Date: 6/19/18 8:24 pm
From: Matthew O&#39;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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