This morning I drove out to Dade City to look for Mississippi Kites that were seen there yesterday. I got there around 8:30 am, and by around 9:30 am, the area was swarming with at least 40 Swallow-tailed Kites. Then off in the distance, I saw my first Mississippi Kite.
It was very far away; one person with a scope was able to identify it, and one of my photos worked well enough as an ID shot, but it was just too far away for presentable photos. But that was a lifer for me nonetheless. The Swallow-tailed Kites were much more photogenic, and a couple flew pretty close to us in search of prey.
I’ve never seen so many Swallow-tailed Kites in one place. Most were flying low over the grasses, allowing for some photos of the kites with green backgrounds.
I’m always amazed at how well they use their tails. They can rotate them almost vertically as they’re turning. After they capture their prey, you can often see them eating it while flying.