Predation isn't just something that happens on the African plains: it can happen in your own backyard too!
Here is a video that we filmed just outside the house. The sparrowhawk had recently caught the blackbird, and had flown into the tree with its prey.
Sparrowhawk With Blackbird
The sparrowhawk took a long time plucking and eating the blackbird; the whole process took over an hour.
It's not the first time I've watched a sparrowhawk (maybe this very one) dealing with its prey in this tree.
Have You Ever Seen A Pile Of Feathers In Your Garden?
Sparrowhawks are the commonest birds of prey seen in English gardens. If you come across a pile of feathers — and not much else — it's probably all that remains of a sparrowhawk's victim.
While it can be upsetting to experience some aspects of nature, one should always remember that the sparrowhawk itself has a family to feed.
Having a sparrowhawk in your garden is also a sign of a healthy ecosystem.
You might not enjoy watching this video (sorry!), but hopefully you will have learned something about how the sparrowhawk handles its prey.