We knew he would be up there for a while. Yellow-billed Kites, all Kites, are born to fly. Once this guy gets started you photograph and wait. Mostly wait because he’s fast and agile.
His handler didn’t even bother with his glove as the Kite dive bombed us. It was too early on.
Actually when I left to shoot owl portraits the Kite was still going strong. Maybe an hour later the bird flew into the woods with us, passed through is better description. He didn’t stop just looked at us.
Some birds can be flown at other locations, fund raisers, but I’m guessing Kites stay home at the center.
Note; all the birds that exercise loose are fitted with small tracking devices. They have been needed, but not often.
Once he takes off someone must wait around for him to land. This bird loves to fly and will, for hours at a time.
Kites catch and eat their prey in the air never coming down until it’s rest time. They drink from rivers flying in the air. Mid summer we have Mississippi Kites circling our house all day catching dragonfly’s.
Above, this Kite was anxiously waiting for the jesses (falconry leg ties) to be loosened.
As soon as they were he jumped and started to soar.
At one point he briefly landed in a tree.
I can say he was flying for hours. I was done photographing him, moved off into a wooded area and started working with Owls. At one point a big bird flew right through us and went off into the air again.
It was the Kite, checking us and moving on.
Taken at the Birds Of Brey / Avian Conservation Center, Charleston.