Thursday, 13 June 2019

Disco Saves a Blackbird

About a month ago, I noticed a scattering of dark feathers just outside the Aviary and guessed that a resident garden Blackbird had been nabbed by the Sparrowhawk. 

Later that day I was appalled at the sight of  a poor Blackbird coming close to me for some mealworm. It had obviously been savaged by the Sparrowhawk, and Disco the disabled Duck started squabbling as it got near. I realised what must have happened early that morning. 

The Blackbird would have been worming just outside the aviary and got hit by the hawk. 

Disco would have seen everything from the other side of the aviary mesh with all the ducklings and her protective instinct would have kicked in, making her attack the hawk which was tearing the flesh and skin from the blackbird !  It must have been a violent attack for the hawk to release the blackbird long enough to escape it's clutches. 

Escape from a Sparrowhawk's talons is rare, especially for a smaller bird. 

For weeks the resident Blackbird comes to me several times a day for a high protein feed of dried mealworms. It may be blind or partially sighted in the right eye, but accurately able to pick up the smallest morsels. 

After a month it is healing and surviving well. Both Disco and the blackbird sometimes eat close by, and both share an incredible near miss experience !

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