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Red Kites fighting


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I just drove down to my local shop to get a couple of things and as I was coming out of the farm where the mooring is I saw a large object moving on the dirt road in front of the car. As I got close it tumbled to the side of the road and I drove alongside and saw it was two red kites fighting in each other's talons. They were literally 6ft from my car window.

 

I watched for a few minutes as they were too engrossed to pay much attention to me. They were really hacking into each other with their beaks but I couldn't see any blood. When I got back from the shop 20 mins later they were still at it so it looked like it might be a fight to the death.

 

Is this common behaviour in red kites? I've never seen it before. Two birds fighting territory or males fighting for mating rights? Unfortunately I didn't have my phone on me otherwise I'd have posted a picture.

Edited by blackrose
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Either fighting over mating rights, or mating. Hard to tell sexes apart, females are just bigger. Pretty sure they pair for life though, so most likely mating if no food was involved. Was there any roadkill nearby? They do like a bit of flattened wildlife, which is sadly why you see quite a few dead on roads. They take a bit of getting going to take off so are prone to vehicle strike whilst grabbing a bit of roadkill.

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1 hour ago, Tracy D'arth said:

Swans, eagles ostriches too I believe.

 

Swans are complete bastards. We had a local one that was witnessed killing at least two "rivals". Dead of old age now, I have to confess I am pleased to say - the birdlife around here has increased dramatically since his demise!

 

We don't get many eagles or ostriches on the Thames, so I can't comment on them. Believe me if one swims past I shall consider it worthy of a post...

 

1 hour ago, Hudds Lad said:

females are just bigger

 

I have noticed this recently. I think it's something to do with deliveroo culture... :P

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1 hour ago, Hudds Lad said:

Either fighting over mating rights, or mating. Hard to tell sexes apart, females are just bigger. Pretty sure they pair for life though, so most likely mating if no food was involved. Was there any roadkill nearby? 

 

No roadkill nearby.

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Probably just teenage kites fighting over mating rights, See the same thing outside the local nightclub every saturday night. Ah, the good old days when I were a lad.....

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