Whistling Kite Haliastur sphenurus
Whistling Kite, Mildura, Victoria, Australia, February 2006 - click for larger image Australia
February / April 2006

The Whistling Kite is distributed in Australia, New Guinea and New Caledonia. It is found in open woodland near water or wetlands, by rivers and on the coast.

Whistling Kite, Mildura, Victoria, Australia, February 2006 - click for larger image It is a fairly large hawk which is brown above and fawn below. In flight it has a distinctive underwing pattern where the broad pale brown leading edge extends at right angles to the trailing edge near the wing-tip and separates the dark outer primaries from the dark secondaries. Note also the round tail.

The juvenile is more heavily streaked and has large, pale spots on the wings.

Whistling Kite, Mildura, Victoria, Australia, February 2006 - click for larger image It feeds mainly on carrion but also catches small mammals and birds, reptiles, fish and insects.

Its call is a long, descending whistle which gives rise to its English name.

Whistling Kite, Mildura, Victoria, Australia, February 2006 - click for larger image
Whistling Kite, Cobargo, NSW, Australia, April 2006 - click for larger image
Whistling Kite, Cobargo, NSW, Australia, April 2006 - click for larger image
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