When you say 300m, do you mean with a clear line of sight, Jonny? That's such a
huge distance that it would be difficult to not come closer accidentally at
times, especially if the view of the nest is blocked by vegetation.
Sent from my iPad
> On 23 Jul 2016, at 6:27 PM, Jonny Schoenjahn <> wrote:
> Hello all
> Following up on Chris Watson’s report (and advertisement) regarding
> Letter-winged Kites, I wish to ask the tour organisers and participants to
> exercise great caution in the nest areas. Disturbance by humans was
> responsible for over 40% of complete nest failures in the a comprehensive
> study on breeding raptors (by Craighead and Craighead (1956)), by very far
> the greatest cause of nest failure. 300 metres is a safe distance with most
> species, but it may not be even enough for Letter-winged Kites of for the
> particular individuals involved (birds do have ‘personalities’). For example,
> Wedge-tailed Eagles require a much greater distance.
> I am aware that a distance of 300 m or more seems at first to be not useful
> to get the perfect view or photograph. However, a couple of basic rules may
> provide results nevertheless: stay together as a tight group around the
> vehicle, and be patient. Chances are that the birds come closer, sooner or
> Even if the birds don’t seem to be disturbed at all by (too close) observers,
> they may abandon the nest and the site within the next few days, unnoticed of
> course by the observers who in turn get the impression that their behaviour
> was perfectly fine. Nests (and eggs!) are most like to be abandoned during
> the period between nest site selection and hatching. If the LWKs near Alice
> Springs are laying within the next few days, the eggs may hatch around the
> end of August. This means that visiting the site in question should not be
> considered before September. Patience, yet again.
> Please don’t go closer than 300 metres. The life of these birds is difficult,
> and we can easily make it much more difficult, even impossible.
> Last and certainly not least, if you go and get to see Letter-winged Kites,
> enjoy it! What a fantastic and unique species!
> Jonny Schoenjahn
> Grey Falcon research
> Perth, WA
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