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Monday, August 25, 2008

Mississippi Kites in NH

Mississippi Kite in flight

Location of kite nest in Newmarket, NH

Mississippi Kites have been nesting in Newmarket, NH a town near the coast. These kites are far from their usual range and were quite the celebrity birds throughout the summer. This is the first accepted state record for NH for these birds. Not one, but three Mississippi Kites showed up, an adult male and females and a subadult female. Speculation was this was an adult pair and possibly one of their offspring from a previous year. Mississippi Kites are know to have subadults as nest helpers. The pair picked an isolated maple tree on a busy surburban street for their nest site. The male was seen copulating with both females but just the adults nested, producing one chick. Birders came from all over to visit them.
We last saw them on Aug. 22. We watched for about 45 minutes and saw the adults bring food to the nest 3 times and feed it to their chick, who looked about full grown but had different plumage from the adults,more mottled tan and brown. Word has it the young kite has now fledged from the nest. We were on our way from someplace else and stopped by and I only had my point and shoot camera.
For more photos of these kites click here,
and here,
and here.


Anonymous said...

I wanted to post somewhere that today, September 11, 2008 I saw the chick perched on his favorite tree, across the street from the nest tree. That sighting was as 6:07 p.m.

I didn't have a camera or binoculars with me as I was returning from work.

When I returned about 10 minutse later he was no longer in the tree, I couldn't locate the nest because of "back-lighting" from the setting sun. I didn't see any activity of adults soaring or any calls, as I am use to hearing when near the nest.

Could the parents have decided to watch from a distance to see how Jr. would fare without them, or do you think that unlikely. I know Dad has worked hard getting the little guy food even as recently as Sunday Jr. wasn't hunting on his own. Is this normal activity for this bird?

I am dreading the day when they are no longer here, it has been such a joy seeing and hearing them all summer...and meeting birders llike Steve Mirick and others.
Muriel Moore

Lillian Stokes said...

Hi Muriel,
The chick might spend the night in the tree with the nest, or nearby. The adults would probably be somewhat nearby. They keep tabs on their chick as best they can. The fledgling chick will eventually learn to forage for itself. Birds of North America online says parental feeding is infrequent after the fledgling is 60 days old but there is a record of a fledgling being fed until migration.
Everyone will miss them after the all migrate.