Welcome to the News section of the iNSiGHT Ornithology website (
www.simoncherriman.com). This blog contains updates about various things I've been up to, interesting environmental issues and observations I make regularly while going about my day. It is designed to be fun AND educational, and inspire you about our wonderful natural world. Happy reading!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

A Flying Kite

The Square-tailed Kite (Lophoictinia isura) is an Australian bird of prey that specialises at hunting small birds, especially those still in nests, in the canopy. Consequently it is often observed soaring low overhead, circling the canopy as it searches for birds’ nests or small fledglings. It is an uncommon raptor but there are a few locations in the Perth Hills where I have reliably seen kites over the past 10 years or so, including around Kalamunda, Roleystone and the Helena Valley. This time of year you may be lucky enough to observe more than one as the newly fledged juvenile kites accompany the adults on hunting forays.

As you can see in the above photo, this raptor has obvious banding on the primary feathers (at the wing tips), a small white head (in the adults) and a red-brown underbelly. Their flight is unmistakable as they circle the tree-tops with their wings curved down at the tips. Today I jumped up to a magpie alarm call and snapped this photo of a kite flying low over my house - a thrilling break from reading my Sociology of Science text book on the front verandah! Look out for kites in your area - there are a rare and exciting bird!

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