Last Thursday, we got a new guest at our bird feeders.
It was Nicôle who saw the bird first, when it, like a thunderbolt, struck a beautiful Bullfinch which was enjoying a meal of sunflower seeds at one of our feeders. Before Nicôle knew it, the bird of prey was on it's way again, with the Bullfinch in it's claws, leaving nothing behind but some little fluffy red feathers trailing behind in the sky. And leaving Nicôle both bewildered and impressed at the same time.
Since it's first surprise attack, we have seen the Sparrowhawk almost every day. It is clear that our yard has become part of his hunting ground. Luckily, the bird's assaults are not always successful. Despite the hunter's speed and determination, about two thirds of it's intended victims succeed to escape. And the rest of them? They become food for another bird which - just like themselves - has to eat in order to survive.
Although it is a bit sad, we can not be too sentimental about it. If you are feeding the birds, you are feeding the birds of prey, too. It is as simple as that.