Perth Raptor Care

Whistling Kite Haliastur sphenurus

Characteristics in Captivity

Whistlers can be absolutely hopeless in captivity. They will be so petrified they forget to use their legs, and sag into a heap in the bottom of the hospital box. This behavior can make it hard to assess whether the bird has paralysis or not! If you keep moving slowly and gently, they may improve. Once they feel a little more secure, they may decide you won't notice if they eat and perch while you aren't looking. Youngsters are a lot more adaptable.

Hunting Strategies

Whistlers are opportunistic hunters and scavengers. They can catch small rabbits and large birds, but also eat fish, insects and carrion. They do this using a mixture of searching and chasing. They are not particularly fast or powerful, but are very manoeuvrable and can chase for long periods.


They do fine on mice and day old chicks, but can be fed a greater variety of foods.


Female : 760 - 900g. Male : 600 - 750g.

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