Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mississippi Kite

Yes - another Kite post. Sorry, but I love these raptors.

The little one fills the nest all by himself now. Nearly a full crop of feathers. I'm still anxiously awaiting seeing him soaring the skies. When he does, I'll feel like a proud papa.

(Mississippi Kite Nestling.)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Mississippi Kite

We recently got the dead wood cut out of the tree in our back yard. That was the tree Momma always kept watch from. She had to change to a neighbor's tree, where I think she gives me the "stink eye" from.

I'm waiting to see this little guy trying out his wings. Hopefully, I can catch his first attempts.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mississippi Kite

Since I first saw their chick's fuzzy head over the edge of the nest the last week in June, this little guy has grown like a weed! In the last week, he's gained his juvenile colors, and is nearly ready to fly. He's no longer eating what his momma has "chewed up". Most of the time, momma drops a bug off, and the little one chows down on it. This is repeated many times throughout the day. In this video, momma "brings home the bacon" (a nice big, juicy bug) and shares it with her little stinker. (It views well in Full Screen at 720p.)

After she leaves to get another course, he cleans the pieces up that were left behind in the nest. He's going to need all his strength pretty soon, when he first leaves the nest.

(Mississippi Kite Feeding Nestling)
You can see all of the images I've posted of his progress in my PBase Gallery, titled "Watching A Chick Grow".

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Mississippi Kite

Today, I watched Momma Kite doing some hunting. I don't know if she was hunting for her chick, or for herself. In this first image, she has zeroed in on a bug - also seen in this image. Her talons are at the ready, and she is diving after it. There is little hope for the bug at this point.

(A Mississippi Kite dives after a bug.)
In this next image, you can see that she indeed has captured the bug. Look closely in the clutches of her right foot.

(This Mississippi Kite has captured herself a snack.)
If this one is for herself, she will most likely eat it on the fly. Mississippi Kites seldom land to eat. They will quite often stay airborne, eat, and hunt some more. No need to waste energy landing and returning to the air. It is a simple matter for this 12-15" raptor to stay aloft, soaring lazily on its 3' wingspan.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Mississippi Kite

I don't blame mommy and daddy Kites for trying to protect their little one. He is a cute little thing.

(Mississippi Kite hatchling)
His parents have been doing an excellent job caring for him. Here, the female keeps a close eye on me as she heads out to get the second course of her little one's dinner. Those are some formidable looking talons!

(Female Mississippi Kite)