5 Interesting Facts About Black-Shouldered Kites

Black-Shouldered Kite

This is a black-shouldered kite eating a mouse

Today I want to write about a beautiful bird of prey that I often see on my way to school, the black-shouldered kite.

Here are five interesting facts about them:

  1. These small raptors have a wingspan of less than 1 metre across.
  2. Black-shouldered kites are often seen hovering above fields using their excellent eyesight to find small prey such as mice or grasshoppers.
  3. They usually live by themselves or in pairs, but during mouse plagues they can gather in very large numbers.  It’s estimated that the average kite will eat about 1,000 mice every year.
  4. At breeding time, the males bring food to the female in flight which she takes from him while flying upside down.  They lay 2-5 eggs and the chicks are able to leave the nest at just 5 weeks old.
  5. Black-shouldered kites are one of the most common species of raptor in Australia and have benefited from the clearing of forests and the large numbers of mice that live near grain farms.

I hope that you found these facts interesting and learned something new.

Are there any other interesting facts that you would like to share about black-shouldered kites?

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