Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Whistling Kite - Haliastur sphenurus

My brother pointed out 2 raptors flying over the landscape to the south of us. Unfortunately I got no decent photos of the birds but my brother got a video on his camcorder. I've taken screenshots from the video to get a feel for the birds flying nearby. The birds looked the same colour as in the video with the naked eye, and the one being filmed had a wingspan of more than one metre but less than 2 metres. The one being video recorded appeared larger in size than a Brown Goshawk. The other raptor was of a similiar size to the one recorded and shown here (wingspan length only). Apologies for the poor quality video and screenshots. The closest bird was more than 100 metres from us when it was closest to us.

Whistling Kites seem to check out the area for prey items but do not come into town anymore. I guess their food items have also been reduced to small pockets outside of town. These Whistling Kites were not observed catching anything whilst being recorded on video.

Raptors, like the Whistling Kite, and nocturnal predators like the Tawny Frogmouth are generally seen during very late Summer to the end of Autumn in the area. Whistling Kites' main diet is mammals, birds, insects and fish as well as carrion (dead animals). They do this by soaring above the landscape. They can also be seen circling certain areas where there might be food that they have spotted.

Here are some screenshots from the video my brother took of these magnificent birds.














Plus two cropped and enlarged photos of the bird:




And here is the video:

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