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.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Last weekend I took a lot of pictures of Black Kites. They behave a bit like gulls or vultures, Wikipedia describes their behaviour thusly: