An ex-kite or did its dinner do him in?

To: "birding aus" <>
Subject: An ex-kite or did its dinner do him in?
From: "Philip A. Veerman" <>
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 15:50:58 +1000
At Jerrabomberra Wetlands (well-known waterbird watching spot in the ACT, beside the Molonglo River in Canberra) yesterday, I found the carcase of a Black-shouldered Kite (adult). The body has the wings complete (which makes identifying it easy), the feet have been chewed off and it is very raggedy and smelly. What is odd is that the kite's beak is open and wedged into its beak is the skull of what looks like a mouse. Only the back of the skull and a small piece of the mouse's spine (cervical part) attached is visible. Nothing odd about a B-sK eating a mouse but the fact that only a small part of the mouse was visible, suggests that the rest had already been eaten. Presumably the bird died (choked perhaps) whilst trying to get the mouse's head down. The mouse's skull is pointing snout first and quite tightly lodged in the kite's beak. I couldn't get it out to have a proper look without some serious effort and the whole thing being very decayed and me being on my way to a restaurant for dinner I didn't wish to do so.
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