Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk2010-05-19 (60)
In targetting weavers to study their movements, other birds are also caught. This morning a Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk (probably a sub-adult female) flew into my mist net at dawn in Kommetjie. There is a large roost with mainly Cape Weavers and some Southern Masked Weavers. When the sparrowhawk flew past, the weavers stopped their morning chorus. While ringing the sparrowhawk, the weavers quickly left the roost in some large flocks and later in smaller flocks. The Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk has been recorded catching weavers as prey, including Cape and Southern Masked Weavers. Thus the weaver chicks that have been ringed on the Peninsula are potential prey of this small raptor. Several weaver chicks have been recaptured at this site: read more about this project here.
The captured sparrowhawk did not catch any early weavers, but nor did I on this session!