Birdorable Swallow-tailed Kite

Swallow-tailed Kites and their Acrobatic Flying Skills

March 9th, 2015 in Birds of Prey 1 comment
Birdorable Swallow-tailed Kites over Florida

It is a sure sign of spring, here in Florida, when the iconic outline of Swallow-tailed Kites can be seen overhead once again. These graceful black-and-white birds, with their deeply forked tails, breed near the coast from Texas to Florida and spend the winter in South America. They are just now starting to arrive in the United States again and we saw our first one this week.

Every morning they take to the sky on thermal drafts and never seem to land, always soaring like a kite and rarely flapping their wings. The bird is one of the most acrobatic flier of all raptors, being able to make sharp turns and quickly rotate its tail to trace tight circles in the sky. Swallow-tailed Kites need their mad flying skills to snatch small animals off the top of trees, which they frequently eat on the wing. In this way it catches most of its diet, which consists mainly of large insects and small birds, reptiles, mammals and amphibians who dare to sit in tree tops.

We love these beautiful birds and are looking forward to seeing them soar overhead in the coming months. Check out these cute Swallow-tailed Kite gifts from our Birdorable shop.

Swallow-tailed Kite
Photo by Artur Pedziwilk (CC BY 2.0)