The return of the kites announces the coming of the dry season. The Igbo children sing songs to them when they return, a tradition which seems to have been in place for decades since it reminds Unoka of his own childhood, when he would wander around with his eyes on the sky, searching for a kite.
Unoka was a happy child, but has been a failure as an adult, the exact opposite of his dynamic son Okonkwo. He sang to the kites as a child both because it was a tradition and because he was happy. It is not clear whether he still sings to them as an adult, but he seems to be a man who has carried many of the habits of childhood into his adult life, and it would not be particularly surprising if this were one of them. Unoka is ill-suited to the violent, competitive adult life of the tribe. He therefore seeks refuge in childish pleasures, in music, and in the beauty of the natural world. These three enthusiasms would combine in a song to the returning kite, allowing Unoka to forget for a while the failure and ignominy of his life as a man unvalued in his community and return to a carefree childhood.