Late evening visitor

To: 'Robin Hide' <>, 'Canberra Birds' <>
Subject: Late evening visitor
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2020 11:21:25 +0000

Among the many prey records listed in HANZAB (mostly insects & small birds) is one mention of “bats” but this is surely microbats. To contemplate flying foxes as prey of a sparrowhawk is a huge stretch. They specialise in small prey. Some large raptors (eagles and Powerful Owls) will take flying foxes. I can’t imagine the small thin toes of a CS could handle anything as big as a fruit bat. What about it just flying to its roost? With the time gap “10-15 minutes later” I suggest there isn’t much of a link there.




From: Robin Hide [
Sent: Friday, 20 March, 2020 8:15 PM
To: Canberra Birds
Subject: [canberrabirds] Late evening visitor


This evening I went out to our backyard garage (in Ainslie near Corroboree Park) at 7.40 pm when it was nearly dark to get a hammer, had just shut the door when a dark shape flew very close overhead. I checked behind the garage and found a raptor- to my eye  a sparrowhawk - perched on the powerline pole structure.  It stayed about a minute before flying off, apparently to nearby trees (Lewis Street/Hargraves Cres).


10-15 minutes later,  the nightly exodus of flying foxes from Commonwealth Park began to stream silently over us (we are in their direct flight path).  Could the hawk have been preparing an ambush? I would have thought 7.50-7.55 pm is too dark?

Are there records of sparrowhawks taking flying foxes? (too large a prey item?)





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