Category Archives: Raptors

Many distractions

While watching the Rainbow Bee-eaters yesterday morning there were plenty of distractions – high above and down below!

Wedge-tailed Eagle, Sandon State Forest, 16th December 2017

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Yellow-footed Antechinus

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Almost there

These two Nankeen Kestrels, last featured on the 28th November, are growing fast. They are now almost fully grown and look very much like the adults – the fine dark streaks on the crown and breast a feature of juvenile  birds.

Nankeen Kestrels, Moolort Plains, 10th December 2017

Caught by a puff of breeze

Night-herons and sparrowhawk

This young Collared Sparrowhawk caused some consternation amongst the Nankeen Night-herons roosting along the Loddon River last evening. One of them even alighted briefly below a River Red-gum in front of me to allow a hasty shot.

While I can’t imagine sparrowhawks (even the larger female which I suspect this individual is), taking an adult night-heron, their reputation is enough to cause alarm amongst large and small birds alike.

Nankeen Night-heron, Loddon River @ Newstead 2017

Collared Sparrowhawk (juvenile), Loddon River @ Newstead, 3rd December 2017

A nervous night-heron!

Sounding the alarm

Night-herons are safe from this ruthless hunter of small birds

Hungry mouths to feed

I visited my favourite Nankeen Kestrel family this evening.

Two nestlings, perhaps three weeks old, popped their head out of the hollow to greet the adult female returning with a wolf spider.

Nankeen Kestrel nestlings, Moolort Plains, 27th November 2017

Adult female Nankeen Kestrel with wolf spider prey

Alighting at the hollow

Off to hunt again …

It was a good evening for raptors – Wedge-tailed Eagle, Brown Falcon, Whistling Kite, Black Kite and an unexpected highlight … a pair of Square-tailed Kites drifting east across the plains. Not their usual habitat!

Old friends

One of the nice things about getting home from a holiday is the chance to catch up with ‘old friends’.

Nankeen Kestrel (female), Moolort Plains, 27th October 2017

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Kites 4 … Eagles 0

Late yesterday afternoon I took a stroll at Cairn Curran in search of sea-eagles.

Alas, not an eagle in sight but a party of four Whistling Kites were patrolling the shores on a gathering wind.

Whistling Kite, Cairn Curran @ Welshmans reef, 11th September 2016

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Sea-eagles #3

Better light and a closer approach this time.

These images were collected just moments after I witnessed a thrilling encounter between two White-bellied Sea-eagles and a lone Wedge-tailed Eagle that had apparently transgressed into their territory. More on that later.

White-bellied Sea-eagle (immature), Welshman’s Reef, 14th August 2017

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Wedge-tailed Eagle and White-bellied Sea-eagle duelling