Our Latest News

Campfire restrictions extended due to increasing fire risk

19/01/2018

In the interests of public safety, the Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) has brought in extensive campfire restrictions as the fire risk continues to increase this summer.More

Improved toilet facilities at Bruny Island

16/01/2018

The Parks and Wildlife Service has completed work on a new toilet facility at the Bruny Island Neck Game Reserve.More

Further upgrade to South Coast Track

05/01/2018

The South Coast Track is one of Tasmania's great bushwalks, and the completion of recent upgrades has significantly improved the user experience along the track before the start of the peak walking season.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.