Mouse fights back?

It was enthralling to watch the juvenile Black-shouldered Kite hovering above the grasslands, it was less pleasant to watch it prepare its catch.


Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris) – juvenile with mouse
1/1000, f/7.1, ISO 800


When I saw this happening it looked as though the hapless mouse was fighting back. Looking at the image, details of the mouse’s injuries are visible and they look substantial so perhaps the mouse had been held upright by the kite and was dropping back to the post. I hope the injuries, along with the shock of being captured, were enough to have ended the mouse’s life.

Black-shoulder Kites are about 36cm and weigh up to about 300g. Adult birds are stark grey with white heads and underparts and black shoulder patches. Juveniles have a warm russet wash and pale tips to their wings.



Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris) – juvenile with mouse
1/1000, f/7.1, ISO 800


These birds have remarkable eyesight. I watched this bird for some time as it flew back and forth along the coastal grasslands. Occasionally it would hover for a while before moving on, less frequently it would hover and dive.

I have a series of images showing the mouse being skinned but my stomach’s not up to processing them today – sorry about that.


Swamp Wallaby (Wallabia bicolor)
1/800, f/5.6, ISO 3200

Instead I thought I’d finish with an image of the Swamp Wallaby that was watching the proceedings and no doubt feeling pleased to be too big to be considered edible by the local raptors.

Happy birding, and wallabying



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