Swallow-tailed Kites have begun migrating back into Central Florida, and I thought it would be appropriate to commemorate their arrival with a tribute here. These kites are easily recognizable by the white head and body, black on their wings, and a deeply forked, black tail.
These are one of my absolute favorite species of birds. They are found in Central Florida mostly between March and August, and they can be found in woodlands and forested wetlands. I enjoy that they are often seen here near residential parks. In the summer, I often see them flying overhead on my way to work. In fact, I wonder how many birders have rear-ended the cars in front of them after seeing these elegant birds in flight.
Their diet consists of large insects and small reptiles, amphibians and mammals. They are such skilled and graceful fliers, they can even eat their prey while flying.
Swallow-tailed Kites are listed as a species of least concern, but habitat destruction has led to a decline in numbers, especially in Georgia, South Carolina and Texas. For more on nature, bird, and wildlife photography, seeLearn Outdoor Photography.