From the Fieldnotes Book: Learning to Hunt

After a pretty windy start the young Black-shouldered Kites have quickly advanced to developing both their hunting skill and their ground tactics.
It might just me wanting to explain their process, but I think that the first few days on the wing in the very strong gale force winds gave them an advantage in learning the flying techniques. It is not unusual to see them leave the home tree and in a few wing flicks they are nearly a kilometre away down the paddock. So we miss all of the action happening from where we stand.

But, the other morning on what can only be described as “picture perfect”, they were working closer in and going through the paces of hovering and dropping out of the sky into the grass. Now, any mice there were pretty safe as they don’t quite have the skills to finalise the ‘catch’. However it won’t be long I suspect before they make the necesary connections and then they’ll be on the way to independance.

So here are a few highlights from the action.

Dropping from a hovering position. The wings folded up and the legs beginning to tuck up.
No Score. But at this stage they just pull out above the grass.
Getting serious now with the legs coming down
Look out Mice. Here I Come.
A much more serious attempt with the wings folded up and dropping vertically
Complete Concentration
Once again pulling out just above the grass
Really getting into the grass

4 thoughts on “From the Fieldnotes Book: Learning to Hunt

  1. Wonderful captures David, such a treat to see these youngens practicing their craft. Those talons are primed and ready for action. They will soon catch on how to hover and wait.

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  2. A splendid series of images, David! Yes, they do seem to have ‘matured’ rapidly I without coming up with any other reason I agree, those early days in the high winds must have helped develop muscles and skills.
    Bit behind with everything this week as Louise has taken a job in Sydney and is moving up this weekend! Who knew she had accumulated so much stuff!

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