Monday, 26 May 2008

Country picnic snack....

The Starlings circled overhead chattering loudly as their friend struggled for his life.
It took way too long for the little life to be extinguished as the Sparrowhawk was still wary of that defensive lunging beak.
Eventually it was all over. Nature can appear cruel, but it is what it is...

The size, the white eye stripe, and the brownish rather than greyish colouring indicated that this was a female Sparrowhawk. The females because of their larger size tend to hunt bigger prey (anything up to pigeon size) and operate out in the open. The smaller males are more agile, broad but short wings allow them to hunt within the close quarters of woodland. Males were once known as 'Muskets', and in the 17th century, the newly developed, compact, lightweight but powerful 'musket' gun was named after them.
Even after their friends death, the brave Starlings continued to mob the dangerous Sparrowhawk, forcing it to adopt a defensive stance.
This strange 'tenting' allows them to stand on the wings of their prey but remain stable using their tail and wingtips to form a tripod.


Next time I'm out in the countryside, hopefully I'll be able to photograph something a bit more 'fluffy', preferable NOT having it's head chewed off by something vicious!....

13 comments:

Lesley said...

Pretty bird. They have to eat, just part of nature.

Madwag said...

incredible post! yep..that is nature... and even this has beauty, thanks for sharing :o)

photowannabe said...

Fascinating cycle of life. Its hard to watch and seems cruel but not really in the scope of things. Great pictures. I found the tenting posture so interesting.

Floderten said...

PIDGEON!!!

(I love that word. I especially love screaming it while running into a large flock of them. It sends everyone else screaming, too, except they don't scream "pidgeon".)

I think birds are fascinating. I love scouting for lone hunters while driving in the country. If I'm not driving, that is.

Pablo said...

Good photos and observations.
All the best,
Pablo
Pablo's Woodlife

JLee said...

I guess it would be ugly too if we all chased down cows and started chewing on them. ha

secret agent said...

so here I come for a little pick me up and to say thanks for the words of wisdom

and yet again I run away screaming

damn cannibal bird

Candace Rae said...

Great bird, you should put Bob on here! (Smiles) Thanks for the post, stunning bird.

Lavender said...

So cool, I LOVE raptors! How lucky were you to catch one in the act - Bravo Mate! And great shots too - lucky devil!
Thank you very much for your messages/comments over these last months, it was a great help to hear that I was thought of and I missed your groovy blog! Cheers!

Foster Communications said...

Circle of life right? V. cool capture, even if a bit grizzly.

Sharon said...

Wow! Incredible photos & video clips. How did you mangage to get such great shots without scaring her off? Do you have the power to make yourself invisible????

Lavender said...

Wasnt it John Lennon, who sang, Happiness is a warm lunch?

Elisa. said...

Thanks for coming by, I love your new header..let me know how you did it!