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!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Kambarang Kites


KAMBARANG! This Noongar (Aboriginal) word is the name of the current season we are experiencing in south-west WA, also known as Spring. It is a time of plenty, when creatures of the bush are capitalising on abundant resources to raise their young. This is especially applicable to our fabulous birds of prey. If you've read my other posts before on Square-tailed Kites, you might have realised that I have quite an affiliation for this species! Being involved in the rescue of a chick in 2012 was all I needed to make this bird of prey soar up to become one of my favourite animals in Australia. Today I was again privileged to visit the same kite family for the third year in a row, and photograph their behaviour at a nest. It was so exciting to see the female brooding 3 small chicks!! (Last year their single egg failed, and the previous year they raised 2 chicks).

One interesting observation I recorded on film was the male kite (who is responsible for delivering most of the food) landing on the nest with an entire Silvereye nest, which contained one chick. Square-tails specialise in foraging close to the canopy and picking off nestling songbirds, which are usually extracted from their nest and carried off. But for 'small and tricky to handle' prey species like Silvereyes, there's nothing like delivering food inside a pre-made shopping basket!

The female kite 'checks the shopping basket' as she removes the Silvereye's nest from her own nest.

The male kite barely spent any time at the nest - he would deliver prey and then take off again on another hunting foray. The female fed her chicks with the delicate care that all mothers in the animal kingdom show, and after feeding she took care to brood them beneath her warm feathers. Here you can see the female feeding 2 of her chicks, an image which has been ingrained in my mind for most of the day. It is a scene that I will certainly never forget!



4 comments:

  1. Hi Simon,
    Just stumbled on your website with some great research and photography on it - great to see there's others in the hills passionate about their own backyard. Love reading more!
    Cheers,
    Maurice @ iAMsafari.com

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    1. Thanks Maurice! Glad you have found my blog interesting! It's been a life-long passion to help promote conservation in such a wonderful natural environment! Thanks for taking the time to read :)

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  2. Hey there,
    I’m a ropie/ex-semi-ornithologist and it’s an unusual combination to find in a person so thought I’d say hi! My boss put me onto your website after hearing a million stories about bird work while we’re hanging off buildings.
    Anyway I had a wee nosey around your website and a quick peek at the blog and I love the work you do, it's awesome to see guys like yourself getting out there and not only conducting the research, but actively trying to engage the general public and make them aware of their surroundings. Good shit.
    P.S that photo of the kite parent bringing the entire silvereye nest back to the chicks is fantastic, I had no idea they would do this!

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  3. Hi Leslie! Thanks for your fantastic feedback :) It's always nice to hear from a fellow roping/climbing person. There aren't too many of us around in this world of crazy safety regulations, so I'm glad you got in touch! I am constantly motivated by the amazing wildlife I am lucky to be able to see, and especially by my ongoing experiences that I have with people not knowing about wildlife but desperately wanting to! So this keeps me going. Keep up the climbing and enjoying life in the canopy :)

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