Birds of Cheney: Sparrowhawk

Sparrowhawk Facts

Sparrowhawks are small birds of prey. They have short, broad wings and a long tail, which helps them fly through trees. They are pale underneath, and darker on their upper parts. This is an example of camouflage called "countershading". They have horizontal striping, which is often seen in woodland predators. The common cuckoo looks like a sparrowhawk which helps protect it from small birds when trying to enter their nests. The oldest known sparrowhawk lived for over twenty years. 

Sparrowhawk Stories

The sparrowhawk features in a number of traditional tales. In Australian aboriginal mythology, the moon possessed fire, and refused to give it to mankind. Eventually a sparrowhawk and a pigeon take it from him and give it to humans. In Mayan mythology, human bodies were made from the dough with the animal Coyote was making when it was killed by a sparrowhawk. 

Listen to the sparrowhawk here: