“I thought local ‘bird loving’ residents may be interested to hear that a large hawk has been seen at the top of Sidney Road and also on Moormead Park.
I have spoken to a few residents that have thought squirrels may be to blame for the recent significant reduction of small birds in the area, and this bird of prey may be the cause.
If the hawk decides to nest in the area, it could decimate the local bird community; especially, as it is large enough to take a cat or very small dog. I personally saw it catch a black song bird and its mate in one claw, but was unsuccesful in getting the bird to drop its prey. The bird stands approximately two feet high, and has a wingspan of over three feet.
The sighting has been reported to both the RSPCA and the local council.”
from Jonathan Blair, local resident
Dear Mr Blair
I think you have done just the right thing in alerting the RSPCA. I'm not sure what the bird of prey you saw was, but it seems very tall (2') and relatively short winged (3'). Urban birds of prey, like the Sparrowhawk, are natural predators, and their presence should be tolerated, but I wonder if you saw a falconer's bird that has escaped - which they frequently do! Harris' hawks are the most commonly kept - do a google image search on these two species, and if it resembled a Harris' hawk, you might want to contact the Independent Bird Register, who specialise in reuniting birds of prey with their owners. If it was a Sparrowhawk, simply admire!
RegardsDarrenO-M on 2007-02-26 11:35:30 +0000
If it is a 'natural' bird of prey, then it is doing no wrong. Who are we to socially engineer the animal kingdom? It's a bird eat bird world out there, so sit back and enjoy the ride.
Bromhead.JAMES on 2007-02-27 09:38:38 +0000
Mr Blair,you are indeed a knob who knows nothing of raptors go read a book!Garypco on 2007-02-28 01:07:29 +0000
Im struggling to come up with anything intelligent to say about this. Its unbelievable that a "bird lover" (And I use the term loosely!) has complained about a bird doing as birds do. The RSPCA have been informed?
It would be a good joke if it were amusing.T Laycock on 2007-02-28 01:35:26 +0000
Its mother Nature you should have contacted !!!
Ever thought that it may be the domestic Cat may have a bigger impact on the song bird population?Mass on 2007-02-28 07:16:24 +0000
If the hawks nests in the area it obviously has a plentiful supply of natural quarry, mother nature has a wonderful way of balancing things out. This hawk is all part of a natural, indigenous eco-system, something which needs no in-put from humans.
Surely Mr Blair understands this....or is he just as mis-guided as his name sake???Ben Crane on 2007-02-28 07:21:34 +0000
I Personally saw it catch a black song bird and its mate in one claw,
but was unsuccesful in getting the bird to drop its prey.
To interfer with a wild bird of prey is illegal
The bird stands approximately two feet high
...... should have gone to spec saversJeremiah on 2007-02-28 07:38:30 +0000
The presense of this hawk in your area simply means that despite the pressures of the local cat population, the wild songbird population is still able to support their natural predators that should be hunting them.
Unlike the local cats, this hawk only hunts by day and does not raid nests at night looking for prey when the songbirds are at their most vulnerable. Instead it will pick off the sick and weak among the songbird population, thereby controlling disease outbreaks so that only the strongest and healtiest survive to breed.
Your assertion that the bird may catch cats or even small dogs is completely incorrect, unless you happen to have flying dogs and cats about the size of a songbird in your area. In fact it would be very unusual for this bird to even catch a field mouse or any mammal for that matter. Its a bird hunter and tackling animal as well armed as a domestic cat would mean absolute certain death for the hawk!!!
I'm most surprised to read about a bird lover being upset by this bird doing what it needs to do to survive, but since you mention being unsuccessful at getting it to drop its prey, I feel I should point out that it is a criminal offence to interfere with a wild bird of prey.
Please leave this bird to do what comes naturally and try and consider just how fortunate you and your local songbird population are that its still possible for that hawk to survive around your area. You are truly blessed, you just dont seem to realise it!!Evan Davidson on 2007-02-28 08:22:50 +0000
A cat or a very small dog? Sounds pretty dangerous! Has a warning gone out to prevent small children visiting the area whilst this feathered tyrant is on the loose?Sirius on 2007-02-28 21:41:20 +0000