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Alex Douglas-Kane shares her experiences and understanding of Discover Nature Awareness

Thursday, 12 July 2012

A Cunning Hunter


I was reading Jon Young’s book ‘What the Robin knows when I got to page 46, here Jon talked about his observations of a Coopers hawk bringing around 66 song birds to its chicks in the nest over the period of his sit-spot.

This reminded me of an experience a close friend of mine had at our nature reserve in Germany called the Zachariassee which I would like to share that with you.

One day while observing the birds at the Zach. Peter observed a Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) hunting juvenile Little Ringed Plovers (Charadrius dubius) 

The Kestrel sat on a fence post in the north eastern corner of the reserve. The fence ran alongside the water’s edge of this disused gravel pit. He watched as the Kestrel killed three young plovers in a very short space of time. Always, after the adults had given the 'all clear' and the immature birds started walking around again.

He slammed into them, each time the adults gave the call clear. The result was none of the young survived the Kestrels onslaught. It seems the Kestrel was able to convince the adults that he presented no threat to their young?

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