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Mississippi Kites

Buoyant in flight
© John Frisch View Large

The Mississippi Kite is one of America's most elegant raptors. These dove-gray birds spend the summer hunting over plains and woodlands in the southern United States. They often nest colonially — unusual for hawks — with a half-dozen pairs in sight of one another in a grove of tall trees. By nesting in groups, they can work together to mob an approaching predator.

This show is dedicated to the memory of Rusty Rose, a great friend to birds everywhere, including a group of Mississippi Kites he followed, watched, and protected on his ranch in Texas.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

Mississippi Kite

Written by Dennis Paulson

This is BirdNote.

[Mississippi Kite calls]

The Mississippi Kite is one of America's most elegant raptors, with long, pointed wings and buoyant flight. These dove-gray birds spend the summer hunting over plains and woodlands in southern United States. They often nest colonially – unusual for hawks – with a half-dozen pairs in sight of one another in a grove of tall trees. By nesting in groups, they can work together to mob an approaching predator.

[Mississippi Kite calls]

Medium-sized and large insects dominate the kites’ diet. During the breeding season, they seek varied prey from treetops to ground, even over water. But in migration they become more focused. By late August, the birds come together in flocks and start down the east side of Mexico, joining with tens of thousands of other migrants in the famous River of Raptors.

But not only raptors. Green Darners, big blue and green dragonflies, emerge from wetlands all over eastern North America and also head south, to breed. On their trail are the Mississippi Kites, dining on the wing, sustained by the insects that are their traveling companions.

Today’s show is dedicated to the memory of Rusty Rose, a great friend to birds everywhere… including a group of Mississippi Kites he followed, watched, and protected on his ranch in Texas. 

For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.

###

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Mississippi Kite ML 85596 recorded by J.B. Guinn. Dragonfly ML 133596 recorded by M.J. Andersen.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Dominic Black
© 2016 Tune In to Nature.org   April 2016    Narrator: Mary McCann

ID#      MIKI-01-2016-04-26 MIKI-01

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