Friday, 19 February 2010

Hunters Eyes.

As promised a few more images of the male (Eurasian) Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) that visited my garden this week hoping to catch a quick meal but fortunately the little ones were on their guard and promptly hid away from the consumate hunters' prying eyes.
Staring intently straight at the 'watcher' through the window.

Listening and looking..... 

Now if you think this guy looks big then just remember that his female partner is often 25%  larger - possibly one of the largest differences between sexes in any bird species and although not quite as colourful (brown above with brown barring on the breast) she is also a fearsome hunter.

Can he detect movement up in the Pittosporum where the Sparrows usually hide?

This predator whilst a specialist in catching woodland birds can be found in many varied habitats not least trying its luck in hunting down garden birds. This hawk's hunting behaviour has often brought it into conflict with humans particularly racing pigeon owners and it has also been blamed for the decreases in passerine populations. My own unscientific view is that if there is a thriving Sparrowhawk population then there must also be a substantial population of its natural prey ... natures balance. 

The eyes search in every conceivable direction so don't even think about hiding behind him!

If its sharp tallons and the piercing eyes aren't enough, just check out that fearsome beak.  FAB.

22 comments:

  1. Excellant Sparrow Hawk Pics.

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  2. Frank,
    I do not know how you manage to take pictures. I think I would have been so excited that i would have missed them all. But you got him perfectly.. The first shot is awesome with this big predator look and the beauty of its eyes... A pretty nice visit to your garden and well rewarded with splendid pictures.

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  3. Gorgeous photos Frank. I've only made eye contact with a raptor a few times. It's such a special thing- it gives me goosebumps.

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  4. Wow, great shots of the Hawk, FAB! You captured a lot of sharp detail. He's a beauty.

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  5. I think that he likes posing for you lol.

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  6. Lovely shots Frank. I always know when Sparrowhawks are on my patch -nothing else is!!

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  7. Superb Frank.
    He oozes power with those staring eyes.

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  8. They are just brilliant Frank.

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  9. I have just fallen in love all over again. The sparrowhawk, comes just below the owls, on my list of favourite birds. The eyes are just so amazing....

    Fabulous photography......

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  10. They are brilliant shots, how did you catch him.

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  11. Fantastic photographs Frank! What a magnificent creature he is. It makes you glad not to be a Sparrow or similar :)

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  12. WOW - Great stuff Frank. I would have been shaking uncontrollably taking those shots! FAB

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  13. Wow, you got quite a few shots. You're right, it's got lots of pointy bits! Well done.

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  14. Frank! These are absolutely gorgeous photos! I call mine a Sharp-Shinned. Wonder if it might be one of these? It is small.
    I appreciate your comments on my blog Frank. Thanks so much. I'm doing better.

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  15. What can one say Frank, no words can do justice to those images. I'm green with envy.

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  16. Many thanks to you all for leaving comments on the Sparrowhawk.

    This was definitely one of those unexpected but magical wildlife moments to savour as opportunities to capture close images (through the window!) don't happen that often. FAB.

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  17. Gosh Frank, these are really photos to be proud of!
    Absolutely amazing. Lovely to be able to get such a sequence of them.
    A very stunning bird.
    Take care

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  18. Hi Shirleyanne. Yes, I'm delighted with the outcome. Cheers FAB.

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