Square-tailed Kite – wonderful views of a rare bird

Andrew Skeoch and I enjoyed magnificent views today of the Strangways Square-tailed Kites. The nestling photographed yesterday has now left the nest and my first sighting of the bird this afternoon was watching it accompany one of the parents out across the Muckleford Plateau.

Square-tailed Kite (adult), Strangways, 6th February 2011

We didn’t need to wait long for both birds to return, the adult with what appeared to be a captured bird in its talons. The youngster then perched, not far from the nest tree for the next hour while we watched on in awe. Unlike the adult which has light coloured plumage around the head the juvenile is a beautiful rich brown with fine dark streaking on the neck and breast.

Square-tailed Kite (fledgling), Newstead, 6th February 2011

The adult was much more wary but we managed to get excellent views of the bird perched and in flight.

Square-tailed Kite (adult) with crest erect, Newstead, 6th February 2011

The photographs of the adult show a couple of distinctive features of this wonderful species – the streaked crest and long wing feathers which extend well beyond the tip of the tail. 

Note the distinctive tail shape and long folded wings.

3 responses to “Square-tailed Kite – wonderful views of a rare bird

  1. Stunning photos Geoff and Andrew. Great to see the fledgling out hunting. I’d noticed that it was no longer on the nest.

  2. Pingback: Square-tailed Kites … a correction! | Natural Newstead

  3. Beautiful photos, thanks for posting these.

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