localhero's picture

Sparrowhawk

Observed: 7th May 2013 By: localherolocalhero’s reputation in Birdslocalhero’s reputation in Birdslocalhero’s reputation in Birds
sparrowhawk1
sparrowhawk5
Description:

Sparrowhawk eating its dinner in our back garden - can anyone confirm, is this a female? Thanks

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) interacts

Comments

Ray Turner's picture

Female

Indeed this is a female bird. Grey/brown colouring on the back (males slate grey) and nice yellow iris (male yellow/orange).

Ray

Ray

ophrys's picture

Probably!

It's a bird born last year, with pale fringes to the upperpart feathers and with heart-shaped blotches on the breast feathers. It's not so easy to sex young birds, as they have the same colour plumage until they moult in their second year.

It does look quite heavily built, so may be a female, as Ray says, as females are bigger than males. Difficult to be sure, though, I think.

Ian
_________________

My Flickr photos...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52163027@N02/

Ray Turner's picture

Not one hundred per cent

Yes I was not sure about confirming as female, I was fairly sure it was not a full adult hence not straightforward and the lack of distinct supercilium worried me. However I did spend some time looking at the ID features at www.ibercajalav.net/img/118_SparrowhawkAnisus.pdf before risking it.

I should have made this clear above. Thanks Ian for elucidating.

Ray

Ray

ophrys's picture

Birds of Aragon

Ray's link is a very useful resource, thoroughly recommended for checking the age and sex of different birds. I use it a lot, as well.

Ian
_________________

My Flickr photos...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52163027@N02/

Ray Turner's picture

Credit Due

I’m fairly sure it was you who pointed me at it in the first place Ian.

Ray

Ray

localhero's picture

Thank you

Thank you both, and thanks for the link Ray, that's very interesting! xx