The Kites are members of the Raptor family. They eat mostly insects such as beetles, grasshoppers, dragonflies, etc., and also frogs, lizards, and small birds. They feed mostly on the wing or from an exposed perch. They usually have 1-3 dull white eggs, with an incubation time of 29-35 days. The adults will aggressively attack people or animals that come too close to the nest. They dive-bomb their enemies, and I have experienced this with these birds in my own yard. The chicks, unlike other Raptors, are not aggressive with each other in the nest, and will preen each other. For full information about these beautiful and fascinating birds, see the Cornell site.
It has been a fascinating couple of weeks watching and photographing these guys, and doing it from my own patio and yard!!
They are real acrobats, soaring and diving, and twisting and turning as they capture food in midair. Their bonding and mating behavior is quite striking and I have been fortunate to capture some of this in photos. I have also managed to get pics of their defensive activity, including dive-bombing crows that were harassing one of the females. I am blessed to have their presence so close by and look forward to the new additions. In the pics below, the first 13 show bonding behavior--the first pic shows the female perched. The male arrives with a stick(nesting material) in his mouth. The following pics show the ritual bowing and submissive behavior of both as the male transfers the stick to the female. The following 8 pics show actual mating behavior. At the end of that sequence, there is a Crow harassing the female and the next 2 shots show the male dive-bombing and attacking the Crow. The rest of the pics are random shots taken over the past two weeks. I hope you enjoy the photos below!!