Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mississippi Kite


I have always had trouble getting any kind of a legible picture of a Mississippi Kite. Usually they appear dark and with no definition. But luckily all that changed for me on this trip.



The first thing I heard was the shrill whistles from these birds as they were swooping over the trees. No mistaking their sound! Grabbing my camera I began looking up and following the calls. Spotted two males and a female (shown above). The males were very vocal as they competed and tussled to see who would win the favors of the smaller female. Finally the dominate male turned his attention to his soon to be mate who had been sitting in the top of a dead tree. He would bring her a small rodent and even once a small snake. After this ritual and several minutes later they would mate, assuring the propagation of their species. Always in this same tree, every day, for at least two weeks or so!



When the mating ritual was completed she would circle around, flying at treetop level and enter her nest from the backside so as not to attract any attention to it I presume. As 'Luck' would have it, the nest was located high in a Post Oak tree in my camping site!



Finally the mating stopped and she began sitting her eggs. Very rarely leaving the nest. Once I noticed her regurgitating from the mating tree, it was a ball of fur and bones from a rodent, probably a mouse.

Picture above is of the female before entering her nest. She was always cautious but did seem to get a sense of trust for me.

I wish I could have been around to see the clutch hatched and the little ones developing their feathers, and finally learning to fly. Who knows maybe a short trip later on will let me see the 'New Generation' of Mississippi Kites!

26 comments:

  1. such wonderful eyes! very cool you got these shots!

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  2. Wow this is better than National Geographic! How interesting. Maybe you will be able to see the new generation. How neat would that be?! Wonderful shots. =)

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    1. Sandy I only wish I had the talent for a Geographic moment! LOL
      But I will say it was interesting to watch the birds interacting in their element. And Yes, seeing the new generation would be real neat!

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  3. yes it hard to get a great shot of a bird with the sky as a backdrop, but you seem to have done well with photo 1

    peter

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    1. Peter thanks for visiting. I really like what I've seen on your site!
      When I tried to photo this species at home in our city park I was never able to get to a place where I was able to get the sunlight coming over my shoulder and shining on the front of the bird instead of back lighting the bird. Here in the refuge I was able to move all around the bird catching the light as I wished. If only I had used a tripod!

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  4. Hi!!!beautiful raptor .. Blue Kite like Spanish .. Greetings

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    1. Ana, thanks for your visit and glad you liked my photo! I will visit your site soon.

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    1. Bob I agree. They are a site to see!
      Thanks for the comment.
      The work you are doing on your site is wonderful. The Dragonflys are so well focused!

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  6. Beautiful shots...thanks for the lesson on these birds :)

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    1. Thank you Val. The Kites actually gave the lesson, I just observed.

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  7. He looks vicious, well to a mouse.

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    1. Yes Randy they do make good mousers!

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  8. Absolutely spectacular images Parker! Very difficult to get the lighting right in these type of shots but you certainly did!

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    1. Thanks Paul. I was grateful to just be able to move around these birds where I could get the light positioned where I wanted it.

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  9. Nice Nice Nice! You are in the right place, and the right time. Also, thanks for the lesson. Good Work!

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    1. As I commented to Val, the birds gave the lesson, I was the observer.

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  10. These are great Parker. I never could get the lighting right on these myself. You did a very good job of positioning yourself and getting the good shots.

    Those eyes! It looks like the Kite may have been drinking from your evening glass when you weren't looking. LOL

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    1. Ron, the dead snag was was behind #59 and the nest was at #56, where you and Cheryl were parked in the motor home last fall.

      So that was what she was looking at? Liquid Prey! LOL

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    2. Well you didn't even have to get out of your chair to get those shots then. LOL

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    3. Wish it had been that easy. Couldn't keep the Sun in one place, and other trailers kept blocking the view, making me have to move my chair around.LOL !

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  11. 20 comments on this posting so far, this might be a record... Have to ask Ron for stats on greatest number of comments!

    Still can't get over this spectacular group of images, I'm thinking you've set the bar a notch higher when it comes to bird photographs on this blog site!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Paul, but your Eagle shots are just outstanding!

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  12. I don't think the blog keeps those kind of stats, I'll have to look. Just off the top of my head I think the most we have ever had has been 10-15 on one post.

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    1. Have to take into account that I answered every comment.

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