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Red Kite

Red Kite
Photo Information
Copyright: Lesley Hodgson (ma-at) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 18 W: 0 N: 26] (142)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-06-16
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D70
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1000 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-06-18 15:22
Viewed: 3782
Points: 4
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I spent 3 hours yesterday photographing Red Kite from a hide in mid-Wales. I had a great time despite feeling slightly inferior with my 300mm lens - next to some really, really big equipment. There are a lot of 'dots in the sky' photos, and even the ones, like this, that I could show are not in the league of some work (eh Aido, respect!). Nevertheless, I had a good first time.
Some information about red kites:

Red kites have a chestnut-red body and a long, red, forked tail. When in flight you can see white patches on the underside of the wings. The wingspan of nearly two metres is tipped with black finger-like feathers. The powerful amber and yellow eyes enable the bird of prey to spot its dinner from a distance, and its sharp, hooked black beak allows it to kill and tear open small prey (for larger meals, such as sheep carcasses, the kite will wait for other scavengers to get in there first to open it up).
Red kites can be seen around areas of deciduous woodland with farmland and grassland in the vicinity.
In the middle ages you would have literally lost your head for killing a red kite. The punishment is no longer that severe, but any damage to the bird, its nest, eggs, or young, however, does come with a hefty fine or prison sentence.
In the UK, it is illegal to feed kites without a licence, so resist the temptation and visit a feeding station instead.
Kites could be mistaken for the buzzard is the most common bird of prey in Wales, but is smaller than the red kite and lacks the characteristic red colouring.

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To aido: Advicema-at 2 06-21 05:31
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • biblio (0)
  • [2006-06-18 18:09]

Like the light on the rear end, keep on trying and you will succeed in getting the image you really want...

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-06-21 3:58]
  • [+]

Hi Lesley,
It's a good shot, especially for a wild Kite. The light is on the wrong side so the underside is underexposed, but you've got the focus right and your timing is good to get his wings spread too.

It's never easy to catch a bird in flight and get it right, the bit in your note about the 'dots in the sky' made me laugh because I always have loads of those :-) See if you can see a pattern in the way they fly and then try to predict when the light is going to hit it right. I find having the sun behind me is usually best. Raptor centres are good for that because you pretty much always know which way the bird is going to fly.

I don't know where you are based, but for in-flight shots Eagle Heights in Kent I think is the best place, great scenery for backdrops and the birds always fly fairly close. The Hawk Conservancy Trust at Andover is good and a really nice place, they often fly 6 Black Kites together and have wild Red Kites hanging about too.

It's really just practise and more practise. I have a long way to go to get to the standard of some of the guys here at TN so I just keep going at it, whenever I get the chance.

Keep them coming!

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