When we visited the Center for Birds of Prey in June the Yellow-billed Kite was part of the flight demonstration. First they demonstrated how the bird snatches prey with its feet then passes it to its mouth. It happens really fast and I only captured the pre-swallow moment.
After flying, the Kite perched with the handler, fluffing its wings.
The handler turned so the Kite was facing the audience.
The bird adjusted to stay facing right, into the morning wind.
As part of the Yellow-billed Kite flying demonstration the handler tosses pieces of raw meat into the air to simulate a bug and the Kite catches them on the fly. I didn’t get a decent picture of that action, but in the sequence below the bird missed and immediately dropped to the ground to find the food.
The demonstration field was covered in little yellow flowers, a pretty background for this brown bird.
He sauntered around a bit for taking to the sky again.
After his posing session at the Center for Birds of Prey Photography Day this Yellow-billed Kite had an opportunity to fly.
Kites catch thier prey, mostly insects, by snatching from the air with their feet. This requires a lot of swooping and circling to get higher off the ground.
The Center’s birds are fed and according to the handler will not seek out food during flying demonstrations, returning to the handler for the reward of food. This particular Kite seemed to enjoy his time in the air, circling around the demonstration field over the row of photographers several times.
Yellow-billed Kite, Milvus aegyptius
The Center for Birds of Prey offers photographers an opportunity to take close-up photographs of owls and other birds of prey a few times a year.
The Center for Birds of Prey, Photography Day, April 22, 2018, Awanda, SC.