The Black Kite (Milvus migrans) is a medium-sized raptor in the family Accipitridae. In the wild it is an opportunistic hunter that often scavenges for its food. When Tim Sträter came upon this kite in the Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands, the bird was on its perch, staring down at the zoogoers with some curiosity.
“The most interesting part of the composition was the dark background,” said Sträter. “I took a few photos and fortunately there was one between them that was very successful.”
Sträter has a passion for taking pictures of animals in zoos, where he often practices his photographic hobby. He took photos on a point-and-shoot camera until 2011, but he recently purchased a DSLR, and he says it continues to teach him new skills every day he shoots with it.
Though he uses Flickr to organize his photos, he said he sometimes receives messages from people when they upload them to projects like Wikimedia Commons. Sträter licenses his photos freely because he appreciates it when they can be of value to someone else. “I love to take photos, but I also love it when others use photos which were taken by me. I think everyone should be able to use pictures of others without having to pay for it (except for commercial purposes).”
As for the selection of this photo for the Picture of the Day, he said, “I’m flattered and proud. I never thought that photos made by me would be used for something like Commons and Wikimedia projects.”
(See more of his photos on his Flickr page.)
Matthew Roth, Global Communications Manager
Reporting by Elaine Mao, Communications Intern