Status of Black Kite in Waihopai Valley, Blenheim

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TheBirderman
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Status of Black Kite in Waihopai Valley, Blenheim

Postby TheBirderman » Tue May 07, 2019 4:43 pm

Hi All

Does anyone know the status of the Black Kite in Waihopai Valley in Blenheim? Has it died (Or "gone on a holiday")? If so, what can this tell us about vagrant birds to NZ? Do some birds remain in NZ for a long time, perhaps their whole life?

Cheers
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kengeorge
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Re: Status of Black Kite in Waihopai Valley, Blenheim

Postby kengeorge » Wed May 08, 2019 8:11 pm

Unless there are any more sightings of the Waihopai Black Kite soon, it's very likely that it has died of old age. A local bird artist Nicholas Dylan was doing sketches of the bird in 1992, and it was an adult then, having made it over from Australia the hard way presumably. The life span of Black Kites is about 22 years, with one authority giving 24 years as maximum longevity. If the Waihopai bird was an adult in 1992, and still being seen end of last year, that makes it at least 28, possibly 29 or even 30 years old. It may well have been the oldest Black Kite on the planet! It will be sad if it's gone, but it had a hell of a run really. RIP Old Fella.
Last edited by kengeorge on Wed May 08, 2019 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TheBirderman
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Re: Status of Black Kite in Waihopai Valley, Blenheim

Postby TheBirderman » Wed May 08, 2019 8:17 pm

kengeorge wrote:Unless there are any more sightings of the Waihopai Black Kite soon, it's very likely that it has died of old age. A local bird artist Nicholas Dylan was doing sketches of the bird in 1992, and it was an adult then, having made it over from Australia the hard way presumably. The life span of Black Kites is about 22 years, with one authority giving 24 years as maximum longevity. If the Waihopai bird was an adult in 1992, and still being seen end of last year, that makes it upwards of 27 years old. It may well have been the oldest Black Kite on the planet! It will be sad if it's gone, but it had a hell of a run really. RIP Old Fella.


Hi kengeorge, thanks for your reply.

Wow, that's probably a really old bird! Upwards of 27 is probably over 100 in human years, and that bird is the closest NZ will get to having another bird of prey.

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kengeorge
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Re: Status of Black Kite in Waihopai Valley, Blenheim

Postby kengeorge » Thu May 09, 2019 6:39 am

Apologies, I got the artist guy's name wrong, surname is Dillon, not Dylan. If anybody is interested, there is an article about him and his sketch book of the black kite with his 1992 sketches that ran in the Blenheim newspaper, it's on Pressreader.com if you Google it. Worth a quick read.

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