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Kite: Yellow billed

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Bush Baptist
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Kite: Yellow billed

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Thu Feb 02, 2006 8:50 pm

My first sighting of the YBK was at Nkuhlu picnic site in 2001. It flew around using its tail and wings to avoid the trees in the canopy. All the thrushes, bulbuls and weavers did a disappearing act.

On 29 December 2005, Mrs BB and I exited Namibia at Buitepos travelling on the Maun road. We turned north and followed the west bank of the Okavango river up to Shakawe. During the trip, we came across an amazing sight - twice. About 50 to 60 YBKs were circling together for no apparent reason. It had just rained, and was overcast.

Somebody we met later on said they might be preparing to migrate - In December??? Can anybody explain please.
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Jay
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Unread postby Jay » Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:09 pm

I have seen the same thing, a mass of YBK circling twice in the last few months here on the West Coast, also wondered what it was about. Robert's says they migrate in March though.

The other odd thing is I'm almost sure I have seen YBK throughout the year this year :? could it be becuase the winters on the West Coast are hardly winters at all?

didn't answer your questions BB, just added some more :redface:

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Unread postby Elsa » Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:15 pm

In Durban they seem to disappear from about March until August/September and we certainly can't claim to have the coldest winters.
But must agree they are the most wonderful navigators in the sky wheeling around at almost eye level.
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Unread postby christo » Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:45 pm

It is too early for the migration. It is usually the time where they build up reserves after breeding and before migrating.

The yellowbilled kite is gregarious when not breeding. Large swarms are common (according to Roberts).

The fact that it has just rained makes me wonder if they were not attracted by locusts or termites? Both are a preferred food.
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Feb 03, 2006 6:24 am

Just west of PTA, home of SANP HQ, I know of a bunch of bluegum trees, that plays roosting for 10's of these birds. They should however only start to migrate in MArch like the others have mentioned.

It's cousin, the black kite, which by the sounds of it will be merged again into 1 species :shock: , can easily be confused by the YBK.

I have a very nice pic of one which, if I remember will bring along on monday.
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Unread postby Snoobab » Fri Feb 03, 2006 8:01 am

Their breeding season is finished but it is still a bit early for migration. These birds do tend to flock at food sources and if it had just rained I would agree with christo on the termite explosion or locusts.

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Unread postby j-ms » Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:35 am

Hi WTM

They are now, once again the same species. Below is a photo from one this past summer at Schoenmakerskop that shows features of botht YB & BK (less forked tail and streaked head cf. BK, and yellow bill cf. YB).

Image

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Unread postby Ranger Piet » Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:36 am

Pic taken at Nkuhlu picnic area in January during the Kruger birding weekend. There were two YBK's that did not seem at all concerned about all the activity at the place.

Image

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:47 am

Thanks j-ms! One more question though... Can I now tick both on my list as seen?
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j-ms
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Unread postby j-ms » Mon Jul 03, 2006 1:03 pm

No, you should consolidate two ticks into a single tick, ie. you lose a bird. However, you have gained a few extra ticks (or chances of ticks) on the splitting of the long-billed Larks and White-eyes, so it is swings and roundabouts.

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Unread postby deefstes » Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:29 am

Hi guys, just thought I'd pitch a thought. According to the most recent revision of Roberts the two Kites are indeed considered to form one species.

Ian Sinclair, however, thinks differently and you will notice that in the latest revision of the Sasol field guide, the two Kites are indeed split. I know a number of birders who count both Kites when reporting their life list and I am fighting an internal struggle as to whether or not I should do so :lol:

Either way, it's probably ony a matter of time before the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute reclassifies these birds into two seperate species so here's hoping they do it sooner rather than later.

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Unread postby Hawk » Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:15 pm

Taken from high water bridge over Olifants - Sept 06.
Image

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Attacking Eagle

Unread postby KNP Spokesman » Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:40 am

Hi Forumites

I heard this great story from one of our experienced rangers yesterday and thought you might find it entertaining (or even amusing).

Don English was once called to the Camp Reception (I am not sure which camp) who said a guest was attacked by a "huge eagle". He went to reception and found a guest with a rather nasty gash on his head.

After hearing a description of the bird, he was pretty sure that the incident was caused by a Yellow Billed Kite. What had happened was this guy was balding and was trying to disguise this by combing his hair over the bald patch. It was a pretty windy day so this "fluff" of hair kept on waving around - the kite, thinking that it was a mouse or something, dived down and grabbed with its claws, only to not find a mouse but a human's bald head.

Disappointed, the kite then carried on his search for food.

The head had a nasty gash on it and the necessary first aid had to be administered. It must have been painfull but hopefully we can all look back with amusement.

But these kites are amazing birds. A friend was once camping at Sodwana Bay and had a piece of boerewors in his hand when a kite swooped down and grabbed it from him. He was naturally very upset - but amazed at the bird's abilities.

I am sure there are more similar stories of these kites as I have seen them everywhere from the KZN South Coast right through into Zimbabwe, each with that same "I'll-take-your-food-out-of-your-mouth" look. They appeal to me though, I like their "take-no-prisoners" sort of attitude.

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Unread postby Cicelia » Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:42 pm

I can’t stop laughing … :lol: :lol: :lol:

We decided to stop @ Tshokwane for picnic. As we do not have a lot of knowledge about birds. This bird circled the tree we were having picnic under. My fiance decided to take some pics.

Wonder if he had the same ideas!!!!!! LOL

NB: I’ll tell him to be more careful next time.

16/10/2006
Image

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Unread postby Elsa » Mon Oct 30, 2006 7:25 pm

I have had first hand stories of YBK's taking sandwiches out of unsuspecting school childrens hands and lunch boxes as they sat out doors during the lunch break. :shock:
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