Have you seen this bird? Why Mississippi wants sightings of swallow-tailed kites reported – Clarion Ledger

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‘It’s such a selected species because of its truly prolonged wings and truly prolonged, forked tail. I really feel it’s in all probability essentially the most pretty rooster on the planet. They seem heavenly.’


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Coolest rooster on earth: Swallow-tailed kites

This rooster’s aerial grace as a result of it swoops and twists over the timber catching bugs is a sight to behold.

Ginny Beagan, TCPALM

  • This is who to e-mail or identify to report a sighting.
  • Sightings have been reported in these Mississippi counties.
  • Details about sightings helps biologists monitor, defend nesting neighborhoods.

Swallow-tailed kites are typically referred to as one of the best birds on Earth.

If you occur to happen to determine one in Mississippi, biologists have to know in an effort to help defend and develop the inhabitants.

“It’s such a particular species due to its actually lengthy wings and actually lengthy, forked tail,” talked about Jennifer Coulson, who’s working with the Mississippi Museum of Pure Science in a look at of the birds. “I feel it is probably the most lovely chicken on the planet.”

Swallow-tailed kites had been as quickly as current in some 21 states, nevertheless are now solely found inside the Gulf Coast states, Georgia and South Carolina. Couslon talked about earlier to about 140 years up to now the birds is likely to be found throughout the state, nevertheless the inhabitants began to say no.

Find out the best way to report a sighting: E-mail the date, time, location and number of birds to [email protected]

“About 100 years in the past, coinciding with loads of clear-cutting of swamps, there was a inhabitants crash,” Coulson talked about. “It was moreover when the longleaf pine savannah was harvested, too. Definitely there was in depth breeding-ground loss inside the state.’ 

“It was round 1880 to 1930 — that time-frame. It was in depth harvesting of the swamps. That was one of many strongholds of their populations.”

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Swallow-tailed kites sighted in these Mississippi counties

Researchers take into account the birds may be regaining a couple of of their historic range in Mississippi.

Coulson talked about data from about 10 years up to now and earlier confirmed Mississippi solely holding swallow-tailed kites, or STKs as they’re normally known as inside the birding world, on the Coast. In newer years, elevated numbers of sightings of swallow-tailed kites and their nests are being documented in Central Mississippi.

“This yr we have been receiving numerous sightings within the Raymond space,” Coulson talked about. “Quite a lot of the sightings have been close to city and alongside 14-mile Creek as nicely.”

Sufficient sightings have been inside the Raymond area for her to suspect they’re breeding there. Counties the place nesting has been documented embody Copiah, Franklin, Lincoln, Marion, and Simpson along with numerous farther south.

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Swallow-tailed kites an unusual raptor

Swallow-tailed kites are state and federally protected birds of prey that feed on bugs and small vertebrates.

 “They do not eat something giant,” Coulson talked about. “They don’t go after chickens or poults.

“They hunt tree frogs, ribbon snakes and inexperienced snakes. They are going to hunt child birds in nests and timber. They feed on the wing.”

Additionally they feed on wasp larvae. Whereas a careless job, Coulson talked about the birds will take away wasp nests from branches and fly away with them. When they’re safely away from the grownup wasps, they tear open the chambers of the nest and eat the larvae.

Additionally, in distinction to most completely different birds of prey, they normally hunt and roost in groups.

Their flight seems just about straightforward as their 4-foot wingspan and relatively small physique allow them to stay aloft with minimal flapping. That is helpful all through migrations.

Coulson talked about swallow-tail kites begin arriving in Mississippi as early as late February . They depart between mid-July and early September — and their journey is a protracted one.

“They go all the way in which right down to southern Brazil,” Coulson talked about. “The spherical journey is spherical 10,000 miles.

“They cross the Andes at their highest level in Columbia. They’re globetrotters.”

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Swallow-tailed kites create nesting neighborhoods

Nick Winstead, conservation sources biologist for the Mississippi Museum of Pure Science, talked about reporting sightings is important because of swallow-tailed kite movement is a gradual course of and the tales can help insure newly established areas keep.

“That is actually vital as a result of the way in which these birds reoccupy new areas is gradual,” Winstead talked about. “The clarification it’s gradual is because of they like to nest shut to at least one one other.

“They’re referred to as nesting neighborhoods. A part of that’s as a result of they forage collectively. They type of observe one another round to search out good looking spots.”

If there’s a cluster of sightings or particulars level out breeding, Coulson flies over the realm. If a nest is observed, the landowners are educated in case they don’t discover the birds are there.

“We encourage them to attempt to defend the nesting web site, at the very least throughout the nesting season,” Winstead talked about. “It is all purely voluntary. Most individuals appear to be as a result of they’re actually cool-looking birds.”

Contact Brian Broom at 601-961-7225 or [email protected] Comply with Clarion Ledger Outside on Fb and @BrianBroom on Twitter.

Find out the best way to report a swallowed-tail kite sighting 

To report a sighting, discover the day, time, exact location and what variety of swallow-tailed kited had been observed and e-mail the information to Winstead at [email protected] Winstead talked about he could be reached by phone at 601-576-6000. 

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