Monday, May 6, 2013


Yesterday evening I had a half dozen Mississippi Kites overhead.  I was lucky to be outside barbequing some very good chicken thighs.  Looked up while attending to all this; there they were.   Their aerial display, I noticed was about procuring their own dinner.   That’s the common thread in all this.

I was all prepared two decades ago to write my master’s dissertation on the “Life History of Mississippi Kites”.  Then I found that John K. Strecker had already done so.  None-the-less, I am still been enamored with this species.  Big red eyes, surrounded by black, set on a white face, really do make them look like bandits.  Yet, these are really fairly benign behaving raptors.  In fact, they feed on grasshoppers and locust and other flying insects.  Not the faire one might expect of raptors.

A diagnostic identifier is the first primary.  It is shorter than the second, making it very atypical of raptor wings.


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