U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


MISSISSIPPI KITES (Ictinia mississippiensis)

William F. Andelt, Extension Wildlife Specialist, Department of Fishery and Wildlife Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523

Document Type Article


The Mississippi kite (Ictinia mississippiensis) is a member of the family Accipitridae, a group of diurnal birds of prey. Mississippi kites nest in Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, southeastern Colorado, southern Kansas, and the eastern states from southern Missouri to South Carolina. Mississippi kites are primarily insectivorous. Most Mississippi kites probably winter in Argentina and Brazil. Some Mississippi kites create problems by diving at and frightening people who venture near their nests. Mississippi kites are fully protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (1918) and state regulations.