The Swallow-tailed Kite, also known as the American Swallow-tailed Kite or Fork-tailed Kite, is a majestic bird of prey found in North and South America. With its striking appearance and impressive aerial acrobatics, this bird has captured the attention of many bird enthusiasts.
The Swallow-tailed Kite measures around 19-25 inches in length and has an impressive wingspan ranging from 50-54 inches. Its long tail feathers give it a distinct forked appearance that stands out among other birds of prey. This species exhibits sexual dimorphism, where males are smaller than females and have lighter plumage.
Where To Find This Bird
Swallow-tailed Kites can be found in wooded areas near bodies of water such as wetlands, swamps, rivers, and lakeshores across their range. These birds breed from southern Texas to Venezuela during the summer months before returning to their wintering grounds in Central America or northern South America.
Swallow-tailed kites prefer habitats with tall trees near open spaces that allow them to fly high above treetops while searching for prey. They build nests which are often located at the tops of tall trees close to water sources like ponds or streams.
These raptors feed primarily on insects like grasshoppers and dragonflies but will occasionally eat small mammals like rodents when available. They’re unique hunters because they use their incredible flying ability to catch prey mid-air without ever having to land.
The Swallow-tailed kite is known for its distinctive vocalizations including sharp whistles used during courtship displays between mates. During breeding season these birds perform elaborate aerial displays characterized by steep dives followed by swooping turns that end with loud calls designed to attract potential partners.
The Swallow-Tail kite is a fascinating bird species that commands attention wherever they are seen. From their impressive aerial displays to their striking visual appearance, this bird is a true marvel of nature. So if you ever get the chance to observe these incredible birds in action, be sure to take it!