Late evening visitor

To: 'Canberra Birds' <>
Subject: Late evening visitor
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Sat, 21 Mar 2020 02:12:03 +0000

Yes OK. We know that Sparrowhawks take Crested Pigeons locally, that is surely at the upper end of the range. They weigh 150 to 250 G, within the weight range you give for young Flying foxes. I wasn’t thinking of young ones. Maybe an adventurous female sparrowhawk could go for young, weakened and small Flying foxes, though I wonder if it has ever been observed. Going for such big prey at the end of the day also seems odd. I don’t read anything in what Robin saw to suggest a link between the hawk and the bats, just proximity.




From: Denise Kay [
Sent: Saturday, 21 March, 2020 7:00 AM
To: Robin Hide
Cc: Canberra Birds
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Late evening visitor


a lot of the flying foxes coming out of commonwealth park are juveniles and quite small we ( ACT Wildlife ) are getting ones caught in fruit netting as light as 125-200 grams ( orphans from the hail storm probably ), they are not as agile as the adults so they would probably be a convenient food source for raptors . Currawongs will attack them right up until the last light.

The colony in CP is half last years numbers 

On 20 Mar 2020, at 8:15 pm, Robin Hide <> wrote:


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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