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