overhead in the garden. Once you get your eye in for them they can be relatively easily identified and as I have travelled through Edinburgh I have spotted them in a few locations (one funnily enough was indoors in B&Q at Fort Kinnaird).
There is a project going on at the moment which I mentioned in my earlier posts called Edinburgh Living Landscape. It has its own section in Botanics Stories as RBGE is a partner along with City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust, GreenSurge and Scottish Wildlife Trust who instigated the project. There have been two other Living Landscapes created in Scotland by them in Coigach – Assynt and Cumbernauld. And now Edinburgh has been targeted as a location to look at ways of protecting, preserving and improving the green infrastructure of our capital city. This is not just for the human inhabitants’ benefit but also for all the other forms of life that we share our environment with – including of course the sparrowhawks.
We have an amazing location here for sparrowhawk breeding but the story doesn’t end there as the individuals born and raised here will eventually go out to find their own territories. I have also seen sparrowhawks between the garden and Stockbridge on the walk along the Water of Leith using the trees as cover. All their habitats can be seen as relatively interconnected through what are called “corridors”, links which have managed to persist in the face of rapid urban development that allow movement throughout the city. Even though they can obviously fly from place to place their nature as shy, secretive birds that prefer cover means they will favour these “corridors” and the task of the Edinburgh Living Landscape partners, amongst other things, is to make sure these links don’t break and even to forge new ones.
So if you do happen to see Sparrowhawks in and around the city you can spread the word by tweeting (no pun intended) about it and if you include @EdinLandscape it will get to the Edinburgh Living Landscape folks. Also Edinburgh Sparrowhawk would like to hear of any sightings and they are @EdinSparrowhawk. Last but not least here is a link to the Scottish Raptor Study Group’s page on sparrowhawks: