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Sparrowhawks Join Peregrines to Nest at The Cathedral (posted 19 July 2012)

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Sparrowhawks join Peregrines to nest at the Cathedral...

Picture: Cathedral Sparrowhawks
Cathedral Sparrowhawks

Recently a pair of sparrowhawks have been spotted nesting in the Cathedral Grounds.  Like the peregrines, sparrowhawks are aerial predators, catching birds on the wing.  Female sparrowhawks (larger than the males, like many birds of prey) often hunt pigeons, also one of the main prey items for the Chichester Cathedral peregrines.

Unlike the peregrines, who won't dive at speed when there are tall buildings around, the sparrowhawks are a bit more manoeuvrable in confined spaces and therefore are more happy to feed in the gardens around the Cathedral.  This year the peregrines seem to have mainly been hunting over fields away from the town centre.

Now that their chicks have fledged and gone the Cathedral peregrines won't need to be so territorial and therefore may be more relaxed about the arrival of their new neighbours!

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