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Snail Kites: Plural!!

October 22, 2018

The first Snail Kite gliding away. Photo by Chris Payne.

We were optimistic heading into Sunday because there were light north winds for the first time all season. We expected to see a lot of accipiters and Broad-winged Hawks but the thought of a Snail Kite never crossed our minds. As it turned out, we didn’t see one… we saw two! Both of the birds were juveniles and were headed south with the wind at their backs. The first one came directly overhead around 1:00, and the second was slightly bayside around 4:30. Snail Kites are largely considered to be non-migratory raptors. They are restricted in the U.S. from central Florida to the Everglades, so to have two in one day is completely unprecedented in the Keys. In fact, there had been only two others recorded in the 20 year history of FKH prior to today– one each in 2007 and 2016. There is no doubt we got to witness something special today; who knows what we might see tomorrow?

The first Snail Kite coming in, holding its wings in an M-shape similar to an Osprey. Photo by Luis Gles.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 29, 2018 7:39 pm

    Amazing find! You guys might want to play the lotto this week.

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