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View Full Version : Peregrine or psychotic Sparrowhawk???


PaulAshton
Thursday 15th April 2004, 10:52
Rycroft estate in Walsall 13th April on a sunny afternoon.

While unclasping my nipper from her car seat and attempting to visit my mother in law I found myself in the middle of a moment of homing pigeon chaos. 20+ homing pigeons had been spiralling together I presume excercising near their loft after being let out in the sunny afternoon when they were attacked by a bird of prey.

Due to the angle and speed of the attack I couldn't get a confirmed species. But it looked like a Peregrine. It attacked the pigeons swooping and diving through them before some sharp manovering and closing it wings together to dive after further pigeons in the next street. Also making an excited pew pew call before it went into the second dive.

It was all very exciting and even the neighbours looked up from their papers.

Was it a Peregrine or a psychotic Sparrowhawk?

Jane Turner
Thursday 15th April 2004, 11:17
Sparrowhawk I'd guess... Peregrines normally arrive at great speed unnanounced and nail a pigeon.. or miss and vanish...inexperienced birds will chase, but its not common.

Joern Lehmhus
Thursday 15th April 2004, 11:23
Agree with Jane, sounds very much like sparrowhawk behaviour to me, Paul.

Joern

Screech
Thursday 15th April 2004, 13:45
I agree with sparrowhawk ID.
Next time watch the flock after an attack. They will form a tight ball gaining altitude and then pursue their attacker. The rapture in question is usually ripping through the skies looking for another chance to snatch a bird.
When the pigeons pursue, the raptor quickley tires of the game and heads for more suitable quarry.
Facinating to watch!

Former pigeon racer, Bob

saluki
Thursday 15th April 2004, 15:18
I agree with sparrowhawk ID.
Next time watch the flock after an attack. They will form a tight ball gaining altitude and then pursue their attacker. The rapture in question is usually ripping through the skies looking for another chance to snatch a bird.
When the pigeons pursue, the raptor quickley tires of the game and heads for more suitable quarry.
Facinating to watch!

Former pigeon racer, Bob

We had two Peales falcons and a grey-phase Gyr weathering on the lawn last week in Scotland. We were sat in the living room when the birds started to make a hell of a racket! Running outside we saw two Peregrines and a Buzzard circling over the garden. The pigeons would not move off the roof (even when a handful of gravel was tossed in their general direction!). If the pigeons are grounded then I think they tend to stay there - certainly with Peregrines waiting on overhead. But, as you suggest Bob, if an attack has failed they often mob the falcon. Sparrowhawk attacks are a different matter in my experience, the pigeons flee for their lives, attempting to out-fly the Spar.

saluki