Missing the Mississippi Kites

I haven’t seen any Mississippi Kites in the last week and I miss them already.  Mississippi Kites spend summers and breed in most of the southern US from Arizona to the Carolinas and Texas, especially West and North Texas and the Panhandle get their share.  They winter as far south as Central South America.  Mississippi Kites are one of four kites found in the US and the only one that can be found in the Texas Panhandle.  They are one of the first raptors I photographed when I started birding a little over an year ago.  They don’t seem as skittish as the Red-tailed and other Hawks I’ve tried to photograph and some of the juveniles have allowed me to get pretty close.  They are a small bird of prey, about the same size as a Merlin, light gray head and breast and darker gray wings and a black tail.  They catch grasshoppers and other large insects, sometimes catching and eating them in mid-flight.  They’ll occasionally eat small reptiles and mammals.  There were quite a few of them around over the summer–some days I could count a dozen in the few blocks around my house.  I saw the first one this year an May Day and up until about a week ago you could hear them calling regularly

Here’s a few photos I took this year of the Mississippi Kites.

 

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More of the kites and other raptors in the Galleries.

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