Black kites can be distinguished from red kites by the slightly smaller size, less forked tail (visible in flight), and generally dark plumage without any rufous. The sexes are alike. The upper plumage is brown but the head and neck tend to be paler. The patch behind the eye appears darker. The outer flight feathers are black and the feathers have dark cross bars and are mottled at the base. The lower parts of the body are pale brown, becoming lighter towards the chin. The body feathers have dark shafts giving it a streaked appearance. The cere and gape are yellow, but the bill is black (unlike in the yellow-billed kite)
A familiar face!
Immediately recognized this bird just from the way it was hovering above its prey.
Still quite a skittish bird and wasn’t able to get closer for a better shot.
But to be able to see its chest feathers is a huge victory as it is a small raptor.
With large wings longer than its body, this bird is able to build up speed quickly to take down fast moving prey.
I was lucky to witness an aerial fight between a kite and a kestrel, but it caught me completely off guard and I wasn’t able to capture a photo.
A Cape petrel chasing our boat out of Kaikoura, in New Zealand. They are a faithful companion when you sail those waters, there's always one or two in your wake.
I'm in Cairns Airport now, ready to leave Australia and head back to Europe. Australia has been absolutely mindblowing, and I really want to visit again. It will happen one day for sure!
Check my website for more wildlife - prints available! Link in bio :D