Here are some interesting facts about kites: Kites belong in the Accipitridae* family of birds of prey. They are divided into two subfamilies. Elaninae kites are sometimes considered to be "hovering kites" and are generally smaller in size. Milvinae kites may... Read more »
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.
Details & Statistics
The Mississippi Kite is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2012 by BirdLife International. This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.