A few posts ago, I wrote about the Swallow-tailed Kites that have been visiting the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive fields this summer. These graceful birds swoop through the air, feeding on insects. They don’t seem to interact much with the local birds or the fields below. So they didn’t seem to understand why the Red-winged Blackbirds began launching a full mid-air assault!
At first I thought the blackbirds were stealing bugs from the kites. But then I noticed that the Red-wings had a nest near where the kites were flying. So the males were defending their territory. The kites didn’t seem to understand.
In the photo above, the kite looks over his shoulder to see the little bird attacking him. The Red-wings are such brave little guys. It takes a lot of courage to attack a bird so much bigger than yourself!
When the Red-winged Blackbirds got too close, the kites seemed to swat at them with their long wings. Despite the blackbirds’ best effort, the kites continued to glide over the fields. So the blackbirds kept attacking…
This was such a fun morning. Maybe not for the blackbirds, but it was for me. It was very challenging to capture these interactions! :)
Want to learn more about nature photography at Lake Apopka?
Check out my Lake Apopka page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!