White-tailed Kite fledgling
- Thursday June 3 2010 - A White-Tailed Kite in juvenile plumage perched in
some white firs in the meadow near the west end of Middle Ridge, where it
was harassed a few times by an adult. I have been watching an adult hunt
this area for some time, catching voles and carrying them off to the
north-northeast. There is also a second adult hunting about a half-mile
farther down the ridge (west), carrying its prey toward the northwest.
Before nesting season, adults were hunting these areas in pairs, and we
witnessed courtship flights and once a bird picking nest material out of a
slash pile. Apparently one adult stays on the eggs (must be a full-time job
keeping Ravens off them) and the other does all the hunting.
Last year, two juveniles appeared and would perch in the firs, loudly
demanding attention from the two adults flying around. After a few days of
this, we noticed only one juvenile. A few days later Catherine found the
wings and some other bits under a redwood tree - we surmise a Great Horned
Owl took it. This year we have not heard GHO yet, though a Barn Owl has
been appearing regularly at dusk. (The possible Short-Eared has not been
seen for some time.)
Good luck to the young ones, we can always use more vole predators!
Middle Ridge, Albion
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]