A feast of Raptors.

Been awhile since I’ve posted, but its been lack of good weather more than anything.
The area close to home, on the Werribee River Park, that I’ve taken to euphemistically calling ‘The Office”, has an amazing number of raptors, and I thought I’d introduce them and what they are up to.

On the roadway in, just over the Geelong Freeway, there is a fence line and a few old pines.  Here a pair of Black-shouldered Kites have just flown their two orange and cinnamon young. In the same tree line a pair of Black Kites appear to be setting up house, if not already at work on brooding.  Next tree or three down, is a pair of Brown Falcons. Not nesting yet, but certainly staking out their claim to the territory. Much to the anger of the Black-shouldered Kites.

Down the road a little just before the carpark off in the paddocks a second pair of Brown Falcons are at work on territorial rights.  Also regularly in the area a pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles, although the moment, it probably  is just a convenient perching location.

At the carpark proper, a pair of Black-shouldered Kites and their recently fledged three teenagers.  Not more than a dozen trees down from them is a pair of Black Kites and  a nest that is work in progress. I’ve not checked up close, but there is either brooding or feeding going on.  The male seems quite adept at pursing a laden Black-shouldered Kite and getting it to release its mouse capture.

A pair of Brown Falcons are constantly in the trees just off the river cliffs line, and I’d be tempted to say its a likely spot for a nest.

Further out in the field and well away from my prying lens is a pair of Australian Kestrels, and again they are too early for nesting, but are certainly building good pair bonding.

Combine that with the regular visits by any number of Whistling Kites and the area is certainly busy.   A few days back an arrow shaped bird sped through the trees and caused quite a stir among the smaller birds and the one really good look suggested Peregrine Falcon, and I’ve seen one briefly on the fence line on the way in.

So here are a few of the birds at work.  The food in the area must be exceptional to support such a range of nesting and preparing birds.

Recently fledged pair. In training.
Recently fledged pair. In training.
One of two Brown Falcons that are using these trees in the river flats.
One of two Brown Falcons that are using these trees in the river flats.
Wedge-tailed Eagle, fences make good perches.
Wedge-tailed Eagle, fences make good perches.
The wind was much to strong for this trio to practice their hunting skills.
The wind was much to strong for this trio to practice their hunting skills.
The trio in the wind.
The trio in the wind.
Dad with a mouse, but he's waiting for a chance to deliver without losing it to the Black Kite
Dad with a mouse, but he’s waiting for a chance to deliver without losing it to the Black Kite
A Black Kite circling, hoping to take a mouse from a Black-shouldered Kites.
A Black Kite circling, hoping to take a mouse from a Black-shouldered Kites.
Brown Falcon, near a favourite perch.
Brown Falcon, near a favourite perch.
Territory is everything. This is a pass on a Brown Falcon to get it to move away from the fledglings.
Territory is everything. This is a pass on a Brown Falcon to get it to move away from the fledglings.
Posts make ideal perches when there are so few tall trees.
Posts make ideal perches when there are so few tall trees.
That fence again.
That fence again.
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2 thoughts on “A feast of Raptors.

  1. Really enjoyed reading about the wonderful variety of raptors in this area. I wonder if this is some kind of record? And every photo is amazing in different ways – I couldn’t pick a favourite but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one like “Territory is everything” before. Those feet!
    Cheers,
    Christine

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    1. Thanks for the comment Christine, I think the big deal is the mice took off in a mini population explosion during the hot weather in April/May, and the birds took advantage. That it is about 5 mins from Werribee Town Centre is astounding.

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