birding-aus Black Kite

To: "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: birding-aus Black Kite
From: "Trevor Hampel" <>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 17:16:51 +1030
This afternoon I saw a Black Kite soaring low over our house with a smaller bird in its talons. It was hard to determine what it had caught but it appeared to be either a Red Wattlebird or a Spiny Cheeked Honeyeater. It appeared to be too large for a White Plumed Honeyeater. All of these are common around here.
What intrigued me was that the Kite was plucking all the feathers from its prey as it soared leisurely overhead. I watched it for some 3-4 minutes and it continued to pluck while on the wing.
I have often seen raptors sitting on the ground or perched in a tree while eating prey but I cannot recall ever seeing any raptor plucking its prey while flying. Is this common?
Happy birding.
Trevor Hampel
Murray Bridge
South Australia
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