Jerrabomberra Woodland Walk

To: 'Susan Robertson' <>, "" <>
Subject: Jerrabomberra Woodland Walk
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Wed, 13 May 2020 07:17:45 +0000

Fine. Sort of strange but “White front with red eyes, yellow cere and legs” fit both a Black-shouldered Kite and White Goshawk. Although the former has black around the eyes. I recommended to McComas Taylor that for later editions of his little field guide, that he move the text line “Powerful yellow legs” from Black-shouldered Kite, a bit down the same page to Grey Goshawk, where it is a far more suitable comment. But I don’t believe he took that advice.


Black-shouldered Kite will normally eat a mouse starting at the head to about half way, then the back half in one go, tail last. Not sure how useful that is, as there might be variations. Then again I don’t know whether a Goshawk would do it differently…….. Still I think Black-shouldered Kite is more likely but as it is known to be there, it will be on the record anyway so does not really matter…..


Many years ago (and I expect I have told this before)  at Kellys near the hide overlooking the river, I found a very decayed carcass of a Black-shouldered Kite, with an equally decayed carcass of a mouse, stuck head first, in its throat. I guess it died trying to swallow the mouse whole.




From: Susan Robertson [
Sent: Wednesday, 13 May, 2020 12:08 PM
To: Philip Veerman;
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Jerrabomberra Woodland Walk


Thanks for the suggestions Philip.  We have studied heaps of photos and definitely not Kestrel.  We met another bird watcher in the woodland who said that there was a Black-shouldered Kite frequently in the area near the car park.  Unfortunately we only saw the front of the perching bird while it ate its mouse. .  Might have to leave it as a doubtful ID.

Susan & Alan



From: Philip Veerman [
Sent: Tuesday, 12 May 2020 8:09 PM
To: 'Susan Robertson';
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Jerrabomberra Woodland Walk


Black-shouldered Kite will also launch an attack from a perch. Though usually from hovering, as you suggest. Not overly likely to be a Grey Goshawk. Or please tell us a little more what it looked like. Why not a Kestrel?




From: Susan Robertson [
Sent: Tuesday, 12 May, 2020 4:55 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Jerrabomberra Woodland Walk


This morning our walk on the Woodland Walk had several highlights.  The first, near the carpark ,was a small raptor which we saw swoop down from a tall tree and catch a small dark brown mouse which it rapidly ate while perched on a bare branch. It did not hover (as we would have expected from a Black-shouldered Kite) but swooped straight down which made us wonder if it could have been a Grey Goshawk. All up we saw 25 species with a mixed feeding flock which included 3 thornbill species, a Grey Fantail, about 20 Red-browed Finches, silvereyes and wrens.  The wetland highlights were darters, 4 Australasian Grebes, pelicans and White-faced Herons. 

Susan & Alan Robertson



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