Along The Track: Kite Nursery

We have been following a pair of Black-shouldered Kites since early January.

It’s been an on and off again project, both for the Kites and for us. Because of the distance, its just that little too far to be regularly checking on them, and in the beginning, they were somewhat half-hearted about making a start.

But by late Feb, it was pretty clear she had taken a nest in a pinetree next to a public carpark. The Point Cook Coastal Park is now surrounded on the landside by housing estates and is a popular walking, bicyling, picnicing location, so the carpark is always extremely busy.

Early morning light, or late afternoon is best suited for the location, and it was not unusual to see a photographer or two standing on the grass against the fence line waiting for the young to show themselves.

I thought it wise to wait until the cycle was nearly over and I had a reasonable show of the activities, rather than just publishing a few isolated moments of the action.

So in the growing tradition of the blog, here are the pics to tell the story.

After a month of sitting on her eggs and another 3-4 weeks of feeding the young, Mum was finally ready to put them on display.
At first we thought there might only be two, but eventually a third little head made itself visible. Perhaps one of the eggs was late hatching as it seemed one was always behind the other two in gaining the skills
Once they were out and about, Mum went off for a rest and Dad took to raising and feeding them. They were very vocal in expressing their needs
Not sure which day they flew, but one morning we arrived to find them out and about. Those first few days are a bit awkward in the air.
Landing is always a traumatic event for the first few days
Rule #5 In the Black-shouldered Kite Manual.
Don’t harass Dad to go and catch a mouse
Time to meet the friendly neighbourhood watch
One of the last skills to learn is aerial transfer of food. They always seem to be willing to participate in this activity. The one thing I’ve noted is that he already knows whose turn it is to take the mouse and will avoid the attacks of the others to be sure the right one gets the offering.

And like all good Black-shouldered Kite stories, the last we see of the young is them sweeping out over the field, hovering and then diving down to secure their own feed.

We are left to wonder is the pair going to have another clutch soon


9 thoughts on “Along The Track: Kite Nursery

    1. Hello Ashley,
      It’s quite fascinating to see the way he deals with the food distribution. I’ve seen him lift the mouse out of the way of some of the young, and for others he’ll reach down to be sure they have it securely.
      Not doubt there is some method, and it just doesn’t rely on the fastest, biggest or most vocal

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks David, I’ve got high hopes for a pair at Sneydes Rd. I think they are a new pair. They don’t seem to have the organisational skill set of the the older birds.
      Hopefully they’ll get it sorted.


  1. Thank you David for this beautiful report. It’s such a pleasure to read about the family life of the Black-shouldered Kites and your photography is as good as ever. “My” Braeside birds still keep on showing up but no chances for a regular event so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Adam, yes, tis good to have had an opportunity with this pair and the young. It’s been a bit complex because of the carpark arrangements, but it has also meant some great photo ops over the open paddock.
    We have been monitoring another pair at another location of late, but like your Braeside pair they seem more content to just feed and so far haven’t shown much inclination to pro-create.


  3. I’m glad I waited until I had time to really enjoy this photographic story… I haven’t been disappointed…! Thanks for sharing the wonderful Journey that the young Kites entered into from the moment of birth. It must have been thrilling to observe them in the field but given that we who are your Viewers couldn’t be there, seeing this Journey through your Camera Lens is the next best thing! Thanks so much for sharing these moments with us via your beautiful photos…
    And in case you’re still not sure, I thoroughly enjoyed this latest chapter of your Blog… As some ‘unknown’ person has said on more than one occasion: “See you along the tracks…!”


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