Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Black-shouldered Kite

A small bird of prey.

I see these patrolling long stretches of road. 

Variant?,  Hoskinstown Plain, November 2014

This bird is a little different from those I have seen previously - the eye patch does not extend behind the eye and there is a noticeable gap between the primaries and secondaries.  I think +Ann Pollak for calling the differences :)

Juvenile, Hoskinstown Plain, November 2014

Tuena, October 2014


Gundagai, Winter 2014.

Boorowa, NSW  May 2014

While following a pair of Black Shouldered Kites (a smaller Australian bird of prey), I found them consistently bringing small mice and lizards to the same old dead tree standing alone in the center of a paddock.  The tree was very old - and is slowly eroding into strange shapes.

Farmers originally cleared all but one or two trees in paddocks - leaving these for shade for stock.  They did not know that, alone, the trees would perish - through a process we now call die back.  Today, around our paddocks, we replant large stands of local trees with lots of variety to maintain biodiversity and healthy mix of wildlife.

Cannily, the kites stayed outside the effective range of my telephoto skills - although I had a wonderful time watching them patrolling, hovering and diving.  Here, one returns to the tree with a mouse caught far below. 

Related pages:

Other studies of this type of bird: variant , eating, juvenile
Other raptors: here
Birds: here

Peter Quinton
August 2014

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