As the young local Black-shouldered Kites have continued to grow, they reached the point where all the necessary training had ended, and they needed to take a leap-of-faith and step off the trees and taste the thrill of flight.
It is interesting to watch how they tackle this major step, and I’ve often wondered if there isn’t some internal brain function that kind of switches on the ‘Let’s Go’ signal, and they finally ease their grip on branch or leaf, and suddenly find themselves free.
All the training does not prepare them for the next event.
HOW DO YOU STOP THIS THING?
With no aeronautical skills to speak of, they resort to a simple, crash into the leaves at the top of the tree. Surprisingly, they are not very heavy, and the whole momentum thing doesn’t seem to harm them in anyway. After a little they even begin to figure out how to slow things down a bit, and sort of just ‘lob’ into the leaves.
Within a couple of days, they have most of the skills for landing on branches, and soon they can practice high-speed manoeuvres and swing in on just about any branch from any angle.
So here is a week or so’s worth of flight and landing shots. They are but a smallish collection as we’ve had a few good days with them over the past week.
I’ve also begun to make some Shared Photos Albums on Lightroom Web.
The blog has been a bit quiet of late. And as one of my mentors David DuChemin says, “My heart has run out of words.” Between social changes, and restrictions, to a world-wide outpouring of grief and cry for justice, it has left some with mental whiplash.
Yet as David says, “We’ve got so much, we are healthy, safe, and have gratitude for what we do have.” For those who don’t know David’s work, he has been involved for over twenty years with several NGOs (Non Government Organisations) at work in several countries, including Africa, India and Afghanistan. And he says of the current situations, “I hope it has long been abundantly clear that I will always fall on the side of compassion, justice, the oppressed and the broken. I just don’t have words right now.”
Words just don’t seem sufficient.
So while I’ve been quiet, in-fact there have been a few things happening in the field.
All of them items for which both EE and I are grateful that we have been graced to enjoy.
My Flickr friend, and commenter on our blog, David Nice, was kind enough to advise of the location of a nesting pair of Black-shoulded Kites.
We managed a week of really great weather.
Shivering cold mornings and glorious sunny days.
Right in the middle of the young Black-shoudlered Kites fledging and learning to hunt.
There are a lot of images here. Mind, it is but a tiny part of the bulging folio of photo-story that EE and I have been able to make over the past couple of weeks.
Let’s begin at the end, today, and see how these amazing little creatures are beginning their lives.