Moments: The Little Warrior

This series was shot a couple of years back.
EE and I had been working with a pair of Black-shouldered Kites for over a year, and they had managed two successful nestings.

The nest was at the very top of a small pine tree inside a farm paddock, the birds would often fly out over the roadway where we were parked.

Just about fledging time a troupe of Black Kites moved into the area and took great interest in the young ones sitting high-up out in the open.  This resulted in some great aerial battles by Mum and Dad, yet the Blacks persisted in coming back and getting closer.
Of the three young in the nest, one was obviously a few days ahead of its siblings, and while not a great aeronaut yet, it could fly well enough to look after itself.

On this morning the Black Kites were even more intense on their attack, and swooped right over the remaining nestlings.

Mum and Dad flew frantic missions to see them off, but were not having much success.
It must have gotten all to much for the Little Warrior, as it burst out of the trees and joined in the foray.  Dad then had a new problem, and that was to hunt the young one away from the far more skillful Black Kites.

However the young warrior was not having a bar of that and continued to press attacks against the larger birds. What the big birds thought of it would have been interesting.  But it tired quickly, and needed to drop down on to the tree for a rest, followed very closely by one aggressive Black Kite. Fortunately nothing came of the attack, and the bigger birds became bored and like teenagers in a shopping mall, moved on to see what else they could find.

Dad flew out and caught a mouse, and quickly returned to reward his Little Warrior.

Black Kite over the nest.
Leave my family alone.
The big birds would not take NO for an answer.
Dad doing his best to keep the young one away from the bigger birds
Swinging in past Dad, and heading for an attack
Well if noise was enough to intimidate the Blacks, the young one certainly gave its best shot.
Defending upside down and Dad watches for other danger.
After a few minutes in the air, the young Warrior needed a rest, but the big birds did not stop their pursuit.
As a reward Dad arrived with a nice fresh snack to reward his Little Warrior.

10 thoughts on “Moments: The Little Warrior

  1. A wonderful series of images. The young one certainly didn’t lack any courage! Fascinating to see the interaction! Glad the Blacks finally moved on!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Stunning aerial shots David. It is interesting how the top of pine trees are used a by Black-shouldered Kites, that is where I often find them, right at the top. Love the human like characteristics of the dad bird bringing a distraction of fresh food to junior. Their world is not a lot different to ours in many ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Ashley, it seems such a hard way to brood, open to the wind, rain and hot sun. The nest must be very deep, as once the young are tucked down they are impossible to see. Watching the young as they begin to fly and learn to hunt is as much fun as photographing them.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Eleanor, thanks for dropping by, I’ve had to raid the old files as I’ve depleted this year work. Now we are able to move about, “Somewhere where I can be there and back in one day” we should be able to look for new work. It just takes a few weeks to pick up on the latest news in the field.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Adam, it was a cold winter’s day, and really thrilling to see the work of the little bird against the bigger challengers. In the end, all three got off and seemed to be successful.

      Like

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