White-tailed kites, besides being among the most beautiful raptors in North America, are especially enjoyable to observe when they perform their elaborate courtship rituals. In addition to frequent mating, they solidify their bond by exchanging food: the male kite catches a prey item and presents it to the female. In the photos below, the exchange occurs on a branch, but this act often takes place in mid-air.
White-tailed Kites mating:
Here the male kite is seen landing with vole. Instead if eating it, he waits for his mate:
The female kite (right) soon arrives:
The male kite (left) releases his grasp on the vole, allowing the female to take it:
The female kite has obtained the vole, completing the food exchange ritual:
The female proceeds to consume her meal: