sparrow-hawk defined in 1930 yearsparrow-hawk - Sparrow-Hawk;
sparrow-hawk - Upper parts dark bluish grey, with a white spot on the nape; under parts reddish white, transversely barred with deep brown; tail grey, barred with brownish black; beak blue, lightest at the base; cere, irides, and feet yellow. Female: upper parts brown, passing into blackish grey; under parts greyish white, barred with dark grey. Length of male, twelve inches; of female, fifteen inches.
The sparrow-hawk is found in wooded districts in all parts of Great Britain and Ireland, and is, perhaps, the most generally diffused species of the diurnal birds of prey in this country, and, compared with most other species, may be said to be almost common. In reality it is becoming rare; which is not strange considering that, next to the carrion crow, it is the most persecuted of all the feathered creatures whose existence is an offence to the gamekeeper. In Tarrell's ' British Birds ' it is said that the female sparrow-hawk is, indeed, the only bird of prey which the game-preserver nowadays need fear; and there is no doubt that it is immeasurably more destructive to the chicks of pheasant and partridge than any other raptor. It preys by preference on birds, as the kestrel does on mice, and in pursuit is capable of rapid flight and quick doublings; but its chases are short and near the surface of the earth. In habits it is a prowler, a stealthy flier among woods, by coppices and hedges, and takes its victims by surprise. It also dashes suddenly on them from its perch, where it has stood concealed by the foliage, keeping a sharp watch on the feathered creatures in its vicinity.
The sparrow-hawk is said to make a nest for itself, but it is more probable that in nearly all cases it takes possession of an old nest of some other bird. The eggs are four or five in number, and sometimes six, pale bluish white in ground-colour, blotched and spotted with various shades of reddish brown.
near sparrow-hawk in Knolik
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