collared sparrowhawk at Yarralumla

To: "'COG Chatline'" <>
Subject: collared sparrowhawk at Yarralumla
From: "Leo Berzins" <>
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2014 17:48:52 +1100
I was there around 7am and saw both Sparrowhawks (female frequently, male only briefly). The main interactions were with Pied Currawongs and the female called loudly every time as she came in to perch after seeing off a currawong.
Several Satin Bowerbirds were also present in the vicinity, including two black males.
Many thanks to Alison for reporting this and giving such a clear description of the location.
Sent: Sunday, December 21, 2014 5:24 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] collared sparrowhawk at Yarralumla
Yes I was there too from about 9 a.m. today for about an hour, in part simultaneous with 5 others (I think 4 of whom had cameras - I was thinking when I started this interest long ago, relatively few people watching birds had cameras). The adult female spent most time perched fairly high in one pine tree about 50 metres from the nest. She called a lot for about half the time and then was mostly silent : a simple repeated yelp and quite different from what I have heard from goshawks at the nest. Also unlike the normal from Brown Goshawk chicks, they made no sound - though that might just be whilst I was there). She showed no interest or aggression to the group of people watching her. At one time she flew towards where 2 Crimson Rosellas flew through but was not clear whether the Rosellas were alarm reacting to her presence or she was chasing them. No sign of the adult male, if he was near he was taking no notice of her calling, apart from that after the others left, I could hear what I believe was him (as she was still visible) calling from some distance away. As for contents of the nest, we could see two what appeared to be fully feathered chicks, one perched on a branch just above and one just in front of the nest. They look ready to leave within the next 2 or 3 days. I believe these birds spend a few days practicing hopping or walking around the nest tree before they first fly. Not an easy photo opportunity, the foliage was too thick to see clearly. Nest is fairly well hidden about 2 metres below the top of one of the pines, built direct against the main tree trunk. Hard to describe which tree but pretty much in the middle of the bunch maybe 20 or 30 metres from the walking track. W-w Choughs nest building on the left of the track is a clue to where the CS nest is on the right.
I've seen lots of Brown Goshawk nests over the years (much easier to find) but only a few Collared Sparrowhawk nests.
Whilst there I heard Bee-eaters flying over.
Approaching from the other side, I would describe it as: Go along Hopetoun circuit from Adelaide Ave and park in the small area of dirt on the right after Fitzgerald street.......
-----Original Message-----From: Julie Clark [ Sent: Sunday, 21 December 2014 3:23 PM      To: COG Chatline
Subject: [canberrabirds] Re: FW: collared sparrow hawk at Yarralumla

​Thanks to Alison for the Collared Sparrowhawk post. I was one of several who had the pleasure of watching one bird this morning.
Thanks also to Lyndell who pointed out the nest and the two young birds perched on branches near it.
On Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 5:57 PM, Julie Clark <> wrote:
​​​​ Forwarded for Alison Turner ....

From: Alison Turner [ Sent: Thursday, 18 December 2014 10:37      To:
Subject: collared sparrow hawk at Yarralumla

To those of you for whom a collared sparrow hawk is still a find – there is one ( of a pair I think ) on stirling ridge that has been reliably there for the last couple of weeks . So far my strike rate is 100% and I am a novice ! . Go up Hopetoun circuit from the lake and park in the small area of dirt on the left before you reach Fitzgerald street .  From the dirt area there is a small path that goes to the left and up the ridge . Follow it for about 100 – 200 m , stepping over a couple of logs and you will reach a small area where kids have made bike jumps in the path . If you stand there and look to you right and up a bit there is a stand of about 20 pine trees . Usually one of the birds is perched on a branch that is protruding – it does take a bit of looking as they are about magpie size at best and more camouflaged. If you wait a while they will often swoop another bird and change trees, with a very characteristic , almost raven like squawk  to my untrained ear . Take garters if you want to get a decent picture as you will need to walk over matted grass

Alison Turner

Julie Clark

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