An unwanted but possibly injured visitor.Like most gardens that are fed to encourage songbirds, we get a regular hammering from sparrow hawks. We don't like it of course but we have to accept it.
Over the last couple of weeks though, things have changed and something has been paying attention to our canaries in the aviary.
We have a small aviary built on the outside of our shower block and a hole through the breeze block to a double breeding cage that's screwed to the inside wall. This means that the birds can stay nice and warm inside during inclement weather. Of late, we've noticed that our canary numbers have definitely declined and we've found feathers on the bars in the inside accommodation.
On Tuesday I discovered the culprit and of course, it was a sparrow hawk. I walked into the back garden only to find one trying to get in at the canaries through the wire of the outside aviary. As soon as it saw me, it quickly cleared off.
This morning, Karen went into the shower block only to have one fly directly towards her and over her shoulder to get outside but this time, instead of quickly disappearing, it perched on a fence just a few short yards away and there it stayed. She was able to call me outside to look at it and to take these pictures.
It was hunched up and none too keen on moving. Most unsparrow hawk like, it didn't fly off as soon as it saw me and on downloading these pictures of it, it looks as though its got a damaged foot. Whether its hurt its foot striking at the birds through the wire, or if it already had an injury causing it to look for easy prey, I can't say but the one thing that's for sure, is that the prognosis for its survival is looking pretty bleak.