Apologies for poor image on this sighting, a surprise appearance and my camera was set for a much closer - and slower - subject!
This was a great surprise though, made me really happy. The conservation status of these raptors within New South Wales is listed as vulnerable. This is an adult as indicated by the white face with black streaks on the crown and finer streaks elsewhere.
The square-tailed kite ranges along coastal and sub-coastal areas from south-western to northern Australia. In NSW, scattered records of the species throughout our state indicate that the species is mainly resident in the north. It is a summer breeding migrant to the south-east, including the NSW south coast, arriving in September and leaving by March.
It is a specialist hunter of passerines, especially honeyeaters (particularly nestlings) and it has also been observed eating insects in the canopy.
The main threats to these beautiful birds are land clearance, (logging, burning, and grazing of habitat). Disturbance to or removal of potential nest trees near watercourses. Illegal egg collection and shooting.
50 cm length
The square-tailed kite is a medium-sized bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as kites, eagles and harriers.