Tag Archives: Sparrowhawk
The last couple of days I was abroad, but before I left and after I returned I checked upon the Sparrow-hawks (Sperwer). They still seem to do well: mother is killing like crazy to provide enough food, whereas the two youngster scream for food once they notice that the Catering Service has arrived. In-between meals, the mother takes some quick naps and cleans herself. A White Wagtail (Witte Kwikstaart) in the nearby harbor has some young outside the nesting place and still one on the inside, which keeps this mother busy as well.. Soon however, it will all be over and the young birds will have to find their own way in life…..
This year I had the unique opportunity to witness a pair of Sparrow-hawks (Sperwer) working on their offspring. During a visit to a nearby forest me and some other birders heard a couple of Sparrow-hawks courting. From that moment on I paid them regular visits and even was able to take shots while they were mating. The female appeared rather young, so the big question was: “will she be laying eggs” and if so “will this result in young birds’? Several exciting weeks followed, during which we could witness the pair building their nest and finally Mum taking position on it. Lots of feeding sessions and the like I could see and shoot. The down-side was that the nest was built in a rather unsafe location, so when it was clear that they were really nesting we decided to stop writing about the pair on our respective blogs, to make sure that they could do so undisturbed. Obviously me and few others every now and then checked upon them and reported back to each other. Always making sure however not to disturb the birds – which would have been hard I must admit since they didn’t show the slightest interest in us..
Finally some weeks ago the news reached me that there were indeed little chicks, as it appeared two of them. And since last week they have left the nest, and have almost become ‘real Sparrow-hawks’. Probably they still will have quite some learning to do, but they will soon be on their own. So, all in all a nice story and for me personally a very special period – these things don’t happen all the time.
For some more (in the dutch language) you can also check: Kiekjesdief.nl .
For a full image capture of the mating session, please check my older Blog.
In the gallery I posted some shots that show the process from start to finish – maybe not all that great in technical respect, but at least it shows the picture. Please realize that most shots (especially the nest and the chicks) are taken from long distance (as not to disturb the nest), through the leaves and under bad light conditions.
The captions of the images will tell you what you see ! Have fun….
One of the fun things about birding is that you can never be sure what to expect. I am not so sure about that fun part… The last days I had several plans, but none of them really worked out . Don’t get me wrong: I saw many bird species, and was able to take some pictures as well. But alas, not the ones I was hoping for. This morning however I met -totally unexpected- a wonderful Sparrowhawk again, which was willing to pose for a short while. I was so close that I could even make some portraits against an almost blackish background! The bird seemed much as ease, since it started even cleaning itself… Ah well, what can you do ? Probably be happy with what you get and don’t get frustrated with what you don’t get (I am working on it…)
This female Sparrow-hawk (Sperwer) had quite a good lunch by the looks of it. She took her time eating it, even the prey’s (a songthrush?) feet found their way to the Sparrow’s stomach. May is the month of ‘eat’ and/or ‘be eaten’….. While I took these shots, behind me two Blue Tits (Pimpelmees) were flying on and of feeding their young
Some days ago I wrote that ‘my’ female Sparrow-hawk was waiting in vain for food and hence finally caught her own. Apparently the Hawks also read my blog, since today I witnessed a change in the male’s behavior, this time he provided a full service session! When I arrived, the female was sitting on a branch – looking slightly bored. After some 30 minutes, suddenly her fiancee arrived, and in mid-air handed her some appetizer. She positioned herself on a branch and started working on the food, whereas the male perched itself some branches away waiting for her to finish this late lunch. It looked as if he was already in anticipation of what was to come. After she finished eating, he took a dive and for some 4-5 seconds had a go at her. As you can tell from the last picture I am not sure whether or not she appreciated all this…. . Well, at least – after several weeks of putting in time and energy – I finally have my mating shots. Even with ISO’s between 2000 and 2500 I am more than satisfied with the result. And the upside of clouds and light rain? No shadows!
Since I will be leaving for a trip to the Far East soon, this morning I paid a (for the moment) last visit to the Sparrow-hawks again. There’s a lot to say about them, but the best thing is to look I’d say. Enjoy the pictures, I enjoyed making them . They are such a fantastic couple !