Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipter nisus) the female of the species is much larger than male. Both are barred on the underparts, the male tinged with rufous. The males back is bluish-slate, while females is brown.

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Distinguished from a Kestrel by it’s rounded wings. It has a piercing orange eye and long thin legs armed with sharp talons.  The large  barred tail enables it to twist and turn effortlessly in and out of cover. Prey is often taken in flight along regular routes  the hunter can surprise it’s victims on the ground or about to take off but equally adept in high speed pursuits.

Prey will range from Pigeon sized species to smaller garden birds, redshank snipe etc. Also small mammals will be taken.

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Opportunistic, although many hunting attempts end in failure it will often will eat prey where caught plucking it will still alive, making pretty gruesome viewing. A true predator although possibly declining numbers in some woodlands with the return of the larger Goshawk.

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