Training up the Kids

Now that Kitty and Kalev-the Brave, have their two young on the wing things get a bit more interesting.
Learning to be a Black-shouldered Kite is not a copy book exercise.  There are lots of practical things to be considered as they develop not only their wing power, but also their ability to read the wind, find mice, learn to hunt, how to hover, and the myraid other things that are needed to make a Black-shouldered Kite successful.
Among those things are off course the ability to sit very quietly and unobtrusively on a perch. The thinner the better it seems.

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They also need to develop the co-ordination of all the math behind placing themselves in the best postion with relation to their speed/angle of attack/movement of intended prey or perch and all the complexities of moving wing/body and legs to achieve all that. Time after time.

We’ve found them the past couple of evenings invovled in this seriously important range of actitives. The older of the two, is quite noticably larger, and a little more adept at the flight business.   No doubt the size alone indicates she is a female.  The smaller male is still a little unsure of some tasks, but seems to be a quick learner.
To keep the young students at their task, Kalev-the Brave flies in with a mouse snack from time to time, and now they have learned to take the mouse from his hovering (quivering) extended foot.  At first it was pretty much a hit and miss, mostly miss operation.  Poor old Kalev gets knocked about a bit as the young kite is unable to control both direction and slowing down to make the transfer.  But practice makes perfect and both young are quite fast learners.

All too soon this will be over, and in the next couple of weeks  or so, we’ll see the last of them as they head off to pursue their careers elsewhere.  But in the meantime, we enjoy the training.

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The brown and grey are such an interesting colour combination.
The brown and grey are such an interesting colour combination.
Legs down alters the flight control
Legs down alters the flight control
Loaded with a mouse, the young one heads for a perch
Loaded with a mouse, the young one heads for a perch
Kalev-the Brave lines up for a transfer. You can just discern him shaking a little.
Kalev-the Brave lines up for a transfer. You can just discern him shaking a little.
Hey, there should be a mouse under here somewhere. Unable to stop, the young one misses the target.
Hey, there should be a mouse under here somewhere.
Unable to stop, the young one misses the target.
Coming up for a mouse
Coming up for a mouse
Zeroing in on the target
Zeroing in on the target
Alley Oop
Alley Oop
Contact Sport
Contact Sport
Flight games
Flight games
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12 thoughts on “Training up the Kids

  1. Oh wow. DJ! Mate! Beautiful words and photos! Loving this series! Glad you are able to keep in touch with these two and their young. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. A fantastic series of shots Dave and a great tale, as usual. It was very interesting to see the “learning how to feed” images and I do prefer their immature plumage colours better than the mature colours.

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    1. G,day Rodger. I really like the fine handiwork of the feathers and their delicate colour scheme. It seems to me that if we were to take brown and grey as a palette, we’d not be so confident about the application or blending But here it seems to work.

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  3. Davo,I spent a very pleasant 20 minutes looking at your fantastic photos and reading your poetry. Exceptional. Congratulations. Peter Hunter.

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    1. Hello Peter,
      Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you enjoyed the moments.
      The visual poetry is something that I think I learned to develop from much talking with you, listening to your passionate lectures and enjoying your wonderful visual insight into the world.
      Being able to explore with your perceptiveness of what makes a fine visual story has always been a grand source of creative inspiration. So thanks for the journey so far.

      Keep taking pictures We do 🙂

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  4. Amazing captures Davis, so well done! What a rare opportunity, it is these special times at the right place at the right time occasions that make birding to exciting for us as we catch that rare moment. Thanks for showing us what the young ones look like, what precious shots.

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  5. G’day David,
    I have finally got to read this post which has been flagged in my mail for four days already. It is such a beautiful and detailed report. All photos are classy but I cannot stop watching the Alley Oop over and over again. I’m really happy for Kitty and Kalev-the-Brave to get to this point with their young ones and for you to witness and document these wonderful moments in their lives. Many happy returns! Adam

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    1. G,day Adam, Glad you enjoyed. We were lucky enough to be able to get both some good light and some pretty active birds and they worked close to he nest area, so were relatives close to us.
      It has been a long season for them I think, perhaps she lost the first clutch with the very average weather.

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