Sunday, April 18, 2010

Nesting Pair of White Tailed Kites

I am facinated with Kite Birds.... they way they hunt for food by hovering in one place looking down. Their bright orange eyes are so amazing. So when I discovered that there was a nesting pair, I began observing them.
I had not been to this nest for over a month and wanted to see if the nestlings were visible. I placed myself by some bushes and kept still. After a short time, I noticed that the female was adding nesting material to a different tree top but not to the original nest. She did this many times. This new nest area was near the original nest but for hours I did not see either the Male of Female Kite go to the original nest area at all. I wondered if there were any chicks and why were they building another nest? What could have happened? Did they abandon the first nest?
A flickr contact who has kept an eye on the Kites has posted that he was worried that the Crows may have gotten to the eggs, but said he saw a chick in the nest. I didn't see any sign of this and was a little worried. Though it is really hard to see the nest, so I was not sure.

After many hours of observing them, the Male brought back a mouse and finaly it went to the original nest. Then I heard crying from the original nest. I was thrilled to know that there was at least one chick.


After the male brought the food for the chick he and the female mated.

The female then went back to getting more material and was adding to the new nest.
I had not heard of this behavior. But I read up on this and it is true they can have more than one clutch in a nesting season. It makes sense for them to make a new nest for the new eggs while in the original nest the chick stays until it fledges.

I went back a couple of days later with another person. We noticed the same behavior. Working on the new nest and later in the afternoon the male fed the chick in the original nest then the pair mated again. The Female was adding to the new nest.
But this time, we noticed movement in the original next. The nest is very hard to see, but we did see one chick flapping it's wings.

We then saw another chick though it was not as easy to see. So we believe that there may be at least 2 chicks in the original nest. That is great news.

The Kite pair have their work cut out for them though because the Crows in the area are very persistant and aggressive. A couple of times Crows flew around both the original nest and the new nest.


The Male is very protective trying to make them leave by flaping its wings and flying away to draw them away from the nest. But it was a potential dangerous situation.


So the Kite Pair are making way for another family. I am very happy to see that.

No comments:

Post a Comment