Black-shouldered Kites Growing up. October 10, 2017
Waiting is not Patience. Patience is about the moment, an intersection of the strongest story with the right light, the best timing and an awareness of the around. Waiting makes us pay attention. David Duchemin
You’re Welcome Here.
We’ve been tracking a clutch of Black-shouldered Kites down on the 29 Mile Road at the Western Treatment Plant. The young have been on the wing now for over two months, and are now the expert hunters. They are just moulting out the last of their juvenile ginger and grey feathers and the eye is taking on the rich ruby colour of adult-hood.
The best perches in the area are along the roadside, the few trees and fenceposts and man-made solar panels and the like. And because of their consummate skill in the air, and the vast quantity of mice in the area, the young kites seem quite oblivious to human presence.
So sometimes it’s possible to get right into the world of the hunting birds—not as a long distance observer—in a hurry—but to take the time the learn about the birds, their preferences for hunting areas and their choice of spots to enjoy their successes.
I’ve been reading and following photographer David DuChemin and his approach to teaching a photographic vision. He has a series called Vision is Better. He talks about patience, waiting, the involvement in the around and being able to identify with the subject to really tell their story. On one such video he travels to British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest to photograph the Spirit Bears – a white variation of the black bear. His video is shot from a short kayak trip, and I think its possible to really get both his excitement of the area, and his immersion in the moment, (if you will allow the pun).
Here’s the link if you’ve got 10 minutes. https://craftandvision.com/blogs/all/vision-is-better-ep-20
As Jon Young says, “Birds are not doing it for my amusement. There is nothing random about bird’s awareness and behavior. They have too much at stake. For them its simply a matter of life or death.
We are usually a jarring unwanted presence. Even when we’re “Bird-watching!” We more or less ignore other birds while we’re looking for a particular one. But if we are in the bird’s world, we’re moving with a whole different frame of mind and venturing into another realm of awareness, intention and curiosity.”—What the Robin Knows
So we sat with these kites, a bubbling mixture of awareness, curiosity, perceptions and questions. Waiting, Patiently, identifying from all directions at once. Receptive. And the universe —as is often the case—obliged by providing intersecting moments that really pressed the shutter for themselves.
The light was right, then evening breeze strong enough to give the kites some advantage, and all of the shots are taken about 10m from the car. A cuppa was available, and the birds provided not only great subjects, but a lesson in waiting for the moment.
Enjoy, we did.
While the Kite is no danger to the Willie Wagtail family, there is, of course, for Willie, no reason not to establish territory rights.