susie acott's picture


Observed: 5th October 2012 By: susie acott
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete

Unfortunate that this is a carcas. Found on farmland near the river. The only other evidence nearby were black/dark feathers.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


RoyW's picture


This is the remains of a bird of prey (perhaps a male Sparrowhawk or Hobby, based on the description of dark feathers and what looks like a few orange feathers on the 'thighs'), and the type of remains left strongly suggest that it has been eaten by another raptor.

David Jardine's picture

Very interesting

I think this is probably a Buzzard. I'm certain it is not a Sparrowhawk (or Goshawk) as Accipiters have long thin toes - particularly the middle one. The size of the talons and the width of the tarsus are probably too large/strong for a Falcon, which tend to be more slender (I've never ringed a Hobby, but have ringed a wide range of others including many Buzzards). The orangy brown feathers in the thighs would also fit some Buzzards.

RoyW's picture

Size of toes!

I did think that the feet looked a bit 'chunky' but decided that one of the smaller raptor species was more likely to have been eaten by another.
Now you've mentioned it, Accipiters do have pretty long toes - and a Buzzard would fit what we can see.

Perhaps eaten as carrion rather than predated?

susie acott's picture


I will go down to the field again in the morning and see if there is any more evidence. If feathers etc are still around I will take more photos. Many thanks.