Swallow-tailed Kites in Dade City, FL

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Swallow-tailed Kite
This morning I drove out to Dade City to look for Mississippi Kites that were seen there yesterday. I got there around 8:30 am, and by around 9:30 am, the area was swarming with at least 40 Swallow-tailed Kites.  Then off in the distance, I saw my first Mississippi Kite.  It was very far away; one person with a scope was able to identify it, and one of my photos worked well enough as an ID shot, but it was just too far away for presentable photos.  But that was a lifer for me nonetheless.  The Swallow-tailed Kites were much more photogenic, and a couple  flew pretty close to us in search of prey.  I've never seen so many Swallow-tailed Kites in one place. Most were flying low over the grasses, allowing for some photos of the kites with green backgrounds.

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Swallow-tailed Kite
 I'm always amazed at how well they use their tails. They can rotate them almost vertically as they're turning. After they capture their prey, you can often see them eating it while flying.

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Swallow-tailed Kite
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Swallow-tailed Kite
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Swallow-tailed Kite
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Swallow-tailed Kite

Comments

  1. Ha! I laughed out loud when I read this. Thanks!

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  2. Simply superb series, Scott!

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  3. Robert StalnakerMay 28, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Terrific images of the kites. I looked at them yesterday and just had to come back for a seconfd look. Did you pay that one kite to flip upside down? That looks like Maverick in Top Gun. Wonderful group of images here.

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  4. Thanks ,Robert! I had to pay extra for the Maverick Flyby, and I lost my coffee too...

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  5. There were quite a lot of sightings in West Lutz & N. Veterans Expressway. Such magnificent birds!

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  6. Thanks. Yes, they really are wonderful birds.

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