Hawk-eyes needed as bird-watching project goes online

Sparrowhawk'�Lorne Gill'For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.org.uk
Sparrowhawk'�Lorne Gill'For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.org.uk

FOR the first time in Scotland, web users are to get an intimate look at the breeding season of one of the country’s smallest birds of prey.

A CCTV camera is set to capture all the action from a sparrowhawk nest situated within the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh – and it’s already recorded the female adult incubating six eggs, which are expected to hatch in the coming weeks.

The ‘Date With Nature’ project last year saw thousands of people watch an adult pair raise six healthy chicks within the grounds of the John Hope Gateway.

And this year, for the first time, virtual visitors will be able to follow the action too as footage will be streamed online.

Educating and inspiring the public about sparrowhawks will be the job of RSPB Scotland’s Sparrowhawk Date With Nature Project Officer, Claire Powell.

She said: “I’m looking forward to telling visitors to the Botanics more about this fascinating species and seeing what the season has in store for our new family.

“Last year our cameras showed the highs and lows of the breeding season, from the arrival of six hungry chicks to the predation of our first nest.

“This year as we’ll have footage streaming both at the John Hope Gateway and online we’re urging hawk-eyed viewers to keep us informed when they see any interesting or exciting behaviour. We don’t want to miss a thing!”

Sparrowhawks are small, agile birds of prey, and are often spotted darting across gardens in search of prey.

For more information about the Edinburgh Sparrowhawk Date With Nature and to view the webcam, visit www.rspb.org.uk/datewithnature/278092-edinburgh-sparrowhawks