A MISSISSIPPI KITE IN HALL COUNTY, NEBRASKA
Copyright 1983, Nebraka Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.
The Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis) is considered extremely rare in Nebraska, with only 8 spring records and 2 fall records (Johnsgard, P.A., 1980, A revised list of the birds of Nebraska and adjacent Plains States, Occasional papers of the N.O.U., No.6, Lincoln, Nebraska, 114 pp.). On 10 July 1983, at 12:30 COT, we sighted an adult Mississippi Kite circling above a flooded native hay meadow on Shoemaker Island, Hall Co. (Sec. I, T9N R11W). The bird was identified by its frosted head and secondaries, pearly gray back and underside, and black retrices. It is believed this Kite was attracted to the area because of the recent flooding of the Platte River. This represents the first record in Hall Co., and the first summer record in Nebraska.
- Gary R. Lingle and Kari L. Haugh, The Platte River Whooping Crane Trust, 2550 N. Diers Avenue, Suite H, Grand Island, Nebraska 68801
MISSISSIPPI KITES. On 3 September 1983 Norris Alfred and I observed four Mississippi Kites. Three were in the east end of Aurora, near the golf course. There were all immatures, and they had been seen and identified by the William Whitneys of Aurora, Gary Lingle of Grand Island, and others, and reported to Norris. The wind was strong out of the south the day we were ther and the birds would circle to the north of us and then glide back over us very low into the wind, sometimes hardly moving. This afforded us a very good opportunity to observe them at close range for identification markings. One bird had something in one talon and fed on it occasionally, but we couldn't tell what it was. After watching the birds for quite some time we drove back to Polk, and as we were getting out of the car I noticed a bird soaring over the east end of town that resembled the Kites we had just seen. After watching it for a while we could see that it also was an immature Mississippi Kite. Since we had never seen one in this area before we were very surprised to find four in one day, at two separate locations. The Kites in Aurora had been therefor over a week; I don't know how long the one had been at Polk.
- Lee Morris, Rte. 1, Box 14, Benedict, Nebraska 68316