Swallow Tailed Kite
Insects are a large part of the diet of this species and Willow enjoys eating crickets and grasshoppers from the falconer's glove. We have a wonderful group of teen volunteers who patiently catch wild crickets and grasshoppers in the fields surrounding ARC. When they approach Willow bearing one of these morsels, she excitedly pumps her wings and chirps softly in anticipation of the special treat.
She loves to perch in the sun and at the slightest breeze she spreads her wings wide and "rides" the air currents. Willow will occasionally flap gently and float above the perch for several seconds.
Willow is a joy to work with on the falconer's glove as she sits demurely and almost seems to strike a pose when someone with a camera approaches.
Swallow Tailed Kite
Like her fellow kite and mewmate Willow, Scooter loves to perch in the sun and will also spread her wings wide to ride the wind. Kites are sun lovers and Scooter would probably bask in the Florida sun until she was overcome with heat exhaustion if her handler would allow it.
When perched on display in the pavilion, Scooter is very observant of her surroundings. She is fascinated by the insects that buzz by and crawl around her and when the breeze blows the grass, she jumps off her perch and begins to play with a blade of grass, running it through her beak and then snapping it off close to the ground. The volunteers joke about her being a would-be gardener, always pulling weeds!
Scooter loves to drink water but is very persnickety and wants the bowl set atop her perch. She will then hop on the edge of the bowl and stand very still staring down into the water for several minutes before finally bending down to slowly take several long sips.
Adopting of one of our education raptors will help fund their care and feeding as well as to support our vital rehabilitation efforts. Please visit Adopt-a-Bird to learn more about this program and how you can help.