Photographic-Essay: Training Your Black-shouldered Kite, an Attitude of Gratitude.

The blog has been a bit quiet of late.  And as one of my mentors David DuChemin says, “My heart has run out of words.”  Between social changes, and restrictions, to a world-wide outpouring of grief and cry for justice, it has left some with mental whiplash.

Yet as David says, “We’ve got so much, we are healthy, safe, and have gratitude for what we do have.”  For those who don’t know David’s work, he has been involved for over twenty years with several NGOs (Non Government Organisations) at work in several countries, including Africa, India and Afghanistan. And he says of the current situations, “I hope it has long been abundantly clear that I will always fall on the side of compassion, justice, the oppressed and the broken. I just don’t have words right now.”

Words just don’t seem sufficient.
So while I’ve been quiet, in-fact there have been a few things happening in the field.
All of them items for which both EE and I are grateful that we have been graced to enjoy.

  • My Flickr friend, and commenter on our blog, David Nice, was kind enough to advise of the location of a nesting pair of Black-shoulded Kites.
  • We managed a week of really great weather.
  • Shivering cold mornings and glorious sunny days.
  • Windless weather.
  • Right in the middle of the young Black-shoudlered Kites fledging and learning to hunt.

There are a lot of images here. Mind, it is but a tiny part of the bulging folio of photo-story that EE and I have been able to make over the past couple of weeks.

Let’s begin at the end, today, and see how these amazing little creatures are beginning their lives.

Dad herding one of his young back to the nesting area. It had decided to see if it could join him on a hunt. Not likely. To move it along he gave it a wing clip as he went by.
Suitably chastised it headed for the tree.
The rich colours are impressive
Dad arriving with a mouse and getting plenty of attention
This snack goes to the nest area, and the young are quick to follow.
Next food top-up he hovered out in the open, dangling the mouse. But the young one’s didn’t quite get the idea
Another delivery and this time one of them decided that it was worth the effort to get its own snack.
Locked on and speed slowing down.
Hard to imagine the calculations going on in the young head.
Looks like its locked on to use the left claw for the contact
At the last moment, instead it swings in with the right claw. Also Dad has repositioned the mouse so that it will make contact.His legs are closer together as he moved the mouse over.
Target acquired
Dad waits until its all secure before releasing
“My work here is Done”
To the victor the spoils.
Here is another transfer, this time on a branch. A dangerous move as the young one can easily knock him from the branch.
Again he waits until it is secure before letting go.
No mouse here!
Youngster mantling over its successful transfer.

10 thoughts on “Photographic-Essay: Training Your Black-shouldered Kite, an Attitude of Gratitude.

  1. Oh David, what a wonderful series of shots as the kids are learning skills from their dad. I think we all need the joys that activities like these can give us during these dark days, so thank you for sharing these moments with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Eleanor, we have been very fortunate that its pretty close to home, and of course we’ve not many other activities filling up the diary, so early mornings and a latish lunch have suited the opportunity.
      Having a run of gorgeous weather is not to be dismissed either

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Astonishing and amazing photos David. You have a children’s/coffee table book on this bird right there. You don’t need many words, what you have is enough. The beautiful photos capturing their behaviour tells the story. You only have to work out a plot an work around it. A beautiful post., and yes maintaining an attitude of gratitude helps maintain emotional, physical (immune) and spiritual health.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ashley, that the activity is quite close to home, and we have the chance to be out in what can only be described as ‘perfect’ weather, no wind and good sunlight has made it all the easier.
      The nest site is but a 100m or so from a major freeway, and the constant vehicle noise adds a challege of noise stress. But the birds seem oblivious and just get on with the job at hand.
      For the young of course, it’s such critical time, and we do have a few other photoessays that will I’ll add the next few days.

      We live in a world that seems driven to complain, to faultfind and to overwhelm, so its good to take a little time to pause and reflect on the wonderous blessings we are so gifted to enjoy.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fabulous images, David! It is a joy to both view them and the Bs-K’s ‘live’ as the young grow and develop! I should have been there earlier yesterday! Great that you got to see all the action! I spent some time down there today but the young just weren’t flying, they were happy for Bronson to drop into the nest area ‘Uber eats’ style! Got some nice shots though! Fascinating to watch him devour a mouse at very close range too! At least one of those will end up on Flickr!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. G,day,
      As Ashley says, we’ve probably got a Book Full of story. I do intend to put up a few pages over the next couple of days, highlighting various activities.
      Hopefully the weather will be kind into next week, as they grow stronger their determination to hunt will grow as well.

      Good luck


  4. So I’ve got my visual feast to finish this Friday. My thanks go to you and David Nice. I’m looking forward to those pages you’ll put up, hopefully, soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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