Mississippi Kite

Well, it is official, I am an avid bird watcher. It is mostly due to this graceful, long-winged raptor called the Mississippi Kite. It was a bright, sunny mid-morning walk. There was a loud ruckus in the tree a few yards down. This fairly large raptor flew out carrying “something.” Still not sure what. A neighborhood lady told me that it was a Chicken Hawk. No offense, but feeling like she was probably not a strong source for bird information, I sent out a few pictures. It was discovered to be a Mississippi Kite. The Kite has long, narrow, pointed wings, and a long black tail. The head is a white to pearly grey with a body that is a darker gray.

During that walk ( as discussed on my Western Kingbird post), this Kite was seen dive bombing Western Kingbirds. It was amazing to watch and my first experience at actually “following birds.” For the past three or four weeks, I have been watching this one, become two. Now, there are four in my neighborhood plus a fledgling. All four adults hunt everyday, gliding over my house in search of cicadas. One day I follow one of the Kites carrying a really long “worm” or small snake. I watched it disappear into a tree. There, about 25 feet off the ground is the nest. A fuzzy white head is clearly visible over the edge of the nest while it glares down at me. With three adults circling overhead and one in the tree; I made haste out of the area. Not that I am really worried about being attacked (maybe a little) by a bird; it was that I did not want to upset the site. The raptors are still in the immediate area circling over Northwest Mineral Wells, Texas. Thanks to Jim Peterson of Texas Bird Images and North Central Texas birds for helping me with the identification.

Updated with new photo on June 29th, 2012.

Mississippi Kite

The Mississippi Kite

  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: X-S1
  • Taken: 2 June, 2012
  • Focal length: 158.6mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter speed: 1/210s

Kite Warning

Kite Warning

  • Aperture: ƒ/5.6
  • Camera: X-S1
  • Taken: 24 June, 2012
  • Focal length: 158.6mm
  • ISO: 400
  • Shutter speed: 1/750s

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