Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Square-tailed Kite
Lophoictinia isura
(Viewing 4 of 9 photos)

The Square-tailed Kite might well be called Forest Harrier - technically not a harrier but that alternative says it all. In south-eastern Australia at least, Square-tailed Kites are migrants, returning from the north in Spring to well established territories and nest sites that they maintain year after year. They occur virtually all over Australia but nowhere are they abundant, just thinly distributed throughout the eucalypt forests and woodlands.

Square-tailed Kites take almost all their food from the treetops, mainly nesting birds. Their broad wings and tail allow them to seemingly float effortlessly above and around the treetops, tail twisting and turning, head down searching for prey which they snatch quickly from the foliage. They very rarely take prey from the ground, such as feeding pigeons or young lapwings but never eat offal.

Photo: 230201

230201 ... Square-tailed Kite, adult.

Photo: 230202

230202 ... Square-tailed Kite

Photo: 230203

230203 ... Square-tailed Kite, a motley looking immature, moulting heavily.

Photo: 230207-D

230207-D ... Square-tailed Kite

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