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.