Mississippi Kite

About the Mississippi Kite

The Mississippi Kite is a medium-sized bird of prey that breeds in parts of the southern United States. These migratory raptors winter in south-central South America, flying thousands of miles between breeding and wintering grounds.

Adult Mississippi Kites are grey overall, with darker feathers at the tail and bottom-most underparts, and show paler feathers closer to the head. Adult birds have striking scarlet-red eyes.

Mississippi Kites dine on insects caught on the fly, plus small reptiles, amphibians, and even small mammals. These lovely birds nest colonially, high up in trees.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 02 May 2012
Scientific Name
Ictinia mississippiensis
  • Accipitriformes
  • Accipitridae
  • Ictinia
  • I. mississippiensis
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 7 April 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
13.4 to 14.6 inches
35 to 36 inches
7.5 to 13.7 ounces


International Names

Brazilian (Português brasileiro) Sauveiro-do-norte
Czech (Cesky) luňák mississipský
Danish (Dansk) Falkeglente
Dutch (Nederlands) Mississippiwouw
Finnish (Suomi) sirkkahaukka
French (Français) Milan du Mississippi
German (Deutsch) Mississippiweih
Italian (Italiano) Ittinia del Mississippi
Japanese (日本語) ミシシッピアトビ [mishishippi-tobi]
Norwegian (Norsk) Mississippiglente
Polish (Polski) cykadojad jasnoglowy
Russian (русский язык) Миссисипский коршун
Spanish (Español) Elanio del Mississipí
Swedish (Svenska) Mississippiglada
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