|Whistling Kite Haliastur sphenurus
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.
|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.
|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.