Posted on the 21st July 2019

(We feature Steve Peck's latest photographic study of the Black-winged Kites at their nest - compelling stuff. Keep in mind that the previous reports can be studied elsewhere on this website. - Ed.)

Black-winged Kites

Over the last two weeks I have managed to observe the nesting kites on 4 further occasions, the times ranging from 8am through to afternoon sessions, during all these times the male has been sitting patiently in a nearby tree or preening himself. Only on one occasion did he leave and return a short time later with another stick for the nest.

The female only left the nest on one occasion and that was a fly around for about 2 minutes and then she also returned back to the nest.

Today (20 July) I was luckily enough to observe the following behaviour at 11am. The female had been on the nest for over an hour when suddenly she took off and landed in a nearby tree, the male then quickly appeared and exchanged a kill with her whilst sitting on the branch together.
First she defecated a long stream of white poop, probably from being on the nest for so long and it (the nest) shows no signs of defecation on or around it, which leads me to assume that she doesn’t want to soil the nest site.
She immediately took the kill (a rodent) onto her favourite branch for feeding, some 25m from the nest.
Meanwhile the female was ripping up the kill and it was consumed within minutes.
The male left the nest site and went and sat near the female for a while whilst she was eating until she upped and went straight back to the nest and settled down once again.
As a complete surprise whilst I was close to the nest site observing the female I was startled to see a pair of Spotted Eagle Owls in the branches right underneath the nest!
(Comment: It would be interesting to see whether the owls will prey on the chicks - Ed.)


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