Wednesday, June 12, 2013

An Uncommon Bird

Swallow-tailed Kites are exceptionally beautiful birds but unfortunately they are uncommon in our area. In fact, I have only ever seen one and that was years ago at High Island. So I was very excited to read a Texbirds postings that mentioned Swallow-tailed Kites were nesting in Crosby, which is east of Houston and less than an hour from our home.

Sunday morning I drove over there to look for the birds. Arriving on Aweigh Drive, I parked where the road crosses a flood ditch and I set off exploring the edges of the ditch. There were Great Egrets, a Snowy Egret, an Eastern Bluebird, a Red-headed Woodpecker, a Red-shouldered Hawk and several Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (below) but no Kites.

Then I glanced down the street and saw that several large, whitish birds were perched in a tree in front of one of the houses. I walked down towards the tree. Yes! The tree held no fewer than eight Swallow-tailed Kites!

A few minutes later the birds took off and flew across to the large flood ditch that runs parallel to and south of Aweigh Drive. They settled down in two different trees on the north side of the ditch.

I waited, hoping that they would take off again and this time give me a chance to photograph them in flight.

Five minutes later they launched into the air and circled over my head for several minutes. What a wonderful sight!


1 comment:

Frank said...

Snap .. the only time I've seen them was also on a trip to High Island some years ago. You got some great shots Jeff.