Wild Wednesday 4/52 White-tailed Kite

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A friend and I went birding Saturday at two Wildlife Refuges. We reversed the order we normally do these two refuges and I’m glad we did. It was pretty birdy at Merced Wildlife National Refuge, but I’m going to share with you the last bird I photographed for the day at San Luis National Wildlife Refuge.

And, what a bird to end the day on! It’s my favorite raptor.

White-tailed Kite

It’s a medium sized raptor and likes open grasslands, and savannas.  It hovers while hunting for prey, and have big amber/red eyes. Here’s some information about their hunting behavior from allaboutbirds.com

While hunting, the White-tailed Kite characteristically hovers up to 80 feet off the ground and then drops straight down onto prey items. This ability to hold a stationary position in midair without flapping is accomplished by facing into the wind, and is so characteristic of these birds that it has come to be called kiting. White-tailed Kites also perform ritualized courtship displays in which a male offers prey to a female prior to egg laying. In an often spectacular aerial exchange, the female flies up to meet the male, turns upside-down, and grasps the prey.“`allaboutbirds.com

I think they’re the prettiest of the raptors.  If I could be a bird this is the one I’d be. 🙂

You’ll find them up and down Western to Central California, Oregon, Mexico, Central and South America.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm@500mm| 1/640s| ISO 500| cropped| Hoodman Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…

 

 

 

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White-tailed Kite

Copyright © 2013 Deborah M Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

A photo I took of a White-tailed Kite recently while trying out a friend’s lens.

White Tail KiteI wanted to see what 500mm looked like and how much closer I could get the birds, and test the weight of it.
It’s a pretty light lens actually. I got a lot closer view of this Kite!
This Kite is  calling its mate or parent, I’m not sure which.  Just a short time later a second Kite flew below this one. Together they flew off to another nearby perch. My friend and I moved our position to continue photographing them and discovered the second one brought a Vole for dinner. The  Vole is in the talons of the second Kite which unfortunately is hidden behind the branch, but it’s the best shot of the Vole I got before they started to consume it.
Kites with Vole_3576
Thanks Dali for letting me try your lens! I definitely want a longer lens for birding. I have to keep saving.

Nikon D300s| Tamron 200-500mm @ 500mm| f11| 1/1250s| ISO400| Manual Priority| Tripod

 

White-tailed Kite

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

This photograph is one I took at last month’s Pacific Flyway Festival.  It’s a week-end event for birders out on Mare Island in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Several hikes, and guided tours with experienced birders are offered. I went with a group of folks, and my friend Dali out to Skaggs Island for a private walk-about. It’s part of an old Navy base which is being renovated and rehabilitated to marsh land.
This Kite was perched in a tree just within range for me to get several shots of it before it flew away. I was so excited to be this close to one that didn’t fly away the moment it spotted me. They’re so skittish they perch far away from the roads, or they take flight as soon as they see me coming.
The day was overcast, and the sky was flat so I decided to turn this one into a “high Key” shot.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 70-300 @ 300mm| f7.1| 1/1600sec| ISO 500| Manual Mode| Tripod