• Sweden's news in English

Swallow on one-off visit to Sweden killed by hawk

23 Nov 2012, 15:20

Published: 23 Nov 2012 15:20 GMT+01:00

“Someone shouted ‘No! No! No! No!’ and then everything went quiet,” veteran birdwatcher and avid photographer Kalle Löfberg told The Local.

On a grey and windy morning this week, 66-year-old Löfberg gathered with 50 eager birdwatchers and witnessed what turned into a shocking midair hunt.

The crowd had been growing for three days after someone noticed the rare swallow, which according to Löfberg, has never been seen in Sweden before.

However, things took a turn for the worse when the small bird got exhausted flying against the wind.

“I was watching the whole thing through my camera,” explained Löfberg.

“Someone shouted ‘There’s a sparrow hawk’ but I thought it was far away. And then, the sky was empty.”

The 66-year-old then looked through his pictures and noticed he had caught the exact moment of the kill through his own lens.

The hawk took its prey to a nearby beach where Löfberg claimed that the swallow had no chance in surviving.

Löfberg, who has been an avid bird watcher for 40 years, had never seen anything like it.

“I was so surprised. It’s one of the rarest birds you could ever see in Sweden,” he said.

The American Cliff Swallow is migratory, usually flying from its home in North American to South America each year.

Story continues below…

The birds very rarely have been known to migrate to western Europe, however, having only been spotted in Europe ten times, according to the Aftonbladet newspaper.

Some have speculated that hurricane Sandy on the east coast of the United States may have caused the bird’s unusual appearance in Sweden.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

Your comments about this article

16:21 November 23, 2012 by Twiceshy
> Bird enthusiasts (...) were shocked

Then they went home and got some chicken for dinner.
16:46 November 23, 2012 by Svensksmith
That hawk had discriminating taste.
17:27 November 23, 2012 by RobinHood
This appalling treatment of an illegal immigrant must somehow be the fault of the Sweden Democrats.
20:48 November 23, 2012 by Brianito
Missing In Action
22:36 November 23, 2012 by Steggles
I find this story hard to Swallow!

How would a rare visiting or lost Swallow remain in one place for three days while a crowd gathers to watch it?

I am sure it was just a common European variety Tornsvala or Alpseglare still on it's southerly migration!
08:19 November 24, 2012 by Gjeebes
"The crowd had been growing for three days after someone noticed the rare swallow, which according to Löfberg, has never been seen in Sweden before."

Really? And this guy knows this, how? It seems to be a favourite past-time for Swedes to make unsubstantiated blanket claims, usually about how great Sweden is .

"However, things took a turn for the worse when the small bird got exhausted flying against the wind." A turn for the worse?

Yet another documented example of Swedes not being able to handle the "real world". Good grief Charlie Brown
11:01 November 24, 2012 by rise
A hawk needs to eat and it found a tasty bite to swallow.
14:43 November 30, 2012 by Zombie
This is so Hilarious

16:52 November 30, 2012 by ann2
No, seriously, they know. There is a whole culture of bird enthusiasts and a few make their reputations as being the first to sight a species yet unseen in an particular area. It's not a Swedish thing, it's a bird-watching thing, and I bet more than half the watchers there were not Swedes, were in fact visiting from other countries in order to see this rare appearance. So this event is very rare, very shocking and awfully hard to understand if you're not a bird watcher, or if you haven't read about bird watchers :-)
Today's headlines
14,000 illegal immigrants disappear without trace
Swedish police officers patrolling Stockholm. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

14,000 illegal immigrants disappear without trace

14 hours ago

More than 14,000 foreign nationals told to leave Sweden have instead gone underground, with police saying there is little they can do to enforce deportation orders.

Ahoy! Swede builds giant pirate ship in his garden
This picture of the boat has more than 14,700 likes on Facebook. Photo: Private

Ahoy! Swede builds giant pirate ship in his garden

14 hours ago

A Swedish man found Facebook fame after pictures of a giant pirate ship he built for his children when he was on sick leave from work went viral on Friday.

'She's a forerunner and inspiration for startups'
Niklas Zennström, Jane Walerud and Jessica Stark. Photo: SUP46

'She's a forerunner and inspiration for startups'

16 hours ago

A US-born entrepreneur who has helped pave the way for women in tech has joined the ranks of some of Sweden's top innovators and businesspeople in a Swedish startup hall of fame.

