Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Spring Has Arrived Ornithologically


A few minutes ago I returned from working out. As I drove east on University Parkway, near the intersection with Medici, a Swallow-tailed Kite slowly and gracefully flew over the road in front of me. This is my first Swallow-tailed Kite of the season and a for certain sign that these frigid winter days are ending.

These insect-eating hawks nest in the southeastern United States and winter far south in South America. I remember well seeing a group of four of these magnificent raptors plucking newly-emerged dragonflies from a lake high in the Bolivian Andes. They are, to me, the most spectacular raptor in North America and one of my two most favorite Florida birds.

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