Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Flying Kites

Yesterday afternoon we took a drive out to the Moccasin Island tract. We scanned for birds along the drive, seeing 4 Red-shouldered Hawks, a handful of waders in the canal, numerous Mockingbirds, and a few pairs of Cardinals. We parked in the designated area at the end of the drive, but decided not to go too far from the car as a large storm was approaching. We heard several Eastern Meadowlarks nearby and saw two Swallow-tailed Kites circling the area.

Swallow-tailed Kite

These kites are beautiful raptors, which are easily recognized by their forked tails. They can be found in this area in the spring/summer time and the majority of the time are seen drifting high in the sky.



One Kite had an eye on something in the field and made several low passes to investigate. I didn't see the kite pick up any thing in the time I was watching, but I was pretty far away. Kites consume their meals on the fly.




We walked a short distance to another area where the cattle were grazing and upon looking up noticed a large group of additional kites. I counted 21 more Swallow-tailed Kites. The field was also packed with Ibis, predominantly Glossies. Most of the cattle each had their own set of Cattle Egret groupies surrounding them. My son was most amused by the Egrets that were actually standing on the cattle. 

Cattle + Egret=Cattle Egret

Red-shouldered Hawk

The hawks can be seen frequently on the fence posts along the road.


There is no shortage of dragonflies in the area as well:)


25 comments:

  1. the kites are beautiful! really like the shot of the cow and cattle egret. :)

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  2. Terrific Kite photos Tammy, only seen a few and didn't get any pics, but yours are great. Also love the dragonfly pic. unususl pose.
    All the best Gordon

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  3. What a superb bird Tammy! Love the dragonfly pose too! You are lucky to have no shortage of these magnificent beasts!
    J
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

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  4. Tammy, amazing photos of the Kites. It seems my winter Florida visits will never let me see this incredible species.... At least I can see it on your awesome blog...

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  5. The photos of the kite are great. I especially like the one landing on the field.

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  6. That red shouldered hawk is stunning. But not as funny as the expression of the face of that cow.
    Shaun
    July Giveaway @ ValleysShutterBug

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  7. Marvelous birds! Truly stunning. I wish the kites flew in Arizona more often.

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  8. Bonita serie,me gusta en especial las capturas del Elanio tijereta es precioso.Saludos

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  9. Beautiful images Tammy. My favourites are the Swallow-tailed Kites, they are splendid.

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  10. Hi Tammy!
    What a beautiful birds these Kite´s. Nice shot on the Hawk. How did you get so close to a sitting hawk without it flew away, long lens?
    Greetings Kenny

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  11. Gorgeous shots of the kites! They look very graceful! The cattle egret photo is awesome! You can't get much better than that!

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  12. Your captures of the Swallow Tailed Kites on the fly are gorgeous, Tammy.. the Red-shouldered hawk is handsome as well.
    I agree with your son, Cattle Egrets getting a free ride is quite amusing to watch:)

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  13. Some super photographs of the Swallow-tail. What a spectacular raptor and to think you could see 21 of them. Amazing. The red-tail looks pretty cool too!

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  14. Great pictures Tammy, my favorites are the cow with cattle egret and the buzzard. The cow is so large and the cattle egret so small, they are beautiful.
    Greetings Irma

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  15. Very nice shots Tammy! I like the two of the Kite coming in over the field a lot but the dragon fly shot is terrific!

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  16. Wow, 21 kites?!! Awesome! I love the Cattle Egret shot- I was pretty psyched to get a cowbird sitting next to a cow a few months ago... The hawk is awesome too, sittin pretty for ya.

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  17. Great shots of the kites, and love the cattle they are so cute. Good job

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  18. Hello Tammy,
    What a great shots of the Swallow tailed Kite, very nice to see. Just like the hawk and the dragonfly, beautiful!! And funny to see the egret near the cow.
    It's always enjoyment Tammy to see all different special birds at your blog.

    Greetings, Marco

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  19. Lovely to see a different BoP Tammy. We don't have anything like the Swallow-tailed Kite in Australia. Beautiful detail in the photo of the dragonfly. Cheers, Richard

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  20. Hi Tammy !
    A lot of good shots again, but the dragonfly is my favourite this time, and the hawk, you know I always like :-)

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  21. Wow... a short stroll from the car and 'bam' a host of birds and cattle to capture.

    A visual treat! Merci :)

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  22. What a great looking bird that is. How lucky you are to see these.

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  23. I think these Kites are gorgeous and miss seeing them now but I get to see yours so I am happy!

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  24. Great pictures of the wonderfully aerodynamic kites, it must be beautiful to watch them fly. I love the photo of the cow and my favourite garden friend, the dragonfly :)

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