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White-tailed Kite fledgling

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  • Tim Bray
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 4, 2010
      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!

      Cheers,
      Tim
      Middle Ridge, Albion


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