From the Fieldnotes Book: Out and About

We were travelling in the early. bright sunshine, on a very still, cold day. Our destination was a couple of paddocks to check for Flame Robins, and also a little further on to monitor the nesting progress of a pair of Black-shouldered Kites.

The narrow road is typical of farming communities with deep drains on either side and very little road shoulder, and while there was room to pass, there was no real room to park. We have been making this journey about once a week, and every so often perhaps twice a week to check on the progress of the Kites.

As we drove along the road, into the sunshine, a tree close to the fenceline, in the distance, looked to have three large bird sized shapes, and as it was a long way ahead we ran through the usual suspects, Ravens, Doves, Magpies, etc.

Then just as we approached, EE exclaimed, “They are juvenile Black-shouldered Kite.” With no where to stop other than the middle of the road, it was a bit precarious, so I moved up to a gateline and we walked back. Sure enough, three very handsome looking young kites. Where had they come from? Where they waiting to be fed? Wonder where the nest had been located? Now there are not too many trees suitable in the area, so it would be hard to pick one, and as we’d travelled that way a few times, and not seen any action in the area, it was even more a mystery.

After a lot of preening and wing stretching the answer to the question, “Are they waiting to be fed?” was answered as first one, then another lifted off with easy, flew out over the paddock and began to hover and drive down. These young kites had been on the wing for three or more weeks its seems.

We didn’t see a successful strike, but that was more to inexperience than anything and no doubt they were quietly confident of getting their own breakfast. After about an hour or so we moved on. The parents hadn’t been sighted and the young weren’t crying to be fed, so the best conclusion perhaps was they were now on their way out into the world on their own and were still travelling together for company.


It will be interesting to see if they are still in the area next time we visit.

10 thoughts on “From the Fieldnotes Book: Out and About

    1. More a right place right time thing here I think. Be interesting to know where they had come from, as we haven’t seen any sign of kites in that immediate area before.


      1. Ahh one never knows. I haven’t seen my group for many months. Their hunting patch has again been hemmed in by real estate “progress” and one of their roosting trees was taken out by that large storm we had eons back. I’ve walked the area a number of times with no sign of the parents or the Juvs. Then just last week I was driving down one of the roads that boarders the waterway/park and low n behold who should drift across. So the hunt is on again as to where they are hiding.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Interesting David how you found them as young group of siblings and not having seen them there before. They must be still learning the skills of hunting as you said, but some mystery hangs over them as to their parents and why they have just turned up. A wonderful discovery none the less.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Ashley, the jury is out on whether they are a local clutch or are infact siblings from elsewhere. Could be either. Their hunting skills seem adequate if not complete, so it will interesting to look for them next time.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Eleanor, glad you enjoyed the header, it was my fav pick out of the set. Of interest is how many Black-shouldered Kites have been nesting in our general area the past few months. If there was a nest locally, then it would be the 7th nesting pair we’ve had close by. (Or 8 if I include the pair that worked the local creek in December)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The birds are fortunate, hmmm guess that is why they stay, there are a lot of unused open fields, some in Parks Vic territory, some part of farmland. The grass cover can get to be quite thick, but the kites seem to be able to deal with that.
      Ideal, it seems for mice.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A fabulous sighting and splendid images, David! Interesting that these seem to have just appeared.
    Wonderful to see!
    A bit behind on my reading this week!


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