Bird of Interest – Sparrowhawk
As an homage to all the interesting bird species which I find on my bird surveys through Reading, I have decided to make a sort of fact sheet of the most interesting species which can be spotted right here in Reading.
As mentioned last earlier, whilst undertaking my bird survey on campus, I spotted a nesting Sparrowhawk and Juvenile in the middle of campus woodland. It was a wonderful site, with the gentle kew kew kew alarm call resonating through the woodland.
In terms of identification, all birds have relatively short, rounded wings, a proportionally long, barred tail, long legs and yellow eyes. The males are considerably smaller than the female, and also differs in plumage. The adult male has blue-grey upper parts and pale underparts that are strongly barred and reddish-brown in colour. The adult female in comparison has grey-brown upper parts and pale underparts with finer, dark barring.
This is a bird typically associated with woodland habitats, and constructs a twig nest in a tree – conifers are usually favours – and nesting areas tend to form the focal point for a nesting pairs territory. Hunting birds are most active at dawn and dusk, but the main way of observation is the characteristic kew kew kew call when alarmed.