Wildlife photographers wait a lifetime to capture such images.
But a Crosland Moor woman and her granddaughter saw nature play out in all its shocking glory right in front of them.
Linda Clayton and granddaughter Jessica were driving through Milnsbridge when a white pigeon in flight crossed their path – pursued by a SPARROWHAWK.
The bird of prey took down the pigeon and began attacking it on the pavement in front of them.
Jessica carefully opened the passenger door and filmed the scary – yet fascinating – encounter.
The sparrowhawk then flew off leaving the pigeon injured but still alive. They scooped it up and took it home and – and now it’s making a good recovery.
Linda, who has set up an animal rescue centre, said: “Wildlife photographers can wait a lifetime to see what we’ve seen. Jessica did a brilliant job. It was a classic dilemma, should we intervene or not.
“We decided to let nature take its course but all of a sudden the sparrowhawk flew off.
“We thought the pigeon was bound to be dead after the mauling it had received but incredibly it was still alive. I think it must have played dead.
“It couldn’t fly so I got hold of a cardboard box and brought it home. I care for all kinds of animals and so it’s the latest addition to our household.
“It’s certainly a tame pigeon and I’ve been feeding it with peshwari nan – which it loves – and pigeon corn.
“I’ve been reading up about sparrowhawks since it happened and it seems it’s the female of the species that’s the real killer.
“The males are only capable of taking out little songbirds like blue tits.”
Linda says the pigeon has two rings on its legs and they want to find its owner. If you recognise the pigeon please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.