Saturday, August 03, 2013

Noisy babies!

Adult Mississippi Kite

Miss Kites in love

There's a particular type of raptor that is increasingly more visible in urban and suburban Baton Rouge in the summer time.  All you have to do is look up to see the unique shape and flight pattern of the Mississippi Kite on the wing.  People say it's a new phenomenon; that there were no Kites overhead 10 or 20 years ago.  I'm not sure we know the reason for the apparent increase in population around urban areas, but it's undeniable.  They'll nest in the taller trees in just about any neighborhood.  And then, in late July, come the babies.  And not only will you *see* the Kites, you will hear them, too!  A constant chorus of whistles from the adults and babies alike as the young'uns leave the nest and learn to make their own way, with some help from mom and dad of course.  I'd been hearing the family across the street from my house, but today was the first time I was able to get pictures.  What a fine looking bunch!  The babies are the typical stripey brown and white of most hawks, but the adults are a fine gray with the most wonderful red eyes set deep in a dark mask.  Definitely one of my favorite birds!

Baby Mississippi Kites from Jane Patterson on Vimeo.

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