Black-shouldered Kites – aerial acrobatics

posted in: Courtship-Mating, Raptors | 3

“Again one of these precious birding moments. I arrived at a water reservoir not far from my village and saw two adult Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus), also called Black-winged Kites, fly together, quietly, not chasing.

“They moved on to the other side of the water and suddenly one descended, hovered and started to ‘attack’ the other. In talks with an expert [Dr Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua, Kasetsart University, Bangkok] it seemed to be a courting pair, stabilising their bond.

“Funny and/or crazy thing however was the fact that the one ‘attacking’ kite was sometimes flying UPSIDE DOWN! Amazing, legs stretched, feet in the air, he did that several times, a great view.

“I took quite some pictures but as the distance was quite large the quality is not very good, sorry for that. Main thing I wanted to show you the acrobatics that this Kite performed. It was a pleasant thing to witness…”

Joe Hartman
Chaiwan, NE Thailand
24th March 2012

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3 Responses

  1. Daisy O'Neill

    Welcome to BESG Joe!

    Remembered NGeo once seen on screen to have breeding pairs locked their talons and spinning a spiral descent only to part ways just before touch down.What a sight you must have enjoyed. Glad for you.

    Cheers!

    Daisy

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    • Tou Jing Yi

      I think I saw that too, two WBSE locking talons and spinning, but that one seemed to be 2 adult males fighting or something like that, but it is known that some raptors do adopt that kind of courtship activity, must be exciting to watch this in the wild!

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