Pellets from Tuas: 5. Black-shouldered Kites and House Crows

posted in: Crows, Interspecific, Raptors | 1

The pair of Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus) nesting in Tuas was regularly harassed by the pair of House Crows (Corvus splendens) nesting a little down the road. The crows were obviously after the kites’ eggs and chicks. The presence of plentiful mice around the area kept the adults close to the nest. This meant that the adults could keep close watch on the marauding crows. To date, all four chicks were alive and well.

One one occasion, an adult kite was perching on the lamp post, surveying its territory and guarding the nest from a distance. Three pesky crows approached it, two on one side and one on the other side on the lamp post. The pair of crows tried to distract the kite while the other crow suddenly flew up, using both its legs to kick the kite off balance. This caused the kite to retaliate.

On a few occasions a Brahimy Kite (Haliastur indus) similarly harassed the Black-shouldered Kites, but always the latter managed to fend off the attacks.

Crows are highly aggressive and will harass other birds like Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) LINK, Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) LINK and even raptors like White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) LINK and Black Kite (Milvus migrans) LINK.

Crows often raid the nests of other birds and rob them of eggs or chicks.

Chan Yoke Meng & Melinda Chan
March 2015

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