The Kites Are Back!
Well, they are in my neck of the woods anyway! And it’s such a pleasure to hear their shrill mewing cry after their absence during the winter months this year. It appears to be a good indication of a bad winter ahead, if the kites disappear from our skies. They tend not to migrate to Southern France and the Iberian Peninsula if the winter is warmer.
I’ve still not had the thrill of capturing one of these beautiful birds in flight and it’s definitely on my list of challenges for 2017. Having Googled the background of the bird and its habits, I discovered the Swiss population has become very important in terms of the breed’s European status, since its numbers appear to be decreasing in other parts of the continent.
The red kite is the third largest native bird of prey in Switzerland, eating a varied diet of field mice, moles, frogs, worms and occasionally a careless crow! I have actually witnessed carrion crows attacking red kites in mid-air and even pursuing a ‘taunting’ dance around the kites who look on with an arrogance worthy of a larger bird.
I love to watch these birds carrying out incredible aerial acrobatics during their courtship period which starts in March. Their usual endless circling on air currents is fascinating to view, even without the acrobatics!
Roll on summer … to view this and other wildlife photos on mEYEvue’s Gallery, click here.