Swedish court: 'We cannot ban Pirate Bay'
Bredbandsbolaget was not compelled to block the Swedish file-sharing site, Pirate Bay. Vilhelm Stokstad / TT

Swedish court: 'We cannot ban Pirate Bay'

18 hours ago

In a landmark decision, a Swedish court on Friday ruled that the country's internet service providers cannot be forced to block controversial Swedish file-sharing site Pirate Bay.

Police: we can't protect Sweden from terrorists
Swedish police guarding the government building in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Police: we can't protect Sweden from terrorists

19 hours ago

After Sweden raised its terror threat alert to record high levels last week, more and more police officers on the beat warn that their weapons are not good enough to prevent a potential terror attack.

Swedish school: 'We have not banned Lucia'
Children celebrating Lucia in Stockholm. Photo: Jack Mikrut/TT

Swedish school: 'We have not banned Lucia'

20 hours ago

A Swedish nursery school has insisted it is not banning a beloved December tradition after a Facebook message posted by a furious parent went viral.

Winter in Sweden presented by Kungsberget
Stockholm's secret ski resort: Kungsberget
Catch air at the Kungsberget snowpark. File photo: Kungsberget

Stockholm's secret ski resort: Kungsberget

22 hours ago

Not everyone enjoys 8-hour car trips or expensive train tickets just to hit the slopes. That's why so many Stockholmers opt for Kungsberget – the majestic mountain just two hours away. The Local finds out more.

Winter in Sweden presented by Lofsdalen
Lofsdalen: The real Swedish wilderness
File photo: Lofsdalen

Lofsdalen: The real Swedish wilderness

23 hours ago

Sweden has more than a hundred ski resorts – but there’s only one where you can sip your very own cask of whisky on the top of a mountain peak. The Local finds out more about Lofsdalen – one of Sweden’s wildest resorts.

Will Swedish shoppers go nuts for Black Friday?
Shoppers at the Walmart chain in the US on Black Friday. Photo: Gunnar Rathbun/Invision for Walmart/AP Images

Will Swedish shoppers go nuts for Black Friday?

23 hours ago

Stores are pushing to convince Swedish shoppers to embrace US sales day 'Black Friday'. But will the phenomenon catch on?

The Local Recipes
How to make Swedish mulled wine: glögg
Swedish mulled wine served the traditional way. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

How to make Swedish mulled wine: glögg

1 day ago

One drink in particular keeps the Swedes warm in winter: glögg. The beverage has been a Christmas tradition in Sweden since the 1890s. John Duxbury shares his favourite recipe with The Local.

Sponsored Article
11 reasons students pick Stockholm University
POLL: Swedes back new asylum rules
Sponsored Article
Top five UK weekend getaways from Sweden
Five weirdest Christmas attacks on Sweden's famous straw goat
Sponsored Article
After Paris: 'The war is not only against Isis'
Blog updates

25 November

So What Does An Ambassador Do? (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"I know that my mum is super proud that I’m an Ambassador. But if you asked..." READ »


20 November

Editor’s blog, November 20th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, It has been a long and busy week for The Local as we reported on..." READ »

Five myths about Sweden's refugees
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm solved a startup’s housing crisis
How did this missing Swedish cat turn up in southern France?
Sponsored Article
Swedish researchers find Ice Age 'missing link'
Sponsored Article
Lofsdalen: The real Swedish wilderness
Sponsored Article
Beaches, bikes, and buds: studying in Malmö
Would you eat this Swedish pizza?
People-watching: November 25th
What do Swedes want for Christmas?
GUIDE: How to help refugees if you live in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Sweden must combat extremist 'mirage'
Mystery ice circle in Swedish river
IN PICTURES: New royal winter snaps of Sweden's Princess Estelle
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
How to figure out healthcare abroad
Stockholm film festival's top movies
Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: the new epicentre of global leadership
Susanne Walström/imagebank.sweden.se
Sponsored Article
‘Food choices in Sweden destroy forests in Asia’
People-watching: November 20th-22nd
Swedish King calls for bathtub ban
Analysis & Opinion
Why you should care about Sweden raising its terror threat level
Sponsored Article
The cheapest and fastest way to transfer money
Stockholm's best international bars
Is this the best warning sign ever?
Why are more Swedes getting fat?
Sweden's tribute to Paris victims
What is Sweden's sexiest name?
VIDEO: Madonna's emotional tribute to Paris victims at Stockholm gig
Nine of the merriest Swedish Christmas fairs
Sweden cashes in on new kronor banknotes
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: