Hunting the hunter

Sparrowhawk (click for larger version).

Nature is still red in tooth and claw in Hebden Bridge. Well, in beak and claw at least:

I had just settled down with a cup of tea and the latest LRB at the dining room table this morning, when I glanced out of the window and spotted a male sparrowhawk underneath our bird feeder, dismanting (rather appropriately) one of our sparrows. I must say, he was making a bit of a meal of it: no finesse whatsoever.

I watched him for about half an hour before I realised it would probably make sense to try to get a photo of such a rare spectacle. So I grabbed my camera and took a few shots through the window before sneaking outside to try to get a bit closer. It proved to be disappointingly easy: I managed to get to within five yards of the bird, firing off dozens of shots through the driving snow, before he finished his meal and took off. The light was extremely poor, so I'm pleased with the result.

More bird photos »

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.

One comment

  1. Curious Coincidence

    Glancing through my colleagues copy of todays(13/4)Soaraway Sun (he gets it for the racing coverage, allegedly) - i noticed that they are running a feature on back garden wildlife photography.

    There is more on the website at

    Amongst others, the paper publishes a photograph by Stephen Freeman of Derby of a Sparrowhawk in full dismantle mode not dissimilar to your own image.

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