Brahminy Kite (22)
|I'm not 100% sure of the ID, so perhaps you could confirm/correct me if I'm wrong.|
I think it's a Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus). It was taken at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park during the 'birds of the world' show.
I really like the subject of the photo so I was determined to post it, but I've had a hard time getting a decent quality image. The focus was a little soft (as usual with RAW mode but perhaps a little OOF also) and there was a lot of noise. Add to that the problem of incorrect monitor calibration - it looks completely different on 2 different monitors - and it's taken me about 6 attempts at processing and saving this photo.
I'd really appreciate it if you could tell me how it looks on your screen, especially the exposure and the noise level.
General info on the Brahminy Kite:
Brahminy Kites are more scavengers than hunters. But they also hunt for small prey (fish, crabs, shellfish, frogs, rodents, reptiles, even insects). They forage both over water and land, soaring 20-50m above the surface.
Prey on the water surface is snatched with their talons, Brahminy Kites don't dive into the water. They may even snatch swarming termites on the wing with their talons.
They scavenge from food scraps and garbage and are thus quite common at harbours and coastal fish/food processing sites.
But Brahminy Kites don't just passively forage. They flush shorebirds roosting on the mudflats into flight to identify the weak. They are attracted to fires to catch any fleeing animals. They may steal from other raptors including large ones like the White-bellied Fish Eagle. Their catch is eaten on the wing, to prevent theft. When several quarrel over a meal, they squeal.