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Sun Jul 20, 2014, 06:41 PM

 

Swallow-tailed Kites: Florida

A couple of months ago I talked to a local sheriff that said Swallowed-tailed Kites could be seen regularly in the summer over some remote fields at the River Lakes Conservation Area in Brevard County, Florida: https://www.google.com/maps/place/28%C2%B015'03.1%22N+80%C2%B049'13.7%22W/

I need to get more exercises so I've made a couple of hikes out to see the birds. I brought my camera today.

I saw at least three today and at least five a couple of days ago. They were soaring high and making dives to catch high flying insects.

I'll return again later to get more exercise and better pictures of one of our most photogenic birds.

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Eating on the wing

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19 replies, 6399 views

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Response to cpwm17 (Original post)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 07:02 PM

1. Love the bird photos at this site!

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Response to cpwm17 (Original post)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 07:35 PM

2. The V tail is quite unique.

 

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Response to cpwm17 (Original post)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 09:02 PM

3. all field mark.

nice pics. thanks.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #3)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 10:19 PM

6. Thank you n/t

 

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Response to cpwm17 (Original post)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 09:45 PM

4. --- especially the fourth one

 

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Response to Hoppy (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 10:25 PM

7. It would soar and then periodically dive for high-flying prey (insects like dragonflies, I presume)

 

I think I took that picture in a dive. I want to get a good picture of its back when it dives next time I'm there.

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Response to cpwm17 (Original post)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 10:00 PM

5. Beautiful!

We had kites in CA (near SF), now I live in Brevard (Merritt Island). Plenty of ospreys in the area (two chicks born a couple months ago) but haven't seen a kite yet. They're beautiful birds!

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Response to CaptainTruth (Reply #5)

Sun Jul 20, 2014, 10:35 PM

8. I live very nearby, in Cocoa

 

I'm from San Diego, CA and I get to see the White-tailed Kites when I visit my family there. There are very few White-tailed Kites here in Florida but I've yet to see one.

In Brevard County I mostly see Swallow-tailed Kites over or west of I-95. One flew over my car today when I was near Cocoa on I-95 while driving to River Lake Conservation Area, which is west of Viera. I lived in the area for a few years before I saw my first Swallow-tailed Kite in the county.

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Response to cpwm17 (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 12:27 PM

9. We've got some that hang around our neighborhood on the Gulf Coast. Tarpon Springs area.

We were watching one spiraling down into our yard to catch something, but before it could touch down, our dog chased it off.

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Response to cpwm17 (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 04:47 PM

10. Wish I could see a different view of this one with the tail spread out

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These are beautiful birds. I would love to see them flying over my place.

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Response to cpwm17 (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 08:22 PM

11. There's a field not far from me where they can flock in the hundreds.

I have never had the luck to see that. I've only seen as many as a couple dozen at a time. Even that's pretty spectacular.

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Response to GoCubsGo (Reply #11)

Tue Jul 22, 2014, 07:44 PM

17. I've heard that they can flock in such large numbers in the summer at regular locations

 

There's an area in Volusia County, FL north of me where they get large flocks. I think it is at a remote area requiring boat access. The most I've ever seen together is a dozen.

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Response to cpwm17 (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 11:21 PM

12. They're seen in this part of NE Florida all the time...

It's one of the reasons I love living here: the birds. We commonly see all kinds of herons and egrets, storks, roseatte spoonbills, buntings, and wild parrots (ones that escaped captivity or were lost) that have colonies here. Less often, but not rarely, we see Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles. On very rare occasions, we even see whooping cranes.

And, if you know where to look, there are rookeries filled with all kinds og birds.

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Response to 1monster (Reply #12)

Tue Jul 22, 2014, 07:49 PM

18. I don't get up there to bird very much at all

 

In Florida, I mostly bird near my area and a little in south Florida, including the Keys. Each year I should try to do something different, including north Florida.

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Response to cpwm17 (Original post)

Tue Jul 22, 2014, 12:43 AM

13. Fantastic shots!

Thanks for posting them.

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Response to cpwm17 (Original post)

Tue Jul 22, 2014, 09:36 AM

14. Kite food

In the spring of the year the swallow tailed kite feeds almost exclusively on baby birds snatched out of nests it can see by the way they can almost come to a complete hover and then dive feet first down through tree branches to get to the nests.They lover mocking bird nests because they are the larges and easily seen from above. I have seen them come talons first through 20' of live oak to a nest.

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Response to just us (Reply #14)

Tue Jul 22, 2014, 07:39 PM

16. Thanks, I didn't know that n/t

 

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Response to cpwm17 (Original post)

Tue Jul 22, 2014, 07:37 PM

15. I returned again today to get more pictures, including a back view

 

After waiting awhile, five birds flew low towards me while hunting, and then they soared very high in the sky:[URL=.html][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

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Response to cpwm17 (Original post)

Thu Jul 24, 2014, 07:58 PM

19. These are beautiful, thanks

Though I visited FL often I had never seen one. But a couple of years ago I was visiting my daughter in New Orleans when one circled over her house for about two hours. It was great.

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