Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


"Notes," from Nebraska Bird Review (June 1981) 49(2)

Copyright 1981, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


MISSISSIPPI KITE. At 3:30 p.m. 7 September 1980 Alan Grenon and I observed a Mississippi Kite from the back porch of our house, which is several meters south of Fontenelle Forest and about 1 km. west of the Missouri River, overlooking the flood plain. The bird was coming from the east, about 5 m. above the trees. The flight was extremely buoyant and smooth, rather like that of a light-bodied gull or swallow. When it was above us it began to glide in circles, just above the trees. From time to time it reached with its head for its feet, eating what apparently were butterflies. Not once did the bird flap. After less than 5 minutes of this the bird flew swiftly towards the southwest. The Kite was under observation with 7 x 35 and 7 x 50 binoculars at a distance of about 25 m., under such conditions that most field marks were easily visible. Both wing and tail were long, the latter distinctly squared at the end. The bird was dark gray above, with the very pale head contrasting greatly. The underparts were light gray, the breast faintly but noticeably streaked brown. The remiges were slaty; the wing linings were generously flecked with buff. The tail from below was barred in brown and light gray. The fed were orange.