Species of the month: November - Sparrowhawk
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Scientific Name: Accipiter nisus
Identification: The sparrowhawk has rounded wings and a relatively long, narrow tail. Males are small with a blue-grey back and white underparts showing reddish-orange barring. Females are much larger, with browner plumage above and grey bars below. They both have reddish cheeks. Female sparrowhawks can be up to 25% larger than the males - the biggest size difference in any bird.
Diet: Sparrowhawks primarily feed on small birds, with the larger females occasionally predating larger birds such as wood pigeons.
Behaviour: What they lack in stamina, they make up for in extreme agility, and they often approach their prey closely and undetected. Sometimes they ambush their prey from a perch, while other times they may fly low, suddenly changing direction to fool it.
Where can they be found?:
The sparrowhawk is widespread, but absent from the far north of Scotland.
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