Feed the birds

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Re: Feed the birds

Postby White Knight » 27 Aug 2017, 18:54

I was driving up the road to my own house Friday evening at dusk when I spotted activity on the left side of the road ahead. I drove up slowly and saw a young Sparrow Hawk holding down a pigeon which he must have just brought down and he plucking him while it was still alive! The lights of my car was on them but the hawk persisted in tearing at the stricken bird even as it wrestled to break free. I was really afraid that a car would drive up and hit both of them so I pulled in, put on my indicator and stayed there for about 10 minutes watching the grisly scene. Cars had to slow down to pass me and when they pulled back in to the left they had passed the birds on the ground.

Then, without appearing to eat much of the pigeon who was dead at this stage, the hawk just took off and flew over my car. He was cagey of me being there, and kept an eyey on me, but I felt better that I had probably saved his life. He would live to kill another day :shock: .
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Re: Feed the birds

Postby Barlow Boy » 27 Aug 2017, 19:28

White Knight wrote:I was driving up the road to my own house Friday evening at dusk when I spotted activity on the left side of the road ahead. I drove up slowly and saw a young Sparrow Hawk holding down a pigeon which he must have just brought down and he plucking him while it was still alive! The lights of my car was on them but the hawk persisted in tearing at the stricken bird even as it wrestled to break free. I was really afraid that a car would drive up and hit both of them so I pulled in, put on my indicator and stayed there for about 10 minutes watching the grisly scene. Cars had to slow down to pass me and when they pulled back in to the left they had passed the birds on the ground.

Then, without appearing to eat much of the pigeon who was dead at this stage, the hawk just took off and flew over my car. He was cagey of me being there, and kept an eyey on me, but I felt better that I had probably saved his life. He would live to kill another day :shock: .

I know it's nature, but I would have had to get out and scare away the hawk to save the pigeon :oops:
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Re: Feed the birds

Postby White Knight » 27 Aug 2017, 21:17

I did think about it briefly BB. However I felt it would have been hard on the young hawk as it is a difficult and dangerous thing to bring down a bird and keep them under control. It costs them a considerable amount in energy so they need to feed off the kill to make it pay.

Also we have tons of pigeons around us, so losing one wouldn't make a difference. The hawks are the ones under pressure from a numbers point of view.

I do admire your humane reaction, I'm more primeval in my outlook on these things :evil: .
Last edited by White Knight on 27 Aug 2017, 21:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Feed the birds

Postby johnh » 27 Aug 2017, 21:20

BB, so that you could have pigeon pie?
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Re: Feed the birds

Postby White Knight » 27 Aug 2017, 21:23

johnh wrote:BB, so that you could have pigeon pie?


....... and feathers for a pillow! :o
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Re: Feed the birds

Postby Barlow Boy » 27 Aug 2017, 22:39

Mrs B is a vegan, and whilst she doesn't push her views on me, I can do without a pigeon pie and feather duvet :D
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Re: Feed the birds

Postby Selby White » 28 Aug 2017, 06:40

Was a large hawk type bird (would say 8 to 10inch) on our garden fence the other morning.

On a different note had a Pigeon kill itself by flying at speed into our kitchen window a couple of days ago. Hit it so hard I was surprised it didn't smash the glass.
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Re: Feed the birds

Postby Barlow Boy » 28 Aug 2017, 07:21

Selby White wrote:Buried in the garden with a nice plant next to the grave.

That's more like it :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Feed the birds

Postby johnh » 28 Aug 2017, 10:54

Selby White wrote:Was a large hawk type bird (would say 8 to 10inch) on our garden fence the other morning.

On a different note had a Pigeon kill itself by flying at speed into our kitchen window a couple of days ago. Hit it so hard I was surprised it didn't smash the glass.
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Over the years we had several birds fly into our patio windows. We stuck silhouettes of predator birds, hawks etc., on the window and had no more problems.

PS Spelt silhouette without looking it up in the dictionary. :D
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Re: Feed the birds

Postby Davycc » 28 Aug 2017, 12:32

Barlow Boy wrote:
White Knight wrote:I was driving up the road to my own house Friday evening at dusk when I spotted activity on the left side of the road ahead. I drove up slowly and saw a young Sparrow Hawk holding down a pigeon which he must have just brought down and he plucking him while it was still alive! The lights of my car was on them but the hawk persisted in tearing at the stricken bird even as it wrestled to break free. I was really afraid that a car would drive up and hit both of them so I pulled in, put on my indicator and stayed there for about 10 minutes watching the grisly scene. Cars had to slow down to pass me and when they pulled back in to the left they had passed the birds on the ground.

Then, without appearing to eat much of the pigeon who was dead at this stage, the hawk just took off and flew over my car. He was cagey of me being there, and kept an eyey on me, but I felt better that I had probably saved his life. He would live to kill another day :shock: .

I know it's nature, but I would have had to get out and scare away the hawk to save the pigeon :oops:


BB I would have been tempted too, but WK is spot on. The pigeon, like all birds are really susceptible to stress and even if it hadn't been injured (being hit in the air at speed by a rapture can cause internal injuries) the shock may well have killed it within a day or two. Even a small cut from the beak or talons can mean the end over a day or two. I've rescued quite a few birds who appeared fine but were dead the following morning. Birds also hide illness so as not to attract predators. At this time of year it may have been a 1st year bird and as WK says the kill may have been enough to keep it alive but the fact that it took little may suggest it was a parent bird still feeding a fledgling, it's near the of year the chicks become independent but not unheard of. If so it would have returned when it quietened down for more.

I try to think of a predators (even watching lions etc) young starving to death slowly rather than the relatively quick death the victim has.
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