Somethings happen so fast that it defeats the human eye to follow. Sometimes a short sequence of photos can reveal not only fine details of an event but also an understanding of the forces at work.
Such, is the case of a pair of Black-shouldered Kites at work on their current nesting duties.
Our blog friend David Nice gave me the headsup that the Kites were back at work on the Sneydes Road area. Time for a looksee.
And indeed they were. The nest is quite a new site for the pair, and built in such a position that its a little hard to fly in nesting sticks directly, and the male has been ‘drifting’ them in at an angle to get the larger longer sticks in just the right position.
I normally don’t shoot multi-burst, but, well you know how it is, the first pair of kites we’ve worked with in quite awhile. So I was happy to begin to fillup the memory card.
Where the magic happened however was when I began to curate the images and found the various changes in wing angle and feather application that he was using to ‘drift’ into the right position.
So the series here are simply to show how he has used wing angle and wing lift to get the right momentum, direction and control. With one wing carrying the movement while the other wing lets air cascade away to ‘fall’ in that direction.
Hope you find in interesting.
His second problem is that the locals are not too impressed to have the new home renovators at work in their area, and each trip in and out was a to run the gauntlet of ravens, Red-wattle birds and magpies. A bit costly on feather contacts on a number of occasions.
4 thoughts on “Little Visits: The Power of Wings”
Fascinating observations, David. They have chosen a very different site this time. Great to see how he ‘drops the air’ to drift in like this. Interesting to see the locals on the attack too. Perhaps because some are thinking about nesting.
Not an easy spot to get a clean shot of the nest either.
Beautiful captures David ! and an interesting technical observation. I was only saying to my wife when we were out birding the other day, if it was not for the presence of birds man probably would never have found out how to fly. The way the bird uses its wings and tail to maneuver has helped in the design of aircraft landing and taking off. I continue to marvel at the speed and accuracy of birds flying, the Rainbow Lorikeets, continue to amaze me, among many.
It must be one thing to soar the high winds like a pelican but completely another to fly flat out helter skelter though the bush. One bird that truly amazes me is the white-faced heron, normally sedate and predictable, but once highly agitated the throw themselves through the forest a breakneck speeds and antics of aerial ballet.
A lovely series of images, showing that superb control and precision in landing, all the while with a long stick which has to be manoeurvred into place.