Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Black Kites

Black Kite over Kamakura

Black Kites over a 7-11 parking lot
Last weekend I took a lot of pictures of Black Kites. They behave a bit like gulls or vultures, Wikipedia describes their behaviour thusly:
Black Kites will take small live prey as well as fish, household refuse and carrion. They are attracted to fires and smoke where they seek escaping insect prey. They are well adapted to living in cities and are found even in densely populated areas. Large numbers may be seen soaring in thermals over cities. In some places they will readily swoop to take to food offered by humans, their habit of swooping to pick up dead rodents from roads often leads to them being hit by vehicles. They are also a major nuisance at some airports where they are considered important birdstrike hazards.
I watched one swoop down and hit the heads of two teenage girls who were eating a snack in a 7-11 parking lot. With a wingspan of about four feet it was pretty intimidating. I was urged by my companions to retreat to the safety of the car.

2 comments:

Eden said...

I've never heard of Black Kites before. They sound scary. We had grackles back in Ohio and my grandparents would tell us kids to scare them out of their bird feeders since they ate all the food and didn't leave anything for the other birds which were chickadees and finches. Hey, I've done some bird watching lately. About 2 weeks ago I saw a big brown hawk fly by my Manhattan office building. I don't think I've ever seena hawk in NY before. And I was just in Ohio and I saw a pair of cardinals chasing each other around. Of course those birds are very common there, but it was cool to watch some birds which I never get to do in NY.

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