Swallow-tailed Kite in New Jersey

I am fascinated by the dynamics of spontaneous birding communities that spring up and disband once the goal is reached. Such was the case yesterday, when I went looking for the Swallow-tailed Kite reported along the Dagmar Trail at the Wallkill Wildlife Refuge in New York, which is where I bumped into BirdingBev and a number of other birders from near and far in the hope of spotting this elegant raptor so far off course from its home in Florida and Central/South America.

We hiked out to the field in which it had been seen, only to hear that the Kite had “taken off an hour ago and hasn’t been seen since.” We continued on anyway, peering into far-off branches and blue skies. An hour later, I was meandering down the path admiring the purple asters when someone whistled. I turned to see people running and pointing upward. Suddenly, the Swallow-tailed Kite was soaring over my head! We watched it for another hour ruddering its forked tail while hawking the skies for dragonflies. We admired the perfect angles of its wings and the dramatic black and white patterning. We congratulated each other and joined in the happy accomplishment of those who added this bird to their life lists. You would think we were one big family at a moving picnic. And I suppose, for those few moments, we were.
Good birding,

This entry was posted in birding, New Jersey, Swallow-tailed Kite. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Swallow-tailed Kite in New Jersey

  1. forestal says:

    great pictures


  2. How nice that you did get to see him after the report that he was gone. Congratulations and of course your pictures are wonderful.

  3. Beautiful! I'm so glad you stayed long enough to see him!

  4. Chris Petrak says:

    very nice swallow-tailed! They are the most graceful fliers, but the few times I have seen them, very difficult to get into a camera lens. good work!

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