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HK | 'Fly, Kite Fly'

  • Date:2016-12-28
HK | 'Fly, Kite Fly'

A nature documentary on majestic black kites - colloquially known simply as "eagles” in the local vernacular - and their changing behavioral patterns in Taiwan was screened in Hong Kong on Dec. 24 and 28 to highlight the environmental impact of human activity.

The story of "Fly, Kite Fly (老鷹想飛)” begins with Shen Chen-chung, an avid bird lover and a former teacher who gave up his job to track the raptors. From 1992, the year after a familiar group of black kites disappeared from Keelung's Mt. Waimu, 38-year-old Shen pledged to document the dwindling species.

Nature photographer Liang Chieh-te (梁皆得) began trailing Shen on his travels, capturing his two-decade efforts in observing, researching, and documenting the remaining enclaves of black kites in Taiwan.

His observational methods were unobtrusive and fueled mainly by a quiet passion. "'Instead of saying I discovered them, it would be more appropriate to say they captured me and wanted me to record everything that happened to them,' Shen wrote in a book on black kites.

Shen also uncovered the main culprit for the raptors' rapid decline - excessive use of pesticides by farmers whose crops feed the smaller birds and rodents that the black kites prey on.

Writer, poet, and biological conservationist Liu Ke-hsiang (劉克襄) compared Shen's dedication and efforts to that of Jane Goodall, noting that the raptor community has accepted Shen as one of their own.

The screenings took place at the 3rd Sangwoodgoon Food & Farming Film Festival and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.