Birding Notes

Reflections on birds and other wildlife on the edge of a southern woodland

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mississippi Kites – Again

This morning, almost the same time as yesterday, two or three Mississippi Kites appeared again – and that’s how it seems. One minute the bright blue sky with big white clouds looks empty. The next, there are small dark birds with a slim, distinctive shape and way of flying. Two were soaring very high below the clouds, but the sunlight lit their round white heads and made their long gray wings – held out flat – gleam like pewter. Today they were not swooping up and down as they did yesterday, they were gliding in big, easy circles and climbing higher. After they passed out of sight to the southwest, another Mississippi Kite – or maybe one of the first two – flew back toward the northeast, still very high.

Mississippi Kites are often compared with Peregrine Falcons because they are raptors similar in size and shape – but the kites are much lighter birds, with more buoyant flight. They seem to me to belong to hot summer days. In temperament, they seem like southern birds, with southern ways – and artists in flight, expressive – telling stories in the air – and spellbinding to watch.


Post a Comment

<< Home