For a long time after I learned to identify this bird, also called the Black-winged Kite to differentiate it from the Australian Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris), I did not witness its flight. During the winter dusk near my village in Rae Bareli, I always saw it hover over potential prey that it had spotted on the ground. All you needed was to scan the horizon and, eight times out of 10, you could spot this bird hovering. The kite hovers over open scrub or grassland patches with its wings held high up and with slow wingbeats, beginning quite high up and gently gliding lower before it starts hovering again. This, presumably, is a tactic to get closer to its prey and fix its location on the ground. Sometimes the bird shifts sideways while still hovering. The action is repeated 2-5 times after which the raptor either swoops down or flies off to locate another quarry – usually lizards and rodents.
- Encounter: The Sacred Grove at Oorani - November 28, 2012
- Encounter: Rhododendron, sentinel of the highlands - October 7, 2012
- Manjhi Akshayavat, an immortal Banyan tree - July 17, 2012