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The S curve - © Robert Sommers 2018

Saturday, January 27, 2018

White tailed kite



I had to drive to the Ontario Airport this morning and thought that I would stop by the San Jacinto Wildlife Area for a quick sneak attack on my way back. It was not a smart move, Wednesdays and Saturday are the days that hunters are blasting birds and trying to spray your car with gravel while they drive by at top speed in their big alpha male pickup trucks.

I had been there before on a Saturday and photographed simultaneously with the hunters but I had either failed to see the closed to public sign or it is a new sign. In any case it was close to a wasted trip. On the way out I did drive up the road to the Walker Ponds, perilously close to being out of gas.

Saw the familiar bald eagle eating something on a distant pole.

And then got a snap of the beautiful white tailed kite, which made the whole excursion worthwhile. So pretty.

Now I have always called this bird, Elanus leucurus, the black shouldered kite. That is the name of a very similar kite in the old world.

Apparently at some point the American Ornithologists' Union felt it had enough differences with Elanus caeruleus to warrant its own name and full species status. Gorgeous raptor.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The hunters knew you were an alpha as well, from the size of your lens. It's not even spring yet and the aplhas are in full rut. JH

Anonymous said...

Nice juvenile bird.