Hannibal the Cannibal by Krys Bailey

OK, so now he’s posed nicely for me, I’m going to see what I can do to deter this guy from gate-crashing my Bailey’s Birdie’s Bistro and helping himself to the guests! :o( Yesterday Hannibal here ambushed a Great Tit which he left in this tree and then sat here and had the nerve to look like butter wouldn’t melt! After I went outdoors to give him his marching orders, he returned an hour later to collect his supper. I’d never seen our collared doves move so fast as when Hannibal flew in! Being the male, Hannibal is likely to prefer smaller birds – the female, who is around twice his size, will happily snatch doves and pigeons! Hannibal is only about 12 inches tall but just look at those long claws! I know this guy has got to eat, but how can I encourage the song birdies into my garden without doing my best to ensure their safety whilst dining?

Male Eurasian Sparrowhawk (accipiter nisus)

Canon EOS 50D with Canon EF 400mm L f/5.6

p.s. anyone have any good Sparrowhawk recipes?


  • Dawn B Davies-McIninch
    Dawn B Davies-...about 5 years ago

    wow such a fabulous bird, but not in your garden, a fabulous shot though krys, from a greyish bristol hehe dawnx

  • Thanks Dawn! I get a fright everytime a bird flies past at the moment! Good morning from a hazy sun Southampton! ;o) xxx

    – Krys Bailey

  • Richard Hamilton-Veal
    Richard Hamilt...about 5 years ago

    Stunning capture Krys.

  • Robert Elliott
    Robert Elliottabout 5 years ago

    wonderful capture Krys, I guess the bottom line is that he (or her) has to eat to

  • Thanks Robert! I agree he has to eat and was glad he returned for his supper which he’d already killed. I just don’t want him eating MY birdies!

    – Krys Bailey

  • ©FoxfireGallery / FloorOne Photography
    ©FoxfireGaller...about 5 years ago

    Oh WOW! Great capture and observation all in your back garden. Love the comments beside it too, thanks for sharing your experience.
    If they are coming into your garden it shows the raptors are getting very desperate for food. at least he only kills to eat and not for fun or because he does not like another birds religion

  • Thanks CeeJay! Actually, I read that the presence of Sparrowhawks means that the local bird population is doing well! I think the building on the farmland at the back of our place may have destroyed his local hunting area.

    – Krys Bailey

  • Vicki Ferrari
    Vicki Ferrariabout 5 years ago

    Wow, Krys!! Beautiful image and you are quite right, it looks as though butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth!! And smiling at your story, chuckling a bit, even though that somehow seems wrong! I am sure there are many people who could give you advice here, and I am not one of them!! If you would like some names, just bm me!!! Lovely to meet you Krys!! :))) Vicki :))

  • Thanks Vicki! Lovely to meet you too! Well even I’m being a bit lighthearted about the unsavoury antics of this raptor. Better than the alternative I suppose…….. ;o)

    – Krys Bailey

  • Rick Playle
    Rick Playleabout 5 years ago

    Very well captured Krys
    cheers Rick

  • Rosemaree
    Rosemareeabout 5 years ago

    Stunning photo Krys. So crisp and clean…

  • AnnDixon
    AnnDixonabout 5 years ago

    This is a wonderful shot and a beautiful bird but I wouldn’t want it eating my birdies either, I love the name of your feeding station by the way LOL, Ann

  • Thanks Ann! D’you have any good recipes for Sparrowhawk Stew? ;o)))

    – Krys Bailey

  • Dawn B Davies-McIninch
    Dawn B Davies-...about 5 years ago

    I dont blame you, these birds are bigger that we think, and i do feel for your poor little birdies, just goes to show your garden is just so inviting aww hope he gets bored soon, do you want to borrow one of my cats lol dawnxx

  • Hahaha! Thanks Dawn! Well actually I blamed the cats when I found feathers in the garden but now I know better! They have built lots of houses on the field behind our house and I reckon this guy has to look for new areas to hunt and has chosen our garden! I recently joined the RSPB but I didn’t think they gave out free hawks!!! ;o)

    – Krys Bailey

  • Dawn B Davies-McIninch
    Dawn B Davies-...about 5 years ago

    lol giggle giggle, I am sure he will go soon, try and go into the garden more today, that may help in sending him kindly on his way, a few years back my archery club had trouble with a kestral, it used to fly and either land on top of our targets ( inuse hehe) or underneath, it was hiding from some huge buzzards the club has near by. lol he would land even if I had loosed an arrow to the target, and my tummy would turn and I would think oh no, i am gonna kill it hehe never did though lol dawnx

  • Thanks Dawn! This hawk has been visiting over the past couple of months – even sits on the feeder trays sometimes. Like all Sparrowhawks I’ve encountered, he doesn’t seem particularly afraid of humans – probably thinks I’d make a nice meal, hahaha! ;o) xxx

    – Krys Bailey

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