Nest Hunting?

White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus) James Kusz

Alert photographer James Kusz spotted this White-tailed Kite way up high in a pine tree on the periphery of Chavez Park. It looked like this bird was prospecting for a suitable nest site. It’s definitely that time of year for them.

White-tailed Kites have been nesting for some years in the nearby Berkeley Meadow (Sylvia McLaughlin Eastshore State Park). A pair that was probably fledged there did its own nesting in a tree in the parking lot of the Hilton Doubletree hotel, a few yards from the park, in May 2020. They raised four chicks but attrition and murderous crow attacks left probably only one that made it to the stage where it could fly and defend itself competently; see the Kite Cam series of posts. The parents did not try to nest in that area the following year.

Regardless of where they nest, White-tailed Kites are frequent visitors to the park, where they find a supply of their favorite prey, mice and voles. See for example, “Bird’s Gotta Eat,” Feb 15 2020.

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