Kite Cam 5

American Crow in high-speed attack on White-tailed Kite nest

On Saturday morning I saw no change from the previous day’s status at the White-tailed Kite nursery. One chick remained in the original nest, out of a clutch of four. A crow made repeated high-speed passes at it. The chick flared its wings and made hissing noises in its defense, for what it was worth. When not harassed, it sat quietly, huddled up.

Sole remaining kite chick in nest

A hundred yards away up in a tree, an adult kite — I’m guessing, the Dad — sat fluffed up for warmth, occasionally turning its head.

Adult White-tailed Kite, probably Dad

Another hundred yards further, high up, Mom sat in the second nest, brooding her second clutch. Occasionally she broke off a twig that bothered her.

Kite Mom sitting on second nest

I saw and heard no sign of the missing two chicks from the original nest.

There is a considerable literature on getting rid of crows. Google “get rid of crows” and you’ll see. Shooting and poisoning, though tempting as a vent for anger, are inhumane, probably illegal, and don’t work. Removing crows begins with removing easy food sources. I’ve seen people in the park discard half-eaten bags of cheesey fritos, and crows pouncing on them. So obviously, personal habits of tidiness are part of the solution.

But Parks management also has a job to do. Open-top trash barrels like these in the park are feeding bowls for crows. The nearby hotel may have some responsibility as well. Are all its garbage containers solidly covered? The concentration of crows around the hotel says there is a problem. It may be time for local environmental groups to get together and form a delegation to visit park and hotel managements about this issue.

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One thought on “Kite Cam 5

  • May 9, 2020 at 5:27 pm
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    Do you think that chick is on its’ own now? Have the parents abandoned it in terms of protection, (or lack there of) and food?
    poor thing!
    I wonder what happened to its siblings…when i’m out there i kind of take a quick glance at the hotel parking lot but part of me doesn’t want to find them because i find these kinds of situations –so common in nature –quite distressing.

    thanks for your coverage though of the kite-crow drama!

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