Photographic Essay: Ground Work

Once they have mastered the art of flying, the young Black-shouldered Kites were introduced to working on the ground.
After all mice don’t fly, so they would have to spend part of their hunt on the ground.

In first few attempts that I witnessed they showed more of a fascination of what was on the ground, rather than any attempt to ‘look’ for food.

They seemed to enjoy laying down on the ground and rubbing their tummies along the gravel or grass.
Chewing the grass was another peculiar activity.

Slowly but surely they gained enough experience to hunt through the grass and while never successful at least they were on the way to developing the necessary skills.

Looking through the damp grass

They are not designed to walk around on the grass and tend to ‘roll’ along like sailors on a deck
Time for a portrait
A little tummy rub on the gravel
This one was sitting behind a clump of grasses and came out to see me when I showed up.

Fascinated by the taste of grass.
Another tummy rub on the wet grass.
I know you’re down there.
Now able to drop into the grass silently.

9 thoughts on “Photographic Essay: Ground Work

  1. A beaut series of images, David. It is fascinating to watch them learning the needed skills to hunt and survive. I wonder where they are now. I also wonder if there has been another clutch. Last I saw, Bronson was busy redecorating the nest, and that was nine, yes nine weeks ago. With two hours for exercise approaching I will have time to exercise to Sneydes and have a look around. I would love to visit Glen Orden and look for the Snipes but from what I am hearing the wetlands have become very popular so I may hold off until November or perhaps January.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. G,day,
      I’g going to have another go at Glen Orden, unfortunately Snyedes is just outside my 5km bubble, so like so many other places it will just have to wait till November.

      I think the count now says we’ve been locked up more days this year than we’ve been out

      Stay safe, stay creative


  2. Another beautiful photographic essay David. You really were given much grace by the Kite family to capture such great frames. There is a coffee table book in the making with your previous work included, it would be an amazing production. A Day in the Life of a Black-Shouldered Kite. or maybe Let’s Go Fly Like a Kite 🙂 It is good to dream and have vision, especially during your time of confinement.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Ashley, thanks for the insights. I would eventually make up a coffee table book, my previous printer has gone out of business, so I’ve been using Blurb of late. But much more limited in what I can achieve in design.
      Last week I was frustrated by the lockdown, because we had some decent weather, this week, I’m a bit more ambivilant, not optimistic, but perhaps resigned to the October release date.

      By then we’ll have been locked down for more days than we’ve been out for the year.

      Still, it does look like they have broken the back of rampant runaway infections. So it’s been worthwhile from that aspect.

      We’ll see.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Fascinating observations and beautiful images of these young BSKs. They sound a bit like young Labradors with the grass-eating and tummy rubs! I suppose most youngsters have to try everything out as they explore the world.

    I’m looking forward to being able to dust off the camera next week with the longer exercise time taken in two parts. That means we can both go out with the pooch and one can mind her while the other photographs. Nothing wildly exciting within the 5 km radius, but at least we can go to Blackburn Lake and the northern end of Jells Park. Almost anything becomes a great treat as we explore our more limited world!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks Eleanor,
    It’s hard to call something with a big sharp hooked beak, and long penetrating claws, cute, but they were really entertaining as they explored this new world.

    Good luck next week, as it turns out the area where these kites were nesting is 5.7km from our place, so we won’t be taking the risk to soon.
    At least you’ll be able to brush up on the photo skills, and suprising sometimes what turns up when you have more time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Another educational but so lovely written piece with the best photos to illustrate it. I’ve learned something new about those amazing birds although – yes, I should have known „after all mice don’t fly”.


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