Mississippi Kites in New York State – Update

Hi folks, just a quick update on the Mississippi Kites in the Town of Root, Montgomery County, New York.

This appear to be the 1st Mississippi Kite record for NYS Kingbird Region 8.  There are 3 American Swallow-Tailed Kite records (1 Albany County, 1 Greene County (yours truly) and apparently one from the 1880’s (which implied nesting!)  in Rensselaer County. (Information courtesy of Rich Guthrie)

The birds were seen by several observers the next day on the 29th, although no one commented on getting ‘great’ or even ‘good’ views.  They remain difficult to see and it may take many hours of siting in one spot to get a 15 second view of the bird(s) flying over.  A very frustrating twitch to be sure.

On the 30th only a couple of reports of a positive sightings came in, with several others striking out.  Severe Thunderstorms and flooding (heavy rain at least) might have limited the birds movements on this day.

As of this writing, there have been no sightings as on July 1.

I’m sure some of you in other parts of the country are saying to yourselves, “Whats the big deal?”  Interesting according to Bull Birds of NYS (Levine:1998), Mississippi Kite was only 1st recorded in the New York on Staten Island in 1979!  In a 30 year period, this species went from 1st record to possible breeding!  Perhaps these birds are simply following the long list of “southern” species that have steadily moved north, such as Turkey Vulture, Northern Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Carolina Wren and more recently Black Vulture.

I plan to be back in the area later this week, and should have some images (of something) to share then!

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