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Unexpected predators


frogesque
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Posted
  • Location: Kingdom of Fife: 56.2º N, 3.2º W
  • Location: Kingdom of Fife: 56.2º N, 3.2º W

    We have lost all but one of our goldfish in the pond. The usual suspects were: Heron, Cat, or Fox but the method of predation was a mystery as the fish were consumed on the lawn.

     

    Now, a heron swallows a fish whole, a cat is a fussy eater (if at all - sometimes it's just the kill) and a fox would drag the carcass away and consume it in some covert spot. All the fish were eaten quite openly on the lawn with little but a few scales and some bones left.

     

    A complete mystery untill early one morning I let the dog out and there on the lawn was yet another fish with a pair of ravens feeding on it with the same pattern of scales and bones being discarded. Four young ravens were sitting on a roof watching the adults. Needless to say, the pond has now been securely netted so they can't get in.

     

    This mystery has been followed by another; namely collections of feathers on the lawn. Usual suspects; cat, dog, fox but this afternoon while working in the garden a sparrowhawk came in like a bullet, landed on the lawn and left just as quick when it saw me. The sparrows in the hedge were going beserk! Looks as if the sparrowhawk has been cornering the sparrows in the garden and picking them off.

     

    I would never have thought that these predators would visit a fairly small domestic garden!

     

     

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    Posted
  • Location: Exeter, Devon, UK. alt 10m asl
  • Location: Exeter, Devon, UK. alt 10m asl

    Last summer I saw a sparrow hawk take a starling in the alley that backs on to my garden.  Not the best hunting spot I would have thought, especially with what I would assume to be the richer hunting grounds of the fields and parks surrounding the exe estuary only a short distance away.  I guess it just shows that if a raptor/predator sees a meal it is probably not going to care greatly about the table setting.

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    Posted
  • Location: Vale of Belvoir
  • Location: Vale of Belvoir

    I've had a sparrowhawk in my small garden on several occasions. I would have thought our gardens are ideal hunting spots as we feed birds which brings them into our gardens.

    The bird table provides for seed eaters and predators!

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    The very first time I saw a heron, I thought I was hallucinating a pterodactyl...There's something primitive-looking about herons.

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    Posted
  • Location: Hessen, GERMANY
  • Location: Hessen, GERMANY

    My girlfriend saw (what we think may have been) a falcon swoop down and take out a pigeon at fairly low level in our back garden a few months ago. Apparently it smashed into it at a rate of knots and there was something of a feather explosion.  I managed to get some footage of it a few minutes later, feeding on the remains, but it was at some distance.  Gardens aren't necessarily peaceful places!

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    We frequently get sparrowhawks in the garden, often taking pigeons. One caught and ate a house sparrow the other week as well.Last winter we had a serial killing jackdaw in the garden. I heard a distressed screaching sound and thought it was sparrows fighting or sparrowhawks again. I was quite surprised to see a jackdaw holding an adult sparrow down with its claws and eating it. It happend a few more times, once I actually observed the jackdaw creeping up the tree near the birdfeeders where there are plenty of sparrows. It quietly crept up behind a sparrow, snatched it with its beak and flew off with it onto the roof to eat. I know they often take eggs and chicks but was surprised to see them hunting adult birds. After a week the killings stopped. I think it was during the cold snowy snap we had so perhaps the jackdaw was desperate. They and crow family buddies just don't miss an opportunity do they... clever birds.We've had herons in the past as well taking fish from the pond.

    Edited by Bobby
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