18 November 2020, The Tablet

Glimpses of Eden


 

A sparrowhawk sat on our back-garden fence. Only 10 yards or so from my desk, I could see it clearly through the window. It was a female. You can discern a sparrowhawk’s gender by the disparity in size, with females being 25 per cent larger than males. But this one was so close that I could also see her brown back – males are slate grey. Sparrowhawks are stealth hunters, and we usually only glimpse them darting between trees, or bursting along hedges; this one sat in full view for an hour.

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