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  #11  
Old 14-03-2017, 06:44 PM
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Bradley Church
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Default Re: Sparrowhawk Investigation

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Originally Posted by PaulUsHilarius View Post
Hi Bradley,
I'm no great expert, but yes the YouTube clip sounds like an alarm call. The adults also make a similar call when food passing, which I think is a bit softer and less urgent.
That'll probably be why he reacted the way he did. I'll run it passed some others and see what they say to get a few more opinions but it does make sense.

Thanks,

Bradley
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  #12  
Old 14-03-2017, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: Sparrowhawk Investigation

Lovely pictures Bradley, well done.

Best wishes,

Tony.
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  #13  
Old 14-03-2017, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: Sparrowhawk Investigation

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Lovely pictures Bradley, well done.

Best wishes,

Tony.
Thanks Tony, would you agree with Paul that the YouTube video is an alarm call?

Kind Regards,

Bradley
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  #14  
Old 14-03-2017, 09:45 PM
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Default Re: Sparrowhawk Investigation

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Originally Posted by BradazTheFalconer View Post
Thanks Tony, would you agree with Paul that the YouTube video is an alarm call?

Kind Regards,

Bradley
If I was listening to the right clip, probably not --- but then I suspect Paul is, despite his modesty, more of an expert than me.
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  #15  
Old 14-03-2017, 10:45 PM
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Default Re: Sparrowhawk Investigation

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Originally Posted by Tony James View Post
If I was listening to the right clip, probably not --- but then I suspect Paul is, despite his modesty, more of an expert than me.
Then what do you reckon the call is (if not an alarm)?
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  #16  
Old 14-03-2017, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: Sparrowhawk Investigation

Having witnessed this call for the last few years in the month of August I noticed it's not so much a alarm call but puts other small birds into a state of panic which then alarm call and then they are taken. ...
Watching the sparrowhawk it would come out of the woods calling and scanning the field then back again several times and this was always late afternoon. ..
As said I'm no expert but this was the way saw it!
Great pictures Brad love your enthusiasm keep at it you'll go far and all the best for your exams

Regards Paul. ...
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  #17  
Old 14-03-2017, 10:59 PM
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Default Re: Sparrowhawk Investigation

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Originally Posted by PaulUsHilarius View Post
Then what do you reckon the call is (if not an alarm)?
Hi Paul,

I may have been listening to the wrong clip, but to me it sounded like a straightforward 'contact' call.

Best wishes,

Tony.
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  #18  
Old 14-03-2017, 11:26 PM
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Default Re: Sparrowhawk Investigation

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Originally Posted by Tony James View Post
Hi Paul,

I may have been listening to the wrong clip, but to me it sounded like a straightforward 'contact' call.

Best wishes,

Tony.
Thanks Tony , you may well be right! I have heard both contact calls and alarm calls many many times at wild spar nests .... I think I need to pay more attention to what I hear!

I got some nice clips through the telescope last June, but unfortunately my camera doesn't pick up the sound. Rosy cheeked musket!

Https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx9...ew?usp=sharing
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  #19  
Old 15-03-2017, 01:26 AM
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Default Re: Sparrowhawk Investigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by BradazTheFalconer View Post
Hi Everyone,

I had a visit from a Male Sparrowhawk (Musket) this afternoon. My parents called me from my room saying it was on the fence. I went out to find a beautiful peachy-coloured Spar sitting on the fence about four metres away from the house. It was feather-perfect, a really lovely bird. I've attached a photo, of many others, that I managed to get(image 1). It must have been in the garden for about an hour.

He was really alert and definitely in hunting mode, both feet on the fence with feathers pulled in and leaning forward looking around (image 2). After a while, it turned around and dashed off into the neighbour's garden after something, I thought it would be gone for good as it sent up most of the birds on the estate! It soon returned to the fence empty-taloned however so had missed whatever it went after.

