Birds of prey induce strange reactions in some people. Take the barn owl – the one below was taken a while back and has featured in this blog before – almost everyone I know thinks they’re wonderful. See a barn owl and it says that everything’s all right with the environment around you. And they eat those horrid ratty things that, furry or not, most people don’t like – so that’s OK then.
On the other hand – this guy – a rather neat sparrowhawk which has also featured before – eats those lovely little blue tits that eat my peanuts. That’s not alright in some peoples eye’s.
Doesn’t seem to matter that by putting out the peanuts we’re really establishing a sparrowhawk feeding station. Nor that our pet moggy probably kills and eats more of our favourites than the sparrowhawk will ever manage. Nor even that without birds of prey we’d be neck deep in blue tits in no time.
Many people still seem to like their environment nice, neat and clean – full of their favourites and empty of their pet hates. But, of course, it isn’t that way. Sparrowhawks are only successful if their food chain is successful. Just like the owls. It’s a privilege to have these birds in and around our gardens - and seeing either one of them take their prey makes my heart glad. Glad that my bit of the environment at least is healthy and operating pretty much as it should.
If you enjoyed these photos there are plenty more great bird shots at Wild Bird Wednesday