I was very delighted to photograph this beautiful bird in Florida. My only chance to shoot was handheld 500mm lens. This bird was flying very high, using the thermals for gliding, looking for preys. The Swallow-tailed Kite is now listed # 208 on my lifers list. Let’s take a look at more information about this gorgeous bird:
The Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus) is an elanid kite which breeds from the southeastern United States to eastern Peru and northern Argentina. Most North and Central American breeders winter in South America where the species is resident year round. It was formerly named Falco forficatus.
Swallow-tailed kites inhabit mostly woodland and forested wetlands near nesting locations. Nests are built in trees, usually near water. Both male and female participate in building the nest.
The swallow-tailed kite feeds on small reptiles, such as snakes and lizards. It may also feed on small amphibians such as frogs; large insects, such as grasshoppers, crickets; small birds and eggs; and small mammals including bats. It has been observed to regularly consume fruit in Central America. It drinks by skimming the surface and collecting water in its beak. (Info- Wikipedia)
© HJ Ruiz – Avian101