On safari-- wildlife and nature photos

Raptors & others

Aussie birds 3

Black-shouldered kite

Wedge-tailed eagles ©Yvonne Milbank
Australia's birds of prey are led by the huge Wedge-tailed eagle Aquila audax, which can have a wingspan of nearly three metres, and which can be seen throughout the country
Wedge-tailed eagle

A noted carrion-eater, it's often seen in the vicinity of road-kill, as was the pair above, photographed by Yvonne in outback South Australia. The young Wedgie on the right was at Cleland Wildlife Park in the Adelaide Hills

Black-shouldered kite
Black-shouldered kite Elanus axillaris
Black-shouldered kite
At left, a hovering Black-shouldered kite in coastal Victoria ignores a tiny Welcome swallow which apparently objected to the raptor's presence; and another calls while watching for prey at the Greenfields wetlands in Adelaide. At right, an Australian kestrel in the mallee country, South Australia
Australian or Nankeen kestrel
Nankeen kestrel Falco cenchroides

Peregrine falcon chicks  Black-shouldered kite  Black kite  Brown falcon  Whistling kite
Nankeen kestrel ©Yvonne Milbank  Nankeen kestrel ©Yvonne Milbank
A few more of Australia's raptors...Peregrine falcon chicks (Falco peregrinus) on their parents' nesting ledge at Saunders Gorge in the Adelaide Hills. Another Black-shouldered kite, this time seen at Werribee in Victoria. Yvonne's spectacular photo of this species can be seen on the Victoria page. We saw the Nankeen or Australian kestrel catching small prey in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges. Other birds of prey photographed near Adelaide are the Black kite (Milvus migrans), the Brown falcon (Falco berigora) and the Whistling kite (Haliastur sphenurus)

Australian hobby ©Geoff Gates Pacific baza
Geoff Gates spotted the Australian hobby (Falco longipennis) enjoying a meal on his TV antennae at his suburban home in Melbourne. The Pacific baza (Aviceda subcristata) was at Warrawong sanctuary in the Adelaide Hills

Sacred kingfisher
Sacred kingfisher
Todiramphus sanctus
The Sacred kingfisher (left) is one of Australia's 10 species of kingfisher, the largest of which is the Laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae), creator of one of the country's most recognisable bush sounds. The Laughing kookaburra is fairly easy to find and photograph in the wild, as it's not averse to life in urban parks and gardens. In contrast, I've photographed only one wild Sacred kingfisher (see the River Murray page). The bird at left was in Cleland Wildlife Park

Laughing kookaburra   Laughing kookaburra   Blue-winged kookaburra   Azure kingfisher   Rainbow bee-eater
The Laughing kookaburra's slightly smaller relative, the Blue-winged kookaburra (Dacelo leachii), was photographed at the Adelaide Zoo, while the Azure kingfisher (Alcedo azurea) was seen on the River Murray in Victoria. Another tiny hunter of the bush is the Rainbow bee-eater (Merops ornatus), seen at Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria

Tawny frogmouths   Tawny frogmouth family  Tawny frogmouth  Tawny frogmouth

Often mistaken for owls, but related to nightjars, tawny frogmouths (Podargus strigoides) are noted for their ability to remain motionless for long periods, taking on the appearance of a dead branch. At left, the mature bird in image #1 is doing just that; the juvenile, perhaps not experienced in the art of camouflage, is staring wide-eyed at the photographer. Later, I found the whole family on the same branch (at Wittunga Botanic Garden in Adelaide's southern hills) and all three seemed to be doing well at imitating each other! At right are two more tawny frogmouths in a private garden in the same area. To see a young tawny frogmouth in close-up, go to People and wildlife

More Australian birds: Honeyeaters & others    Waterbirds
or go straight to Kangaroo Island, the Adelaide Hills, the River Murray, the Outback, Victoria or Papua New Guinea

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