Letter-winged Kites

Subject: Letter-winged Kites
From: John Penhallurick <>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 15:43:02 +1100
I tried to send the reply below to Eric,but it came back.  It will be no
news to many of you but it may be of interest to some.

John Penhallurick

>To see a Letter-winged Kite in Victoria, you would have to wait until there
>is a population eruption.  As other birders have probably told you, every
>five to 10 years, there is a population explosion in the Letter-winged
>Kites' main prey, the Long-haired Rat, Rattus villosissimus.  The kites
>breed like crazy.  Then when the inevitable crash in the rat population
>comes, you get a crash in the Kite population.  Surplus birds head off in a
>straight line in a random direction until they hit the coast.  Then they
>hang around until they starve to death.  A few usually turn up at Werribbee
>when this happens.  Otherwise you'll have to go to their refuge area in the
>Channel country of West Queensland to see the kites.
Associate Professor John M. Penhallurick<>
Canberra, Australia
Phone BH( 61 2) 6201 2346   AH (61 2) 62585428
FAX (61 2) 6258 0426
Snail Mail  Faculty of Communication
                University of Canberra,A.C.T.2601, AUSTRALIA 
OR            PO Box 3469, BMDC, BELCONNEN, ACT 2617, AUSTRALIA

                "I'd rather be birding!" 

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