Black-shouldered Kite

To: 'Christine' <>
Subject: Black-shouldered Kite
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Tue, 18 May 2021 03:07:18 +0000

That is nice to know.


From: Christine [
Sent: Tuesday, 18 May, 2021 12:43 PM
To: Philip Veerman
Cc: COG chatline
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] Black-shouldered Kite


Yesterday Steve W and I went out birding at Sherwood Forest.

There we saw two Wedge-tailed eagles, and two Nankeen kestrels. 

Then on the way back, not far from the gate, we spotted a Black-shouldered Kite - the first I have seen in ACT this year, and there were also two more Kestrels.

Then as we drove along Uriarra Road we spotted two more Kestrels, and two Brown Falcons - one hovering and hunting, and one perched on a fence post, and appeared to be eating.

I had heard that the mouse plague had reached Murrumbateman, but perhaps it has arrived here already too, bringing with it some predators?

At Sherwood Forest we also saw a Boobook, and the Pied Butcherbirds were back, after not being seen at this location for several months.




On Tue, May 18, 2021 at 8:58 AM Philip Veerman <> wrote:

Hi Con,


I am curious as to what the first line of that message means. Though I agree with the other lines. The being a predator is only defined by the relationship to the word prey. On that basis I wonder are you suggesting a comparison of predators to some other group and I am not sure what that other group might be (last of what). Or just that predators are slow to recover(?). True sometimes or not. For those interested, the phenomenon is referred to asnumerical response”.


 Scholarly articles for numerical response predator and prey

… effects of prey availability on the numerical response of … - ‎Gawlik - Cited by 428

Numerical response of lizards to aquatic insects and … - ‎Sabo - Cited by 190

Numerical response of a mammalian specialist … - ‎Mougeot - Cited by 10



For example,of%20change%20in%20prey%20density.&text=It%20is%20associated%20with%20the,with%20change%20in%20prey%20density.


Not that I get out that much, but I have not observed any Kestrels, BsK or other typical mouse predators locally for many months (well into last year), I have seen only one Brown Falcon near Lanyon 3 weeks ago. There has been one recent mention on this list of a Barn Owl. Numbers of all of them are probably very low locally.


Extensive mouse poisoning could be having an impact on them if the poisoning is causing secondary poisoning, but surely not be prey reduction, as poisoning is happening only where mice are in huge plagues.




From: Canberrabirds [ On Behalf Of Con
Sent: Monday, 17 May, 2021 9:14 PM
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] Black-shouldered Kite


Some musings...

Predators are typically last to recover from prolonged periods of low prey.

It is strange to think that only about 16 months ago we were coming out of a major drought that would likely have significantly reduced B-sh K numbers.

Add to that a widespread mouse plague now and they have plenty of options.

That said, on a recent round trip to Tocumwal from Canberra we saw only a couple of Black-shouldered Kites.

It could be that the extensive mouse poisoning is having an impact on them.





On 5/17/2021 8:13 PM, Nicki Taws wrote:

1 Black-shouldered Kite on Coppins Crossing Rd, not far north of the crossing.  Surprising there aren’t more around feasting on mice, but perhaps there are so many mice elsewhere that they don’t need to come to the ACT.




Nicki Taws

0408 210736



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