Black-shouldered Kite and the House Crow

posted in: Crows, Interspecific | 2

An earlier posting gave an account of the House Crows (Corvus splendens) raiding the nest of the Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus) and ending with the crows flying off with anything edible found in the kite’s nest. This account is about the revenge of the kite. The accompanying dramatic images have been captured by photographers Meng and Melinda Chan in Lim Chu Kang some months ago. They have agreed to this post so that more can share their experience.

House Crows are bold scavengers, never letting an opportunity of a free meal go. They would steal any food from anywhere if they can get away with it. This is a story of a crow trying to steal from a juvenile Black-shouldered Kite that was feasting on a rat.

There were three juvenile Black-shouldered Kites perching on a tree, one of which had a rat firmly clutched in its left foot. A House Crow spotted an opportunity of a free meal and flew down to perch some distance from the kite. Interrupted from its meal, the kite looked up and suspiciously eyed the crow. The crow moved closer to a nearer branch, eying intensely the rat tightly clutched within the talons of the kite.

The crow must have violated the comfort zone of the kite. The kite suddenly lunged at the crow, taking the latter by surprise. The crow retreated and flew off, leaving the kite to continue eating its meal.

The last image shows the kite eating the rat with its right wing outstretched, shielding its food from his two sibling as well as the crow, which was still around.

Text and images courtesy of Meng and Melinda Chan.

2 Responses

  1. Linda

    These are beautiful pictures, I volunteer at a raptor rehab and we just got one in this week,is is just so awesome, tried to move it away from the wall I was cleaning and it hopped on my hand, I got lucky and just got a scratch from the ordeal. But all is well, thanks for the pics…

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