Hawk makes itself at home

One of our staff members found a surprising visitor at home last week.
A sparrowhawk sits in a kitchen

Photo; David Rolls

We are often told that getting out and experiencing nature is good for us, but in the case of one Exeter resident the roles were reversed recently when a sparrowhawk dropped into his kitchen.

David Rolls, who works for Devon Wildlife Trust as a member of its Working Wetlands team, came face-to-face with the hawk when he went to make himself a cup of tea. David says:

“I’d seen the sparrowhawk earlier in the day as it chased some sparrows in my back garden, but I was surprised to see it sat calmly in my kitchen, perched on the draining board next to my washing-up. I guess its sat-nav went awry and it had taken a wrong turn. We’d been doing some painting and decorating in the house, so had left the backdoor open and the sparrowhawk must have come in that way.”

The bird was unharmed and stayed for 30 minutes before leaving the way it had entered. David, who lives in the St Thomas area of the city, says:

“I did what you should do when any bird enters your house: open as many exits as you can and leave the bird in peace to make its own way out.”

Sparrowhawks are a relatively common member of the hawk family. They are often seen in the UKs urban gardens where they surprise their prey of small songbirds through a combination of stealth and speed.