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Kite flying

May 7, 2013

Whistling Kite

Whistling Kite

One of the features important for identification of raptors is the wing pattern, and these photos, sent in by Ken of Alexandra, of a Whistling Kite at one of the Goulburn River billabongs along Whanregarwen Road, give a view of the distinctive under wing pattern (below), as well as a superb image of the less-often-seen upper wings when fully spread (at left – click on it for a closer look).WK Fol 2
The whistling kite can sometimes be confused with the similar-sized Little Eagle – for instance there was some discussion and consultation with experts before the bird in a previous post (see HERE) was positively identified as a Whistling Kite. As well as a different under-wing pattern, Whistling Kites have a longer, more rounded tail and a less robust appearance. The kite’s body plumage tends to be more uniform in colour than the eagle and it lacks the barring across the tail that the Little Eagle has.
The bird pictured appears to be immature, as shown by the spots on the upper wings.
Whistling Kites are of course a lot easier to identify when they are actually whistling – a very distinctive call that can be heard by clicking on the arrowhead of the audio bar below.

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