Nature in action

We were pottering in the garden when a pigeon landed quite close to us and didn’t seem concerned by our presence. From the rings on it’s legs we deduced it was a racing pigeon and that explained why it wasn’t worried about us as it’s used to being handled. There aren’t any racing pigeons near us that we’re aware of and wondered if it was lost, injured or tired. It certainly enjoyed the seed we put down for it and even ate from my husband’s hand.

As we walked away to carry on with our tasks a Sparrowhawk went zipping past us at waist height and as we turned to try and watch it, it already had the pigeon in it;s grip.

It took a long time for the pigeon to die but at no point was the hawk going to release it’s grip. The Sparrowhawk didn’t seem concerned by our presence either as we got within about ten foot and it didn’t budge. I’ve never seen a hawk in the garden before and despite feeling sorry for the pigeon it was fascinating to watch and a fabulous view of both birds.

We wondered if perhaps the hawk had had a previous attempt on the pigeon and that’s why it had landed in our garden. Reading up on the hawk, they are very single minded in pursuit of quarry and that’s obviously why it wasn’t going to let the presence of three humans put it off.

Beautiful isn’t she? My daughter has been quite squeamish about blood for the last couple of years but still managed to come and watch some of the action. Nature is fascinating. Of course, we had to lock the cats in the house during this episode as the thought of the cat eating the Sparrowhawk eating the pigeon was too much to contemplate.

2 Replies to “Nature in action”

  1. What fantastic photographs – shame for the pigeon but as you say – nature at work and if it was a racing pigeon and you had contacted it’s owner, he would more than likely have rung it’s neck as ‘straying’ racing pigeons are not usually tolerated.

  2. I didn’t know that Kate but we have reported it ‘missing in action’. We didn’t report that it was a Sparrowhawk involved as we didn’t want any retribution on birds of prey.

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