Thursday, February 26, 2009
Seen any Swallow-Tailed Kites!?
The swallow-tailed kite (SWTK) is a most distinguished looking bird, thanks to Tera Baird with USFWS and photographer Lynn Hackell for the image. This bird is a raptor and is fond of hunting things like snakes, but is more likely to be spotted when they soar overhead. Not to be confused with Mississippi kites, the SWTK has the scissor-like tail feathers and distinctive black and white markings. Lowcountryoutdoors.com has noticed more and more kites passing through and summering in South Carolina in the last five years than usual. It is likely they have selected our state as a suitable area due to our excellent habitat. If you see a kite you are asked to contact the South Carolina Working Group for Swallow-tailed Kites which are monitoring their distribution, nesting and foraging areas in order to find out how to conserve the habitat that they are utilizing. The Savannah River floodplain, the ACE Basin, the Francis Marion National Forest and the Pee Dee River system are all good places to spot a SWTK. To report a sighting click here.