Wild Wednesday 23/52 White-tailed Kites

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

On and off for a few weeks I’ve been going to over to a nearby park to photograph and check on a young family of White-tailed Kites.  The adults have two Fledglings.  They aren’t quite ready to be on their own yet.  Mom and Dad are still hunting, and bringing in food for them.

I had hoped to see a mid-air food transfer between parent and fledgling, but that didn’t happen. Mom dropped the food in the nest on this evening.

White-tailed Kite with Prey

Myself and several friends went back the following morning bright and early.

Here’s a look at the Fledglings in the nest:

White-tailed Kite Fledglings

The Fledglings have been flying around the big fields practicing their hovering, spying prey, and diving, but I don’t know that they’ve actually caught anything on their own yet.

I went back again this past Saturday hoping to see and photograph the mid-air food transfer. It happened, but I missed it! After the oldest fledgling left the nest and it didn’t look like anything would happen following it, I set my camera back on the smaller fledgling still in the nest thinking it would follow shortly as it had before, then I heard oooh’s, and ahhh’s to my right and looked just in time to see the transfer but didn’t get my camera on it in time.  I didn’t anticipate that. 😥

Here’s one of the Fledglings in flight on my last visit June 2, 2018:

White-tailed Kite Fledgling in Flight

I fear they’ll be own their own and kicked out of the territory when I return next week.  Mom and Dad have already set up another nest across the field from this set of Fledgling’s nest, and they’re making the fledglings wait for longer periods of time between feedings.

I’ll be offline by the time this post goes live. I’m leaving the house in He-Man’s, and #1 Grandson’s capable hands while I’ll be camping in the wilderness with a group of photographers. 12 of us plus guides, and a cook are going to be tracking by foot, and horseback Wild Mustangs.  I can’t tell you how excited I am about this trip!

As I type my bags are nearly packed. I’m waffling on which wide angle lens to take, and worrying about staying within my dunnage weight limit of 40 pounds!

Wish me luck that I don’t get thrown from my horse, we find the team of Wild Mustangs, get loads of wonderful images made,  Hot Dogs don’t make an appearance on our dining menu.  Some of you know I don’t like Hot Dogs, and I don’t get so saddle sore I’m unable to ride.  I’m packing Butt Butter! ☺

I’ll catch up with you all when I get back.  Until then I hope you have a wonderful week, and stay safe!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| SanDisk Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…


43 thoughts on “Wild Wednesday 23/52 White-tailed Kites

  1. I love these shots Deborah!! Those fledgelings are sooo cute. Your trip sounds exciting. We have some wild ponies not too far away that are my list to see. I’m sure Wild Mustangs are just breathtaking!

  2. Deborah! How exciting your trip into the wilds will be. I look forward to reading the full story of your adventures and seeing your photos. The Kites are absolutely beautiful birds. I keep looking at the photo in the nest. Fabulous post.

    1. Thank you so much Jennie!
      I’m home safely now, and haven’t yet uploaded my images, but I will tell you I will never, evah forget this trip! It was eye opening, fun, amazing! I really lack the vocabulary to describe how awe striking, and beautiful it was. I learned a lot.

      I want to do it again an plan to keep my thighs an butt in shape so I can next year.

  3. The fledgings are beautiful, Deborah! I hope you are having a blast on your trip, hope you get some awesome captures, and that you packed enough butt butter! Giddy-up!! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Lily! It was a trip of a lifetime, and one I won’t ever forget! I’ll be sharing images, and a story of two before too long. I had some good cakes, and a pie while out there. Penny was an amazing cook for our camp, but you would have given her a run for her money with your cakes, and cookies!

    1. Bring back…besides bruises, and aches and pains?
      OH MY GOSH! I am bruised and sore, but Joey I’m doing this trip again! I am searching for a word that is more than amazing or wow.
      I learned so much about horses this trip, and what it’s like to be on a ride on horseback in the wilderness. I’ll tell you right now. I HATE THE BUSH!. OMG! The sage brush just wants to tear you leg off your body from the knee up! I hate the brush! Okay, just until the pain and bruises from my knees heal I will HATE THE BRUSH! I loved everything else about the trip and am doing it again…if they’ll have me. It may take a year for me to get over hating the sage brush. It was brutal! If you could see the bruises on my knees…

    1. Thank you! Oh, Judy, I missed so many great shots b/c I wasn’t allowed to carry my camera and heavy long lens on the horse and places where we stopped wasn’t a good place to dismount. My camera and long lens were packed in the mule pack and not on my horse. SIGH.
      It was an amazing…is there a word better than amazing? for this trip? I missed a lot of really rare shots, but they are in my head.
      I’m doing this trip again, but with different lenses so I carry them on the horse. I hope you like what I was able to capture. I plan to be riding for the next year so I’m ready for next year’s trip! My thighs, and knees are a mess! I am bruised on my knees, an can barely move despite yoga stretches! But, yes. I would do it again!

