White-tailed Kites at the Saddle

For those of you who aren't familiar with this bird, it's a White-Tailed Kite. And it is known to breed on San Bruno Mountain. Three years ago Bruce Grosjean, avid bird photographer, and Doug Allshouse, watched a pair successfully fledge three young. Yet, ever since, ravens have driven them from the area at the critical time. Bruce is forever hopeful - at least when it comes to birds. The White-tailed Kite is in the same avian family as our hawks and eagles.

Recently, Bruce and Doug have been watching for signs that the kites may have finally returned for breeding. On the day these photographs were taken, as usual, Bruce heard them before spotting anything; all the chatter made it clear there must be a pair, even though he only saw one for the first hour. A single raven, in particular, seemed intent on annoying the kites over and over. However, much to Bruce's delight, the kites would immediately return to the same spot, as if they were making their own statement. That's what's happening in the series of the kites fleeing the gorse snags (he didn't get the raven in the shot). The last in the series shows them returning.

The final picture was taken from the Day Camp trail area and shows the kites, confident at meal time. Bruce is crossing his fingers for some nest building in a month or so.

    - Maryanne Razzo