8 Feb 2016

Another Sparrowhawk

This male Sparrowhawk was caught in Barry's garden a couple of weeks ago and I managed to get it from the mist net before it got itself out as they are prone to doing! It was a nice bird for trainee Helen to ring and nice to compare it with 'my bird' I posted about earlier this year.

This bird had a really orange eye that can be associated with older birds. Except this bird was aged as a 7 or one hatched in 2014 so it really wasn't that old. It had two generations of tail feathers, with the older feathers being brown juvenile type,  making the ageing fairly straight forward.

David Norman has some good tips on ageing Sparrowhawks on his website and to be honest I'm not that clued up on them having only ever ringed 3!'adult'%20Sparrowhawks.htm

Eye colour is not very reliable in ageing Sparrowhawks as keen be seen from photos of my bird which was ringed as an adult in 2013 with a yellow eye - three years later the eye is the same colour ( I re-trapped it again on the 16th January) - whereas this recent younger bird has a very orange coloured eye.

Note also that the chestnut tinge to the breast isn't as bright as in my bird shown again below:

They really are beautiful birds and it s a real privilege to be able to see them close up. I think the male I get in the garden is one of a breeding pair that nest about 500 m away in a very large wooded and private garden. I see them displaying over this garden during the spring.

No comments :