Thursday, 23 September 2010

Exciting Or Not I Don't Like It



For the past couple of weeks I've been trying to take a photograph of the above bird which now appears to have made my garden its larder, so the above is a library picture of the sparrowhawk.

Unfortunately sparrowhawks zoom in on their prey rather than fly at the speed of the usual garden birds and my camera skills are completely inadequate to cope with its speed.

Earlier I visited the RSPB website to see if there was anything I could do to deter this predator killing young greenfinches, bullfinches, thrushes, blackbirds, coal tits and a variety of other small birds but the RSPB want me to 'take the view that having a sparrowhawk visit your garden is a good thing - the presence of such a top predator indicates that the bird population in your area is doing well.'

It may be a good thing from the RSPB's view, but it's certainly distressing to see the daily piles of bird feathers around the garden.  No, it's not exciting for me.  One deterrent they suggest is CDs hung up in trees to scare them away and another is bamboo canes on the lawn to turn the fast approach route into an obstacle course.  It would be for me too!  But how about this?  If I hung it from a tree branch it may work.

22 comments:

The Filthy Engineer said...

That certainly scares me.

subrosa said...

It would scare me too FE. :)

The alternative is to stop feeding birds.

Demetrius said...

Do you really want Ed Balls at the bottom of your garden?

Richard said...

I find the world view of the RSPB interesting. They are most definitely Righteous people, and in favour of massive state controls over the individual in favour of whatever environmental issue is top of the list this week, and yet when they come to birds, they always are in favour of the raptors at the expense of songbirds. It's as if songthrushes and bluetits were middle-class, middle-aged Tories, and they deserve whatever they get. And yet the raptor is the true individual, the loner, the one who preys on the herd - the ultimate Libertarian symbol.

It's not as if these hawks and falcons were rare any more - even the red kites in mid-Wales are common to the point of becoming a problem. But they are iconic to the 'birds' movement, so like windmills and electric cars, they will be promoted beyond what is reasonable or scientific, and if you disagree you are a fascist.

John said...

30 day refund - how can you lose in trying it?

Oldrightie said...

I wonder if it would work with Herons? It is distressing but also nature's way. Shame they aren't doing what foxes do in towns and cities!

Joe Public said...

Take your grandkids to McDonalds; ask McD for a few of their helium-filled ballons; then, tether them in the garden to flutter about.

Failing that, try

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XM214_Microgun

At 4,000 rounds a minute, you may just strike lucky.

Key bored warrior. said...

Rosie planting willow round your table can be effective as it spoils the Hawks flight plan. I have my table and feeders under a willow tree which gives it cover from above and i have seen Hawks circling but they never come down as it is just to awkward for them. It is cats and Jackdaws that try and get to mine. i have aalso put 1" mesh around the table as it has a wee roof to keep larger bully boy starlings away.

Interesting forum here....tinyurl.com/39jzu87

English Pensioner said...

The RSPB's attitude towards some species of birds is beyond understanding. I suspect they would take the same line in respect of the flock of magpies which seems to be killing off all the young birds in our area.
The RSPCA, is just as bad, prosecuting someone for killing a grey squirrel.

subrosa said...

Demetrius, I'd be delighted to have Ed Balls hanging from a tree 24x7 scaring off this killer. I'd even pay him.

subrosa said...

Excellent comment Richard. I suppose, to add to the many labels I've collected as a blogger, I should now add fascist.

subrosa said...

I'm away to order it now John. Haven't seen the killer today - first day for a couple of weeks - but it's been around because there are lots of feathers sticking to shrubs in the back border. Some wee birds didn't make it into the hedge.

subrosa said...

I can't say OR, but I will let you know if it works in my situation.

subrosa said...

Joe, I had a similar suggestion the other day. Problem is it never really lands, just swoops.

sylvander said...

I keep pigeons in Fife and I have to restrict letting them out to just early morning and before dark or else i'll probably lose a bird a day. I don't race them, but some folk who do can lose hundreds or even thousands of pounds worth of birds every year. The RSPB are in total denial about this. At the same time the RSPB have been paying out thousands in compo to farmers who have lost livestock due to their reintroduction of sea eagles. The RSPB don't give a toss about songbirds or racing pigeons.

subrosa said...

My feeders are under trees too KBW, but this bird attacks the wee ones when they're playing on the lawn or in the flowerbeds. Think I'll try this balloon thing and hang it off a branch. I'll let you know what happens.

subrosa said...

As Richard says they're very Righteous aren't they EP and as you say the RSPCA are the same.

Therefore I won't mention other deterrents sent by email EP. ;)

Richard said...

@Rose 23:01 - I read that as "Demetrius, I'd be delighted to have Ed's balls hanging from a tree 24x7 scaring off this killer."

This is a GREAT idea.

subrosa said...

Sylvander, you're the second pigeon fancier that's mentioned this in the past 24 hours.

I didn't know about the sea eagles.

Unfortunately I've only two options. Continue or halt feeding the birds. You're right, the RSPB don't care one jot.

subrosa said...

It is indeed Richard. I'm going to try the expensive balloon eye first though. :)

Apogee said...

Here is one remedy
http://www.fourten.org.uk/ but the RSPB would go ape!

subrosa said...

Thank you Apogee. My nerves woul be shot too.:)

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