From: Elisabeth Baker, Broomhill Crescent, Leeds.
FOR some years we have been gardening for wildlife, with berry-laden bushes, nest boxes and natural spaces for birds and animals.
I have also been buying wild bird seed by the sackful and there are a number of different feeders around our urban garden.
However, our delight in our avian family has been shattered in the last few weeks with the arrival of a sparrowhawk.
It has taken a number of birds, sometimes spending most of the day devouring the larger ones and leaving us to clear up the mess.
It is most distressing to open the curtains in the morning or to arrive home to find evidence of yet another “murder”, and even more so actually to see them being taken.
It was bad enough when the local feline was the only guilty party but at this rate there will be no birds left for me to feed.
As it is, I have had to stop leaving food in many of the previously well-used areas.
There are those who say that we should be pleased, as the hawk’s presence indicates a healthy bird population hereabouts. But at this rate it won’t be healthy for long.
As a household of lovers of birds (other than raptors!) we find the current state of affairs most upsetting and pleasure in the garden is evaporating.
We know that this is “nature red in tooth and claw”, but as non-carnivores ourselves, we’d really prefer not to have to be an unwitting part of it!