Date: 6/19/18 8:24 pm From: Matthew O'Brien <matthewobrien...> Subject: [southbaybirds] Help with White-tailed Kite question
I have a question that I cannot answer even though I've searched several sources. Will a White-tailed Kite attack a Band-tailed Pigeon as prey - and be successful?
I live in Milpitas right by the hills off Piedmont Road. My front neighborhood is suburban, but it's the open hills behind my house. For the last 4-5 years, fairly large flocks of Band-tailed Pigeons have taken up residence in a very tall tree across the street and down the hill a bit. At times I also see White-tailed Kites perched there; they perch on top of many trees in our neighborhood.
This year White-tailed Kites fly by frequently from the valley below to the hills, and vice-versa. This has happened in previous years, and I figure they have nests in tree downhill in the valley, but of course go into the hills to hunt. I have seen them with captured prey coming from the hill.
Early on Sunday, I had just gotten up in our 2nd story bedroom when I saw a WT Kite dive relatively quickly into the top of the tree across the street at a steep angle from above. Just as they dive on prey in fields. I have never seen them land in that tree in such a manner - it's a horizontal approach, a bit of hover, then perching. This was "a dive" - but still with the steep V wings posture above while diving.
As it went into the tree, about 15 Band-tailed Pigeons exploded out and flew away. Suspecting predation, I watched the tree top for 10 minutes. As it's dense, I couldn't see within. The kite never left in that time.
Question: References say that WT Kites do eat birds, they say that they'll take prey as large and heavy as a small rabbit. Was this a capture, kill and consume?
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