Sparrowhawk – a surprise visitor to our garden

Sparrowhawk – a surprise visitor to our garden

After having been out for a few hours enjoying the glorious weather and wandering around Lymm Dam I hadn’t expected to see what I did when I glanced out of the kitchen window and into the garden when we got home.

We get a reasonable selection of birds coming into the garden but we have never (to our knowledge) had a sparrowhawk visit us – or indeed to stop off and have his afternoon meal on our lawn!

It was only really by chance that I looked out and saw the hawk, and in a flash both my wife and I had reached for our cameras – of necessity most of the pictures had to be taken through the windows which has compromised the quality a little but we were happy to snap away and get the pictures that we could.

Grisly but …

Although it was a little grisly to see the Sparrowhawk ripping his lunch apart at least we had been spared the moment he selected and caught his prey and although it was a little grisly to watch it was sort of compelling at the same time.

The Sparrowhawk

The following information is a straight cut and paste from the excellent RSPB website and if you are not a member perhaps it’s something you might want to consider – check out membership information at this link.

Key information

Sparrowhawks are small birds of prey. They’re adapted for hunting birds in confined spaces like dense woodland, so gardens are ideal hunting grounds for them. Adult male sparrowhawks have bluish-grey back and wings and orangey-brown bars on their chest and belly. Females and young birds have brown back and wings, and brown bars underneath. Sparrowhawks have bright yellow or orangey eyes, long, yellow legs and long talons. Females are larger than males, as with all birds of prey.

What they eat:

Mainly small birds, but 120 different species have been recorded. Males can catch birds up to thrush size, but females, being bigger, can catch birds up to pigeon size. Some sparrowhawks catch bats.


110-196g (male); 185-342g (female)


UK breeding:
35,000 pairs

Photo gallery

Clicking on any of the pictures below will open a gallery that you can click or scroll through.


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