View Full Version : Black Kite eating in flight

Atul Sinai
12-07-2012, 05:50 PM
A fine Sunday morning and I was photographing birds at Sangamwadi, Pune. There were some Painted Storks, Grey Herons, Cormorants, Kingfishers and Black Kites.

I was shooting Eurasian kingfisher in it natural habitat. Something in the air drew my attention; it appeared like a black kite was flying with a catch. I quickly released my lens from the tripod and started tracking the action.
What I happen to observe did surprise me a bit as I was not aware about this behavior of the black kite. The black kite was eating in the flight. As the kite was flying 77m away, I had to crop my images to get a closer look to the action.

It was fascinating to watch it do that.

Two days later I observed another black kite eating in flight, unfortunately no usable images on this occasion as it was flying far away. On this occasion a house crow was troubling the black kite hoping that it drops the catch in panic; but that didnít happen. The black kite enjoyed its hard earned meal.

Atul Sinai
12-07-2012, 05:50 PM
Here is another image

Sabyasachi Patra
21-07-2012, 09:20 PM
At times they do this when they are mobbed by either crows or other birds of prey. Thanks for sharing.


Saktipada Panigrahi
21-08-2012, 07:54 PM
Nice sequence of events.
Atul Bhai,
What is the 'hard-earned' meal ? Acquired through petty theft, scavenging, hunting,or fishing?
Thanks for sharing.
Kind regards,SaktiWild

Atul Sinai
22-08-2012, 08:46 PM
Thanks Shaktipada.

Not sure on this occasion whether it was theft, scavenging or hunting.

Sharing another image where I found black kite eating fish in flight. On this occasion it had picked it up from the water surface. Unfortunately was not able to capture the pick up shot. The camera dial was unknowingly turned to TV instead of manual due to handling and I wasn't aware; hence silhouette.

Saktipada Panigrahi
23-08-2012, 02:07 PM
Many thanks Atul Bhai.Nice silhouette, as if tailor-made for the observations made six decades back by our Great naturalist-teacher. SaktiWild

"I know a lake in such a place where I have seen kites fishing.They sail low over the water and clutch at the slippery prey on the surface with their talons, often without success.Here they are awakward apprentices in comparison to expert fishermen around, birds equipped with long, stabbing beaks or long, wading legs, other specialised features or at least the bold ness to plunge headlong into the water."-M.Krishnan

This was first published on 2 March 1952 in the Sunday Statesman.
Republished on 19 August 2012.

Atul Sinai
23-08-2012, 07:58 PM
Thanks Shaktipada. Fortunately I been able to witness both successful and unsuccessful attempts of black kites picking up fish from the water surface.

Agree about the fish slipping, have witnessed black kite loosing the fish twice. Once it fell in the river moments after it was picked up. On the second occasion the fish fell on land as the black kite holding the fish was chased by fellow black kites and crows.

Sharing another image of the silhouette sequence where the black kite is using its beak to hold the fish.

Saktipada Panigrahi
28-08-2012, 06:35 AM
A NICE serial made for the Natural History column documenting livelihood of a Black Kite: hunting,scavenging and fishing.And testifying to, what our Great naturalist teacher wrote six decades ago, through your lens.
Atul Bhai,
Work nicely accomplished.