Monday, August 2, 2010

White-tailed Kite Update

The White-tailed Kite continues to be seen today at Stratford Point. It was spotted just after sunrise on the Stratford Point property. After an active start to the day it mostly sat in its favorite small tree not far off the beach on the north end of the site, preening and bobbing its tail incessantly while keeping an eye on everything. Occasionally it would pop up and fly low out over the water, or over other parts of the property. Sometimes this was for a quick hunting trip, and sometimes it was because of people walking by it on the beach that did not even realize it was there.

For most of the afternoon, around 1:00 to at least after 5:30, the bird sat in a tree in a yard adjacent to the north side of the Stratford Point property. A crowd had gathered in the area trying to catch a glimpse of it buried in the leaves and branches. It kept itself in the shade, probably as a way to rest and keep cool on the increasingly hot and humid summer day. It certainly seems likely that it will be here for another day. I hope that it will be as cooperative as it usually is early tomorrow. For the past two mornings, it has put on a show for thrilled Connecticut birders and many excited visitors who made long journeys from neighboring states. It seems to wander and rest a bit more in the afternoon hours.

Yesterday some of us were wondering how much the White-tailed Kite had gotten to eat. No one I spoke to had noticed it catching any prey, whether it be rodent or insect. However, a couple of photographers were able to see that it had in fact found a couple meals. Below are two photos from Paul Fusco.

A close-up of the prey, a vole:

Looks as if the White-tailed Kite is doing wonderfully.

Photos © Paul Fusco

1 comment:

  1. Good photographs from Paul. These are the first photos from which I was able to detect the brown color of the 2 outermost primary feathers, which help to age the bird. It is also the first evidence I have seen that the bird is finding and catching it's favored prey - small mouse/vole-sized mammals.