A north-east couple were left shocked when a stunning bird of prey died after smashing into their kitchen window.
The sparrowhawk swooped on Maureen and Terry Thornton’s garden as a flock of starlings were crowded round their new feeder.
But the luckless raptor collided with a window pane and broke its neck.
The couple, who stay in Charlotte Street near the centre of Fraserburgh, said they were surprised the bird was hunting in an urban area.
Mrs Thornton said: “My husband was sitting at the kitchen table, and we were discussing the fact that the starlings were still getting into our new feeders.
“Then all of a sudden the birds dispersed and there was a crack on the window. We were surprised it was a sparrowhawk.
“Terry opened the back door and found it, but it was on its last breaths, really.
“It had broken its neck and within a minute it was dead, the poor thing.”
A spokeswoman for the RSPB said it was not uncommon for sparrowhawks to collide with properties in their search for food.
She said: “Sparrowhawks are widespread across Scotland and often live in towns, if they can find their main prey there.
“Its mostly small birds, though the bigger females can manage things up to the size of a wood pigeon.
“They are very active hunters and live rather fast and furious lives.
“This can be quite a high-risk strategy around buildings and they are well known for colliding with windows, sometimes fatally.”
The charity estimates that there are 35,000 pairs of sparrowhawks across the UK and lists it as a “green” species, meaning it can be seen throughout the country and is not in decline.