Picturesque North Stradbroke Island is an enticing blend of rugged coastal landscape, tranquil inland lakes, and pristine beaches just one hour from Brisbane.One of the world's largest sand islands, it is situated at the southern end of Moreton Bay and is easily accessible by vehicle ferry ("barge") and water taxi from Cleveland. Whistling KiteScientific name: Haliastur sphenurusFamily: AccipitridaeOrder: FalconiformesWhat does it look like?DescriptionThe Whistling Kite is a medium-sized raptor (bird of prey) with a shaggy appearance. It has a light brown head and underparts, with pale streaks, and dark sandy-brown wings with paler undersides. The underwings have a characteristic pale 'M' shape when open. The head and body are relatively narrow and the tail is rounded. The wings are long and well-rounded, with a wingspan of 120 cm to 145 cm. The sexes are similar, but the females are larger. Yong birds are slightly darker above, with paler streaking on head and underbody. They are often seen near water or around farms, soaring in a lazy circling flight pattern.Similar speciesSeveral other raptors may be confused with the Whistling Kite, including the Little Eagle, Hieraaetus morphnoides, other kites and harriers. These can only be separated by factors such as flight silhouette and style and the overall body shape.North Stradbroke Island has some of the most spectacular scenery found in Queensland. White sandy beaches stretch into an endless horizon fringed by the aqua blue ocean, while a system of freshwater lakes in the island's centre provides beautiful picnic and swimming spots.The three townships still have a village atmosphere but offer a range of accommodation to suit all budgets, not to mention a variety of cafs and restaurants.