One of these(I suspect it’s a young male) has recently began to use my garden as a supermarket for his shopping. He has caught a greenfinch and another small bird in the last few days. By putting out feeders I’m partly responsible for his presence I guess but I have derived a lot of enjoyment from watching greenfinches, goldfinches blue tits etc. and I would hate to stop feeding them.
is what I’m talking about(I don’t know if Sparrowhawks are the same all over the world)
My question is how intelligent are they? The last time it caught a bird it landed under my apple tree and was scrutinising the feeders. In my imagination the Sparrowhawk was working out what the feeders were and how it could capitalise on them.
I do know that birds can be inventive
" So what are the world’s most intelligent birds? Woodpeckers rank high in the bird intelligence pecking order. As an example of their innovation, take the gila woodpecker found in the south west USA and Mexico that fashions a wooden scoop out of tree bark to carry honey home to its young. Also high in intelligence are birds of prey (e.g. hawks, eagles and falcons). Bald eagles in northern Arizona have discovered that dead minnows lay frozen under the surface of ice-covered lakes. On lakes where the ice is thin, eagles can be found chipping holes in the surface. This alone is not enough to earn them their meal however; the eagles then jump up and down on the surface of the ice, using their body weight to push the minnows up though the holes. The most intelligent bird group according to Lefebvre’s research are crows. The Japanese carrion crow exhibits a remarkable behaviour that demonstrates why this bird is at the top of the “bird brain” charts. At a university campus in Japan, carrion crows have developed a unique feeding innovation that exploits human technology. Carrion crows perch at traffic intersections and patiently wait for the red light. When the vehicles come to a stop, the crows spring into action - they fly down to the cars and place walnuts under the tyres. These crows are smart enough to have figured out that the simplest way to open a nut is to get someone else to do it for you!"
Could this Sparrowhawk have worked out how to get an easy meal?