Saturday, 4 October 2014

Technique: How to eat a mouse balanced on one leg

The following sequence of 12 shots capture a Black Shouldered Kite taking a kill back to a tree and , perhaps, using the tree to eat the mouse.  

The mouse is captured and killed in flight.

A mate from the central highlands told me about a pair of kites with a nest.  A tree close to a track.  He did not say that he had not actually seen the nest, that the track was a sheep track, that the sheep track was up a mountain, and that we would have to crawl through stinging nettle to get close to where he saw the birds. To be fair, I didn’t ask him either, but I might next time.

Kites come back to the same tree to eat – and he had nailed the tree. The eating tree is on top of a ridge – with views all around.  We waited on the ground under some tea-tree downwind of the tree. While we were waiting, he did tell me how many brown snakes he had seen the last couple of days.  Plus reports of tiger snakes along the creek where I had left my ute.

We only saw the one kite hunting – the female must have been back at the (undiscovered) nest.  The Black Shouldered Kite landed with a mouse just as the sun set.

The mouse is taken back to a tree and the stomach contents eaten (not included).

This shot appears to show the Kite using the tree branch to help push the mouse into his throat.  The point of view here may be deceptive.

The Kite stayed in the tree for another couple of minutes before leaving to recommence hunting.

Peter Quinton
October 2014

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