A pile of feathers on the Cedar Lawn at Walton Hall, Milton Keynes. Looks Like a Woodpigeon, but whodunnit? I suspect a local Sparrowhawk!
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I agree, almost certainly a sparrowhawk kill. A mammal carnivore would have dragged the body to a more secluded spot before plucking and killing; sparrowhawks pluck before carrying the body off. You can easily check by looking at the end of the feathers; if the tips are whole a bird plucked the corpse, if they have been bitten off then a fox, stoat, weasel or badger was involved.
It looks like the pigeon stuggled, another sign of a bird kill as sparrowhawks rarely kill outright. Often the pigeon escapes only to be caught again, this leaves a trail of two, or three pluck sites.
This would have been a female sparrowhawk as the males are not large enough to tackle a woodpigeon.
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Thanks, Graham - a very useful identification clue: the feathers were indeed plucked whole and not bitten through.
While I agree that this looks like evidence of a Sparrowhawk (or other raptor) kill, I disagree with the identification of the possible prey.
Although the photo itself does not enlarge, if the web page is zoomed to 200%+ fairly small, brownish, wing or tail feathers can be seen at the right side of the photo (suggesting that the prey was a passerine, perhaps Robin or Blackbird??).
The down feathers, and the parts of other body feathers that are not normally visible, will look grey in most birds.
Lat/Lng: 52.0, -0.8
OS grid ref: SP8837