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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

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Black-shouldered Kite

Black-shouldered Kite (Image ID 45367)
Photographed byMichael Hamel-Green on Tue 16th Mar, 2021 and uploaded on Wed 17th Mar, 2021 .
Resolution1400x703
Viewed161
ID45367
CommentA few moments before, I had spotted this juvenile Black-Shouldered Kite hovering in the sky in front of me as I was driving along Paradise Road in the Werribee Treatment Plant. I continued to watch as it circled and then glided towards a stand of pine trees lining the road. Approaching slowly, I was able to take this photo as it was gliding in to perch on one of the trees. Never having seen a Black-Shouldered Kite before, I was struck by its extraordinary beauty: the pure whites and greys of its outstretched wings, the gold chain around its chest, its fierce brown eyes, the contrasting black edge to its wings, and the pale yellow claws in all their sharpness. A regal bird indeed, and one to be respected.Their distinctive character is no better captured than in Judith Wright’s poem, “Black-shouldered Kite”: “Carved out of strength, the furious kite/shoulders off the wind’s hate/The black mark that bars his white/is the pride and hunger of Cain./Perfect, precise, the angry calm/of his closed body, that snow-storm-/of his still eye that threatens harm./Hunger and force his beauty made/and turned a bird to a knife-blade” (“Birds”, National Library, 2010).
EquipmentNikonZ7ii Nikon 300mm f4 PF TC1.4 420mm ISO 1000 1/3200th f8 Monopod
LocationWestern Treatment Plant, Werribee, Victoria
Keywordsjuvenile, in flight
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