Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Sparrowhawk and the Wood Pigeon

The victim!
For a few weeks now we have had a pair of wood pigeons nesting in/near our garden. Their distinctive cooing has been a real uplifting sound, even on dreary days -- giving hope that Spring would bring sunny days and a wealth of flowering and wildlife.

Today all that ended when we saw a sparrowhawk swoop down and intercept one of the wood pigeons in mid flight, sending him smashing into a window (which must have broke his neck). The sparrowhawk tried to carry off his victim, but the weight was too much - he only managed to hop along to the compost heap, by which time we were on the scene and he flew off leaving the dead victim behind.

On the window the imprint of the pigeon, with wings outstretched, was left very faint. Later in the evening the pigeon was gone, leaving only a lot of feathers scattered around, so we assume the sparrowhawk returned to rip apart his victim.

All very sad, but nature rolls on.

It's weird how the animal kingdom encroaches on our back garden. We've had a flamingo eat half our little goldfish, and now a sparrowhawk eat one of 'our' wood pigeons... We know there are foxes in the area, but so far the chickens have survived into old age. White van man took our cat - and some say they are like animals too ;-)

What a turbulent place the animal kingdom is.


  1. Thats not a Woodpigeon,its a Collard Dove, I have a pair that visit my garden every day too.
    They have become very common over the last 20 years.

  2. It sounds pompous - but a dove sounds better than a pigeon... ;-)

    Thanks for letting me/us know. I've not long come in from digging over the compost heap, so buried all the feathers (extra nutrients for the soilmaybe).

    Some old unused potatoes have sprouted on the compost and are growing at a fast rate! i think they call that "green compost" -- plus we may get a few extra spuds into the bargain.

    I heard another dove cooing this morning so its spouse seems alive and well.


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