Interludes: Of Tooth and Claw

Tho’ Nature, red in tooth and claw
In Memoriam;
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Welcome to Interludes:
We had been monitoring a pair of Black-shouldered Kites for the past several months, in between lockdowns, and had come to the conclusion that perhaps they had abandoned the project due to the cold weather.
However a couple of weeks ago things seemed to change, the male began to bring in food and took to sitting on a tree close to where we thought the nest might be.  Plaintive cries from a hungry female confirmed it.

But, the nest tree was cleverly located behind a huge chainwire fence at the Treatment Plant and access and a close approach was out of the question. So in between weeks at home and bad weather we just had to wait.

Then, the weather opened up one morning to sunshine and we journeyed out for a looksee.

Can’t be sure, but it is pretty clear that the young had emerged from the nest, and at least one of them has made a few tentative flights.
Set up, settle in, see what happens.

One of the young took to the air, but its direction and control skills needed much more development.  Eventually after much loud calling it landed a bit down range in the next tree.

Unfortunately, the tree was already inhabited by a nesting Australian Magpie.

And Maggie has a zero tolerance for visitor. Enraged and highly defensive, the little Kite would be no match for Maggies sustained attack.

There are no First Warnings!
We have a NO Visitors Policy
Not on MY tree you don’t
Contact
Ouch, That Hurt!
Pressing home its attack
Safely back on the Nest: We didn’t see it again for the afternoon
The Cavalry Arrives. But after several half-hearted swoops on the enraged Magpie, Dad gave up.

9 thoughts on “Interludes: Of Tooth and Claw

  1. A fine series of images as the young kite starts to make its way in the world, David.
    The Maggie is very determined to keep its position free of intruders, as they all are.
    Superb timing to catch the point of contact as Maggie presses the attack.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi David the D810 is a bit sluggish when it comes to multi-burst, so I generally use it one frame at a time. I also don’t like relying on the spray and pray of the D500 high speed.

      Like

  2. A wonderful series David so well captured ! Yes the Maggies are becoming quite aggressive again as we re enter their season. Splendid captures of the attacks, their aggression surpasses most other passerines in the danger they can inflict with that iron beak. They are like a coalition of miners packed into one big bird. In my personal research into their attacks a couple of years ago, I noted the speed and intense expression on their face in their attacks, as well as their relentless pursuit till the target left the zone. It was very sad to hear of the loss of an infant’s life in Queensland a few days ago due to an aggressive Maggie which the council did not take seriously. Keep safe and warm, lock-down continues for us, as the virus comes even closer and going down the street becomes more like Russian Roulette, and many young ones continue to refuse to mask , sign in or stay at home, so now they have infected our country areas also.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes, I did see that unfortunate incident and took a deep breath before I showed this sequence.
      Given their territorial dominance, and some really aggressive training by people thinking they can get rid of them, the tenacious beast is not open to negotiation on anything.

      Liked by 1 person

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