Whistling kite is a very vocal bird, it can whistle in flight or while perched on a branch. Pairs constantly call to each other.
They are graceful gliders often flying low searching for live or dead prey. They sometimes take fish from the surface of the water. They also catch reptiles, insects, and small mammals.
The whistling kite takes prey in its talons and then transfers it to its bill to eat.
Interesting facts about the Whistling Kite
- The Whistling Kite is a bird of prey found in Australia, New Guinea, and some parts of Indonesia.
- It is called a “whistling” kite because of the distinctive whistling sound it makes while flying.
- Whistling Kites are medium-sized birds, with a wingspan of up to 1.4 meters and a weight of around 500 grams.
- They are often found near waterways and wetlands, where they feed on fish, frogs, crustaceans, and other small animals.
- Unlike other birds of prey, Whistling Kites are known for their scavenging abilities, and will often feed on carrion and other discarded animal matter.
- Whistling Kites are monogamous and will mate for life. They build their nests in tall trees near waterways, and both parents are involved in raising their young.
- The Whistling Kite is considered to be a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with stable populations across its range.
- In some Indigenous Australian cultures, the Whistling Kite is considered a sacred bird, with important cultural and spiritual significance.
- Whistling Kites are highly adaptable and have been known to thrive in both rural and urban environments.
- They are skilled fliers and are known to perform aerial acrobatics, such as soaring, hovering, and gliding.
- Whistling Kites have a unique hunting technique where they will hover above the water and then suddenly drop down to grab their prey with their talons.
- In some parts of Australia, Whistling Kites are known to steal food from picnic tables and outdoor dining areas, making them a common sight in parks and other public areas.
- Whistling Kites have a distinctive appearance, with a pale head and body, dark wings, and a distinctive hooked beak.
- They are a popular subject for birdwatchers and wildlife photographers, with many dedicated birdwatching tours available in areas where Whistling Kites are known to nest and roost.
Where spotted: The Grotto WA