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Old Wednesday 31st January 2007, 15:12   #1
luke
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Sparrowhawk behaviour

whilst out doing a lapwing count at a site near my house, i saw a sparrowhawk do something i havn't seen before. it was quartering the feild, just like a harrier or owl. it flushed two lapwing then breifly chased them, then carried on quartering. Maybe shes figured out that she can catch birds that she gets to flush?

Has anyone seen this before??


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Old Wednesday 31st January 2007, 19:36   #2
talon_dfa
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I have seen strange flight behavior by all 3 North American Accipiters species.

I saw an juv female Northern Goshawk flying across an open meadow and at first I thought the bird was a short-eared owl. The bird was mimicking the irregular flopping flight typical of the owl.

I saw a juv male sharpy perfectly mimic the bouncy flight of a flicker as it flew into a tree that already held two flickers (RSFL).
At first, I thought the sharpy was also a flicker, until it landed up-right on a horizontal branch. The two very surprised flickers raised their "crests" and gave alarm calls, but did not fly and the sharpy did not attack them. The sharpy flew away (I suspect after it saw me).

I saw an Adult female Cooper's Hawk mimic the "clapping" flight of doves/pigeons after she had given up the pursuit of a Morning Dove.

These behaviors could be either displays or hunting (stealth) tactics. I have not heard of other examples of this behavior.
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Old Wednesday 31st January 2007, 20:44   #3
mike from ebbw
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hiya luke.i have seen a female sparrowhawk quartering the reedbed at llangorse lake.she was skimming very low over the reeds and chasing anything she flushed.another interesting bit of behaviour i have witnessed is a sparrowhawk popping over the hedge in front of the car as i am driving.they know the car is there and carry on flying just a few feet in front.they seem to know that the car will flush birds out of the hedgerows.i have witnessed this on three different occasions in areas at least 25 miles apart,so it wasnt the same bird using the same tactic.mike.
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Old Thursday 1st February 2007, 11:17   #4
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yeah i have seen spars using the cars (he he it rhymes), great to watch.
thanks for the info guys!
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Old Thursday 1st February 2007, 12:38   #5
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I have quite often seen sparrowhawks quartering wild bird cover crops in the winter when there have been large finch and bunting flocks in the crop. In these situations, the sparrowhawks fly fairly slowly and hesitantly a couple of metres above the crop canopy waiting for some small birds to flush in front of them. In open farmland the sparrowhawk doesn't have the benefit of tree or shrub cover to ambush prey, so I suppose they have to change tactic.
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Old Thursday 1st February 2007, 21:17   #6
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So, sparrowhawks (like numerous other BoP) are very adaptable to different hunting techniques.
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Old Thursday 1st February 2007, 22:52   #7
Ben Nevis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke
yeah i have seen spars using the cars (he he it rhymes), great to watch.
thanks for the info guys!
You are a bit of a poet
and you didnt even know it..!
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Old Thursday 1st February 2007, 22:57   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capercaillie71
I have quite often seen sparrowhawks quartering wild bird cover crops in the winter when there have been large finch and bunting flocks in the crop. In these situations, the sparrowhawks fly fairly slowly and hesitantly a couple of metres above the crop canopy waiting for some small birds to flush in front of them. In open farmland the sparrowhawk doesn't have the benefit of tree or shrub cover to ambush prey, so I suppose they have to change tactic.
Saw exactly this for the first time today! Sparrowhawk, like me, flushed only Linnets and Skylarks though, and sadly no Lapland Buntings.

Graham

PS: I observed the "car as cover" trick four times last year.
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Old Friday 2nd February 2007, 08:20   #9
luke
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Nevis
You are a bit of a poet
and you didnt even know it..!
very good .
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Old Friday 2nd February 2007, 09:59   #10
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Luke,

I've seen a Sparrowhawk attack a flock of Lapwing at Testwood Marsh, there was a albino amongst the flock which the hawk targeted, she caught it, flew with it, but dropped it in the water. She did try to retrieve the bird but failed.

I've seen a Merlin quartering a reedbed, going up and down just like a Harrier.
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Old Saturday 3rd February 2007, 16:39   #11
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I have seen Sparrow hawk’s beating along hedgerows just in front of me as I drive along, but it never dawned on me that I was being used to flush their prey.

Yesterday I was out on one of my favourite walks and on returning to the car and driving off I saw a hawk sitting on top of a brick pier supporting some big gates to a big old country hall, I couldn’t help stopping and reversing for a closer look, at first I thought it might have been a stone final on top of this gate pier because the hawk sat there so still, but then the bird must have realised that the car creeping up on it was not behaving normally, its head moved from side to side as it looked this way and that, and I wondered if it could actually see me inside staring back at it, it then flew off, but I did get a really close look at a sparrow hawk or it might even have been a goshawk.
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Old Tuesday 6th February 2007, 17:58   #12
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i had a male and a female sparrow hawk in my garden today, working together, in attacking a flock of collared doves in the apple trees. all hell broke loose, birds everywhere, did not see the outcome. i have never seen pairs working together before.
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Old Wednesday 7th February 2007, 17:40   #13
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Regularly see sparrowhawks quarter the marsh at parkgate, also see merlin following quartering hen harrier quite regularly, to pick off any thing flushed by the larger BOP.
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