Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mississippi Kites, Annandale, VA

There have been reports of breeding Mississippi Kites in the Annandale/West Springfield area, and I finally got to go over to look for them with my friend Renee, who had seen them earlier in the week. She directed me to the viewing area, in a quiet neighborhood, and after waiting about five minutes, we were rewarded with one adult and one juvenile kite flying about.

It was fascinating to see them hunt and consume their insect prey in mid air. Periodically the would swing their claws towards their head; we assumed they were eating the cicadas or whatever insect they were catching. According to what I've read, this is a typical behavior; however, if they catch lizards or other small prey, they perch to eaty.

Finally, the juvenile landed in a nearby tree and we were able to get our scopes on it and get some pictures. Great fun! Thanks to Renee and the VA-Bird list for helping me gain another new bird!

I guess soon they will be migrating to Central/South America!
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Anonymous said...

Hi Betsy,
What a timely post. Another birder was just asking me today about Mississippi Kites nesting somewhere in I know the rest of the story.

Larry said...

I am wondering what is going on with the Kites because we had the same situation in CT this year although they kept it kind of quiet.New Hampshire also had nesting kites I believe.-Maybe they are expanding their range or having some kind of population boost.-Great birds though-I love the way they circle to gain altitude.