SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) Two Swallow-tailed Kites were discovered by Dave Dawson flying over a field in Campbell Co. on Saturday, August 13. 2011. One has a tawny wash on underside and is equipped with a tracking antenna with VHF tracking capabilities. Images have been reviewed by avian biologist Ken Myer and his colleague, Gina Kent. (Dr. Myer is founder of Avian Research & Conservation Institute located in Gainesville, FL.) They have confirmed the tagged individual is a 2011 HY bird that was tagged as a nestling in South Carolina, "one of 10 tagged this summer." (Note: A total of 11 were tagged but one died of unknown causes before leaving the area.) The 2nd STKI is also a juvenile but origin is unknown. On Thursday, August 19, Allen Larner discovered and photographed a distant Mississippi Kite flying over the same field. A Mississippi Kite, a juvenile, possible first year, was observed and photographed with the two Swallow-tails the following day. As of Saturday, August 20, the two STKIs were still present, joined by three Mississippi Kites What a site to observe 5 kites circling together over a field in Virginia's Piedmont!




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