Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Crow eats sparrowhawk eggs at Royal Botanic Garden

Bird experts have retrieved footage of a crow destroying five sparrowhawk eggs in Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden.

The nest of the iconic bird of prey had been fitted with a camera so fans could follow the feathered family.

It is understood to be the UK's first live interpreted sparrowhawk nestcam.

Followers have been able to see the sparrowhawk family nesting and laying eggs and had been hoping to see them hatching and feeding their young.

The incident happened just 90 minutes after the botanic garden had closed on Monday.

When experts reviewed tapes the next day they saw the crow attack had happened at 1900 BST.

Pecking eggs

Live coverage was being beamed from the pair's nest into the John Hope Gateway information centre.

The transmission was also being sent to the Scottish Seabird Centre from the botanic garden.

Footage shows the female sparrowhawk tussling with a crow.

The crow appeared to win as it was later spotted pecking the eggs.

Despite the setback experts said the cameras, which are set up by the RSPB, the Scottish Seabird Centre, the Royal Botanic Garden and the Lothian and Borders Raptor Study Group, would continue to follow the sparrowhawk family in the hope the pair would mate again to produce more eggs.

A spokeswoman said: "Sadly these things do happen in nature but we are hopeful that the sparrowhawk pair will mate again.

"Cameras will continue to follow them if possible.

"If not, we have another breeding pair at the Botanics who we will focus on instead."

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