He pulled his leg up and fluffed himself out, clearly not in the mood for hunting any more. He started lurching his head back and I knew he was about to cast a pellet and then did. I was moving about quite a lot and this didn't seem to bother him at all. As he seemed pretty content and calm, I decided to do a little investigation. I grabbed my phone and speaker and went outside. I wasn't expecting to be able to get far before he flew off however he allowed me to get to get opposite him so I was about four metres in front. I then played the Sparrowhawk calling for the RSPB website through my speaker, this didn't seem to phase him at all and I got no reaction which I was surprised about. I then went on YouTube and found a different clip of a Sparrowhawk calling, this time, a different call altogether. Upon hearing this, the bird instantly turned to look at me and fixated on me for a few seconds before flying off down our garden and out of sight. I thought this was quite interesting and I'm going to work out what type of calls I played to see if it makes sense at the opposite reactions I received from the bird.

I went back inside to grab a container to see if I could find the pellet the bird dropped. After about five minutes of looking around the area the bird was perched, I found the pellet fully intact which I put in the container(image 3). I'm going to leave the pellet to fully dry in the container. I'll then add warm water to the container and stir it up so the bones and remains separate from the other material. I'll sieve out the water and then pick through the material to find the remains which I can then lay out and attempt to see what the Spar had for lunch.

I know for a fact that we have a local pair of Sparrowhawks and we often get visits from them. One was on Christmas Day last year, we were eating our bird roast when we noticed a bunch of feather in the air. I then used my scope to find the Female perched a tree at the bottom of our garden with a Starling. It was nice to see the the Sparrowhawk had her Christmas dinner as well! I have a hunch that the remains in the pellet I have now may be from a Starling but will soon see. I also spotted the Female flying whilst the Male was in the garden so they're obviously getting closer together for breeding soon. This was a nice end to the weekend and I thought I may as well utilise the fact he dropped a pellet and his surprisingly laid-back temperament for a wild bird. I shall update this thread once I've found out what the types of call I played and also the result from the pellet dissection. I hope everyone whose birds are down have a good moult!

Kind Regards,

Bradley
Lovely pictures Bradley - reminds me of my old intermewed musket, 'Mavro' from 1991!

Gerry x
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  #20  
Old 15-03-2017, 11:27 AM
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BradazTheFalconer BradazTheFalconer is offline
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Default Re: Sparrowhawk Investigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony James View Post
If I was listening to the right clip, probably not --- but then I suspect Paul is, despite his modesty, more of an expert than me.
The clip I was referring to is on post #9, whatever type of call it was, he didn't hang about to hear it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waff View Post
Having witnessed this call for the last few years in the month of August I noticed it's not so much a alarm call but puts other small birds into a state of panic which then alarm call and then they are taken. ...
Watching the sparrowhawk it would come out of the woods calling and scanning the field then back again several times and this was always late afternoon. ..
As said I'm no expert but this was the way saw it!
Great pictures Brad love your enthusiasm keep at it you'll go far and all the best for your exams

Regards Paul. ...
Thanks Paul,

That would also make sense as an alternative. So are you saying that the Sparrowhawk will sometimes make this call in order to deliberately send its prey into a panic which then causes them to get airborne and then taken by the Hawk? If so, that's an interesting hunting technique and one I haven't come across in Raptors yet. Thanks for the kind words.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulUsHilarius View Post
Thanks Tony , you may well be right! I have heard both contact calls and alarm calls many many times at wild spar nests .... I think I need to pay more attention to what I hear!

I got some nice clips through the telescope last June, but unfortunately my camera doesn't pick up the sound. Rosy cheeked musket!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx9...ew?usp=sharing
That's some amazing footage Paul, looks like something off a documentary. I take it you used an adaptor for your camera which was then put through the telescope? Its some great quality footage and another nice Musket, I can see what you mean by 'rosy cheeked'. If this was just a contact call then it puzzles me as to why the bird reacted as it did. I know nothing has been confirmed however it would make more sense, from the bird's startled reaction, that is was an alarm call. It definitely seemed threatened in some way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SugezWolf View Post
Lovely pictures Bradley - reminds me of my old intermewed musket, 'Mavro' from 1991!

Gerry x
I'm glad I was able to bring back some memories of people's past Sparrowhawk's, I had a similar response from someone over on Instagram who has flown Spars before. Although the world contains a lot of nature and wild Raptors, we're quite lucky to have birds such as Sparrowhawk's in the habitats and numbers we have here in the U.K.

Best Wishes,

Bradley
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