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Whistling in the Wind

August 31, 2016

Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus) DSCN0824Even though I could not see it, it wasn’t hard to identify the bird from its call (click on bird call below). The distinct whistling sound said Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphrenurus). But when its partner/friend/competitor alighted in a nearby tree (see picture left) the species was confirmed. These kites frequently call to each other when in flight and when perched, so are more often located by sound rather than by sight.

The scientific name is derived from the Greek  words hals meaning sea and astur meaning hawk and sphen meaning wedge and oura meaning tail – a wedge tailed seahawk. It is a pity I did not get a shot of its tail whilst in flight to confirm the description.

Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus) DSCN0830
 
 
Whistling Kites are distributed across most of Australia. As with most raptors the female is larger than the male. They live near water and usually feed on live prey which they take from the ground or from the surface of the water. Food includes mammals, fish, reptiles and amphibians.

And from the look of the beak the hapless prey would soon get the point.

Whistling Kite’s call:

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