Kites on the Loddon

A walk along the Loddon River at Newstead is likely to allow good views of a family of Whistling Kites Haliastur sphenurus. A pair has made a nest at the top of a tall River Red Gum and raised a youngster. This morning one of the birds was keeping a vigil on the nest while the other two spent some time soaring and wheeling nearby. Whistling Kites have a distinctive call, a series of high pitched whistles, quite unlike the call of other raptors. Thanks to Jo Ralston and Dawn Angliss for alerting me to the presence of these birds.

Whistling Kite at the nest, Loddon River, Newstead, 6th June 2010

Juvenile birds have a darker, somewhat rufous coloured head and spotted upperparts, while the adult birds tend to be lighter on the head and underparts.

Whistling Kite, Loddon River at Newstead, 6th June 2010

More photographs…

Wheeling flight - probably a juvenile

Whistling Kite on perch, Loddon River at Newstead, 6th June 2010

2 responses to “Kites on the Loddon

  1. Debbie Worland

    Whistling Kite overhead while playing netball in Newstead yesterday

  2. Patrick Kavanagh

    I was cycling from Guildford to Strangways last week and saw a pair of Whistling Kites just up the hill towards Strangways from the level crossing at Bough-yards Lane. One was in a poplar by the Loddon, the other was on the southern side of the road, collecting dead twigs from the treetops. I assume that this uses less energy than landing to pick them up. The kite was carrying one that must have been too heavy – it dropped it and found another. The two birds were talking rather a lot to each other. The show ended when the bus came past and scared the gatherer off.

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