The Swallow-tailed Kite is a large raptor. Although, I don’t think they are as large as a Bald Eagle.
We watched 6 of them soar over the Hammock, off and on, for most of the afternoon. We don’t see them everyday. My husband has called to me many times that they are up there. By the time I get the camera and get out the door…they’ll be soaring off in the distance. Today I was able to capture a few shots. None are very good, but I was thrilled to get these. Our place is heavily wooded with very tall trees and even taller Palm trees. Every time I got the Kite in my view finder and somewhat focused, it would flash behind a tree and I’d have to start all over. They are so beautiful in the air….it’s hard to concentrate on taking pictures and not just watching them.
This one looks like it’s watching me, but is probably looking for food. They can snatch a frog or small bird from a tree top.
Rabbits are also on their menu and I have at least 3 that live in and around the yard. A lot of the time they are just gliding. Most of the movement you see is the use of the tail as rudders. They lift up and down to control the direction of their flight, as they ride the thermals.
Today they were unusually vocal and it helped me to figure out which direction they might be coming from as they topped the trees and flew over our clearing. Most of my shots were taken almost directly overhead and then they’d be gone again.
Here is a short video.