Thursday, August 13, 2015

mississippi kites

You might remember I posted a picture July 9th of a nest with a small fuzzy white chick in it that the mississippi kites had built in the top of the tallow tree in the Little Backyard.

I've been watching it off and on and the chick has been growing and getting its juvenile coloring which is a sort of mottled brown. My vantage point for being able to see the nest was by the corner of the garage which gave me a view through the branches. The now older chick has been perching near the nest lately rather than in it and there is lots of noise and activity in the mornings and evenings as the chick calls to its parents and they call back and bring food. I have suspected that there was another chick in the nest because when a parent flies in with food, there seems to be a big flutter of wings, more than just two birds would account for but I was never able to see a second chick.

Until a few days ago.

I found a new vantage point with a clearer view on the other side of the garage from the Little Backyard and took some pictures on zoom. I think one of the chicks is older than the other and it has taken to perching on a limb instead of on the nest.

A parent comes in.

Today, the nest looks deserted though I could still hear one of the juveniles calling and finally located it in the oak tree on the other side of the house.

It seems the other chick has left the nest as when one of the parents flew in, the junior in the oak flew to the nest and I could only see the one. 

I missed the shot of its parent coming in for a landing but then I saw a hummingbird up there above the nest framed by the tree branches checking things out. That would have been the shot to get.

edit: The nest appears to be truly empty this morning. No juniors, no calling back and forth. As soon as I wrote that, I heard one calling so I went out to look for it. The last junior has moved to a pine tree across the street and down two houses. I saw it make a short circular flight and back to the branch. Still has it's juvenile coloring.

edit: well, now it is back at the nest.


  1. What a great nest to watch. It is always fun for me to keep track of many families through the summer.

  2. Such gorgeous birds. We have a nesting pair somewhere near my across-the-street neighbor's house. How I love to watch them soar! Yours are beautiful! Great pictures, Ellen!

  3. Nature watch, sometimes heart breaking but always awesome.After Mr. Man removed the trees, my birds left. Neighbors have poisoned raccoons and possum. The deer and squirrels seem to be flourishing, it goes with humans and their bossiness. Your photos are wonderful! Thanks for posting , made my day!

  4. I was a little nervous for a minute. Cute chicks.

  5. That was fun to keep track of. Do you suppose the parents will return to the same nest next year?

  6. Kite cam! I love this. A few weeks ago there were 2 young hawks who I guess had just left their nest down in back of our house. They were so loud, sounding quite shocked and distressed to be out in the big world. The parents lured them from tree to tree & the squawking went on all morning.

  7. They'll be gone before you know it, unlike human children who often have trouble leaving the nest.

  8. Nice! Sounds like they're definitely about ready to move on. At first when I saw the pic of the kites perched on the nest I thought they were EATING the baby bird. Glad to see that's not the case...


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