For the second year in a row, a small community in rural Eastern Ohio has hosted "Kite Day", a special opportunity to view confirmed nesting Mississippi Kites. Now, if you aren't a birder...
1. I feel so bad for you. The wonders you are missing out on...
2. Come hang out with me. I'll turn you onto birds....
3. You might be thinking, "Pfft. Whatever. What's so special about some birds making babies in rural Eastern Ohio?"
Here's why it's so special. As the name implies, this is a bird that is found in the southern U.S. Its breeding range is roughly from Oklahoma east to South Carolina, into the southern states. They winter in interior South America. The birds we saw today are in OHIO.
Okay, so it's a big deal.
When Kite Day was advertised, Kathi got our names on the list (the nest is inside a gated community and they were gracious enough to allow a small number of birders in today). She was good enough to drive us out to the site and it just added a fun element to what was a stellar day. When we drive anywhere together, we are blah blah blah for hours. Helps the time go faster.
Should we just get to the photos? Yes, let's.
We drove in, parked, and followed the other birders. And there was the chick, teed up in a tree, pretty as you please.
LIFE BIRD # 244. And LIFE RAPTOR# 18 (not including vultures)
The recently fledged chick just sat in the tree, and as one of the adults came into its line of sight, it would start to call....which made my heart melt.
Here's a recording of their call:
Here's Kathi, with her "I'm a serious birder, so it's important that I turn my ballcap backwards. 'Cause that's how I roll" pose:
We also got to see Heather of the Hills!!
And Jim McCormac (he's behind the scope):
We watched over and over as the adults would bolt into view and hand over a fresh cicada to the calling chick....and then got to watch the chick nom nom nom on the thing:
The adults were busy, even with just one chick to feed. Constantly hunting for cicadas and other little critters to bring in.....
And then I was finally looking at the right moment with my camera raised when an adult came in with food.
Check out the rufous shine in the adult's wing. They aren't just black and gray birds....A lot of color hidden in there:
I'm a happy girl. It's been a LONG time since I got a new raptor on my list. And this was extra special, being able to sit and watch for so long, actually getting to "know" the birds.
Thank you, small gated community in rural Eastern Ohio, for hosting this day for us!!