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Explore Three Capes this August

12/07/2018

Tasmania's award-winning Three Capes Track has been a runaway hit with walkers, with more than 28,000 local, national and international visitors completing it since it opened in December 2015.More

Flags fly at Mount Nelson once again

26/06/2018

Tasmania's first signal station has been restored more than 200 years since it began operation on Mount Nelson.
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Southwest ecological burns important for orange-bellied parrot conservation

22/03/2018

Planned ecological burns in Southwest National Park will help regenerate important habitat areas for the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot.More

Whistling Kite, Haliastur sphenurus

Description

Reaching up to 60cm in size with a wingspan of 1.45m and 770g in weight, the Whistling Kite is a medium-sized raptor with a shaggy appearance. Seen from below the wings have a characteristic pale M-shape and the tail is rounded. The narrow head is light brown and the long, well rounded wings are dark sandy brown.

Habitat

Whistling kites prefer woodlands and open country or wetlands and are commonly seen soaring above water or farms. The main threats to this kite are loss of remnant bush with tall trees and wetland destruction.

Diet

They feed on small mammals, birds, fish and insects and also scavenge on carrion.

Breeding

In the south they breed from winter through summer (July to January) laying up to three eggs. Eggs are incubated for just over 5 weeks and chicks remain in the nest for a further 7 to 8 weeks. They prefer tall trees for nesting in and build a bulky platform of sticks. They appear to stay with the same mate and will re-breed in the same nest and defend their territory. After fledging the chicks stay with their parents for another couple of months.

Call

The Whistling kite is named for its loud descending whistle 'teee-ti-ti'.

Distribution

Although common and secure throughout the Australian mainland, this is an uncommon species in Tasmania. It also occurs in the Solomons, New Caledonia and New Guinea.