Western Gull head
To describe my lifelong fascination with flight and with creatures that fly I like to echo the words of John James Audubon who in 1839 wrote of himself as "...one who never can cease to admire and to study with zeal and the most heartfelt reverence, the wonderful productions of an Almighty Creator."
This afternoon the pair of White-tailed Kites here in McMinnville, Oregon, continued to show every intention of nesting. The male (shown here) was twice seen catching a vole in the nearby field, and returning with it to where the female was perched on the tip of a young evergreen tree. As he approached, she flew up to meet him, tilted to one side reaching out with her feet, and took the vole from his dangling feet. Then she flew down to a perch on a low branch of a bare deciduous tree and quickly ate the vole in bite-sized pieces. Twice, also, the pair was observed copulating, and one of them carried a small stick (or large grass stem) about a foot long into the nest site.