A recent visitor to the garden was a Collared Sparrow Hawk. Accipiter cirrhocephalus is his botanical name.
He flew in and sat on the rose arbour for a few minutes then decided to move on. As his common name would suggest, the Collared Sparrowhawk feeds on small birds, the largest recorded bird taken has been crested pigeon and spotted bowerbird.
They grow to roughly 29-33 cm with a wingspan of about 55-78 cm. They also have a square tail, yellow eyes and long legs. Colour is slate grey with a brown wash occasionally with a chestnut half collar. Undersides are finely barred rufous and white. Legs are prominently yellow as you can see below.
Found throughout Australia and New Guinea in all habitats except for dry deserts.
I have occasionally seen tree’s full of sparrows suddenly make a racket and fly of furiously in all directions only to then see a hawk of some description fly off. Obviously it has glided in at a fast rate of knots, been successful or not in its catch and take off in another direction. Of course this happens in a matter of seconds or less. I can only assume it might have been a Collared Sparrowhawk. Watch out! He’s got his eyes on you.
Finally, here he is on his way, sorry I couldn’t get a clear shot of him, he just sort of leaped into the air and was off.
Look how his feet and tail are horizontal and in line with the body. Simply just an elegant outline. Glad to have these amazing creatures pop in for a short visit now and then.