  4. Amazing, amazing photos (poor mouse!)
    … and I’m super excited by your camping trip! It sounds like a wonderful adventure. I don’t need to tell you to take LOTS of pictures 🙂

    btw – I don’t eat hot dogs either. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I’ve been able to eat one since I was pregnant with son #1 … who’s getting married in 48 hours!!

    1. So, the wedding has happened! YEAH!!! I hope it was the perfect day they both hoped for.
      Send my blessings and wish that they live
      the Happily Ever After Life that they’ve both dreamed of.
      Are you okay? All cried out?
      Listen, you can do what I did when you’re reconciled to him having his own life and send an apron with the strings untied with note telling him you don’t want to but you get it and will let him go, with your blessing hoping that he lives the adult-grown up life he always thought possible…but PLEASE COME HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, AND WHEN I NEED YOU! ☺

      1. That’s a really great symbolic gesture! I think however it would be lost on Jordan. He’s always been fiercely independent – something that both makes us very proud, and occasionally exasperated 🙂

        The wedding was absolutely perfect and we couldn’t have asked for any detail to be better … and I didn’t cry! My eyes got a bit wellie a couple of times, but the moment quickly passed 💕

    1. Thank you so much Camie! I love your new icon photo!

      The trip was amazing…I’m looking for a word that’s more powerful than amazing because it was more than that! Thesaurus here I come!
      It was a dream trip I hope to repeat!

      1. I’m so happy for you! I love using the thesaurus to find the perfect word. How about phenomenal? And thank you for the compliment! 🙂

  5. Marvelous shots, Deborah, and all the best for the upcoming trip. You know I wish I could be there, too. My husband uses butt butter or its equivalent for cycling sores. 🙂 Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!!


    1. Oh Janet I wish you were there! It was more than AMAZING. I don’t have a word!

      The things I saw, and learned about horses was eye opening.
      Most of the people on the trip had prior horse ownership, or currently had horses, only 3 of us had limited horse experience, but we all clicked cause what we lacked in horsemanship we had in photography experience. It was a perfect blend for this group.
      The Wild Mustangs mad my jaw drop more than once. I didn’t want the trip to end!

    1. Oh Melissa! Woman you have to come do this trip with me next year! IT IS…a word more powerful than AMAZING! Life changing? Maybe.
      It was more than I ever dreamed of.
      I’ve been home a few hours, and am just catching up with emails. I haven’t even downloaded my images. There are a lot. Most will be deleted but OMGOSH!! What I wasn’t able to capture on film will live in my head forever.
      You have to do this trip with me next year! It is more than AMAZING! What is the word? Is there a word in our language for what I experienced? WOW, and AMAZING even in caps are lacking.

    1. Thank you so much Peter for the well wishes! I had a blast! It was amazing! I’ll be sharing images soon! I’ve just been home a couple of hours. I need to do catch up here a bit before I can focus on sharing the experience.

  6. What beautiful birds! No wonder you love them, Deborah. Your photos are so clear and perfectly timed. Amazing work.
    Wild mustangs? OMG… no wonder you’re excited. Woo-hoo! Ride ’em cowgirl! (Okay, so I know you’re not going to be roping and riding, but… sort of, via photography.) Happy camping. Hugs!

    1. Aren’t they gorgeous! I do love them.

      Yes, Mustangs! OMGOSH!! Teagan I can’t. I don’t think I have the words to describe how wild, fragile, and beautiful they are.
      I am going to do this trip again. It was amazing! Is there a better word? You would have the words that I lack to describe what I’ve felt for the last 6 days! Amazing isn’t it. It’s a word with more awe, surprise, wonder, fear, hope, faith, and peace that there is a way to find and achieve balance and rhythm to what happens in nature to preserve it, and live with it harmoniously.
      I am ever the optimists filled with hope and faith that it will work out.

      Saddle and Knee sore I didn’t want the trip to end!

      1. Oh, you’re back! Sorry — I’ve been unsure of the timing. LOL, but then, I don’t know when I am half the time! The 40 lb weight limit had to be tough… I hope you were able to fit the butt butter in. LOL, you cracked me up with that.
        When words fail, make up a new one. This sounds pos-i-lutely *Splindiferous*!
        PS: I buy roll-on muscle cream. Not sure if they sell it by the gallon though. 😉 Hugs!

  7. Wow – where to start? The Fledglings look pretty big. It’s so cool to see them in their first flights. It looks like that have the hang of it.

    Your trip sounds exciting. I can’t wait to see some pictures and hear the stories. I hope you have a wonderful time.

    1. The fledglings are amazing and look so different from the Adults!
      They’re probably gone by now. I’m home just 2.5 hours now from my Horse Pack trip. Om Gosh!! It was amazing! I have to start with my dirty…very dirty laundry, and unpack my tent and let it dry out properly, catch up with He-man, and then upload my images from 3 memory cards, and my iphone.
      It was AMAZING! If they’ll have me back I’m going again next year! It was that great!

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