A few days ago Rafi Paz found a breeding pair of Black-winged Kites while bike-riding near Rosh Ha'ayin, in the E Dan region, just 15 minutes from Tel Aviv. The pair successfully raised three young; by their behaviour I guess they fledged about 2-3 weeks ago. Today I saw two youngsters; both parents and their big brother were missing. Could the parents be busy with another cycle already? The Hula pair did three consecutive and very tight breeding cycles.
The two birds were great fun - hunting in amazing success rate for recently fledged juveniles - during two hours I saw each one of them take at least three voles from the nearby field. Apparently they are very skilled hunters. Check the poor vole in this image:
Photo-wise it was pretty difficult as mostly they perched on ugly pylons or wires, but only occasionally on trees.
Already at this tender age showing dark secondaries - indicating their Asian origin?
The 'colonization' of Black-winged Kites in Israel is quite amazing. From a mega rarity until 10 years ago, it has become a nice bird to see, not much more, all over the country. This is the second breeding pair in Israel, after the Hula pair. I predict that in a decade we will have lots of breeding pairs all over the country.
My favourite subjects are any member of the kite family. I can only get red and the occasional black. I'm full of envy at your shots.ReplyDelete
Only 2 pairs in the whole of Isreal - i am surprised! Nice that you mention the dark secondaries as most birders i know only see the Western birds and few are aware of this feature. A blog i visit recently featured a picture of a Wintering bird that showed dark secondaries and this was pointed out to him.ReplyDelete
ATB Laurie -
The individual was in Saudi Arabia - forgot to mention that!ReplyDelete
Great birds - when i was birding in Israel in 89-91 these were only a bird of my dreams.ReplyDelete
Now living in Northern Territories where they occur but still not seen one!
Great blog brings back many happy memories