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Swallow Tail Kite

Elanoides forficatus


The kite is the larger bird in the photographs. Large bird with split tail, white underside with black wingtips. I am not exactly sure what the small bird is chasing it. The Swallow-tailed Kite rarely flap its wings while flying, but it almost continuously rotates its tail, often to nearly 90 degrees, in order to hold a heading, make a sharp turn, or trace tight circles while drifting across the sky.


Forested regions, also open pine woodland. This one makes its home at the local plant nursery pond.


While taking photos at the local plant nursery pond. I noticed this kite being chased, and at times dive bombed by this smaller bird. I am thinking the small bird might be a tree swallow...but not sure.

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MaryEvans2 8 years ago

Thank you Christy, it has now been added

ChristyHolland 8 years ago

Very neat series!! I would love you to add this to Raptors of North America mission:

EvaDeDiegoZamarro 8 years ago


MaryEvans2 8 years ago

Thank you East End, just after I took these, there was a larger black bird (possibly a crow) chasing a bald eagle. I hope to be posting them today or tomorrow as well. Just goes to show size doesn't matter when protecting ones territory, partner, nests, or young :)

Great series Mary! I usually see small birds chasing crows where I am. They're trying to defend their nests, I think.

MaryEvans2 8 years ago

Thank you Laura :)

LauraMaria 8 years ago

Wow!! What a beautiful bird, and the photos are stunning, what movement! I love it, especially against the vivid blue sky :)

Spotted by

Monticello, Florida, USA

Spotted on May 20, 2012
Submitted on May 21, 2012

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