Thursday, June 4, 2015

Swallow-Tailed Kite

We were coming home from town today at lunchtime and saw this magnificent bird soaring gracefully at the edge of a woods, hunting. It's a Swallow-tailed kite, an endangered species that has lost 75 percent of its breeding habitat over the years as more and more land on the coast is developed for homes. There are only 120 breeding pairs left in South Carolina. And we saw one!

The photo is from the IBC birding site and the kite is holding s bat in its talons.

The kite has a wing span of four feet and 10-inch tail feathers. It is an accipiter, a hawk.

When we looked up the bird on line we found out that since they are endangered, they are being studied and we made a report on our sighting. At the end of the breeding season, we will receive information on the findings of the study.



I am excited because this is a life bird for me. And that doesn't happen often when you've been birding for half a century! I think a celebration is in order!



  1. Good for you.
    Very graceful indeed - I wish it was here - it might put a stop of the
    present squawking of Beethoven's crows what have been in full
    blast since before dawn!
    I look forward on further reports - endangered birds should be protected
    but I draw the line at Indian Mynas and crows!

  2. A chance of a lifetime! Congratulations!!

  3. Good for you! It looks like a beautiful bird...but I kinda like bats because they eat skeeters! Yes you should celebrate....margaritas maybe:)

  4. I'm happy that you got to see the kite. I had no idea they were so big. A wing span of four feet is a big bird!

  5. Yes celebrate! Lifers when they are endangered is another way to remember the sighting.

  6. What a gorgeous, graceful bird. I love seeing them glide through the air.

  7. Cynthia that is a beautiful bird, so graceful. And it's coloring is wonderful.

  8. I am so happy that you got your wish, congratulations. It certainly is a very impressive looking bird.

  9. Wow, so nice you captured him so well. Great photo.

  10. Good shot, well done. I notice the bird is looking at you, hope he didn't know in your eye :)

  11. This post was an interesting read. What good fortune to see a life bird! Big wingspan!