Swallow-tailed Kite

Swallow-tailed Kite

With an unmistakable silhouette, the Swallow-tailed Kite is an amazingly skilled flyer. From Cornell’s All About Birds: “Rarely flapping their wings, they soar and make tight turns, rotating their tail to steer.”

These images are cropped quite a bit; I didn’t get any close ups, but if you enlarge the photos you can get a bit more detail.

Swallow-tailed Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite

Guaranteed to make your neck hurt they are very cool to watch.

Swallow-tailed Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite

While doing all this acrobatic flying they grab flying insects with their feet:

Swallow-tailed Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite

Then pass the prey to their beak:

Swallow-tailed Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite

On this day an approaching storm and boisterous clouds added to the drama of the scene.

Swallow-tailed Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite

Their territory and numbers have dwindled in the US, and are continuously threatened by habitat loss.

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