Date: 7/16/17 12:42 pm From: Jean Martin <jeanmartin...> Subject: [texbirds] Mississippi Kite - Travis County
I was surprised this morning to see an adult Mississippi Kite soaring low over a street in my neighborhood of NW Austin (a mile northeast of the Arboretum area). I feel confident about the identity of the kite, as I could see the dark gray trailing edges of the wings and dark undertail, with lighter gray underbody and leading edges of wings and lighter head. Also, I was birding in the Texas Panhandle for five days earlier this month and saw dozens of Mississippi Kites from various angles and distances. Since this isn't a species seen regularly in the county during summer, I checked the TOS Handbook of Texas Birds and found that Travis County is right on the edge of their breeding range.
I checked eBird and noticed that Byron Stone reported having seen two adult MIKIs in the Northwest Hills area of Austin 4 days ago (7/12). The location where I spotted the one individual is about 3 miles NNE of the location Byron marked on the eBird map. So, Austin birders, keep your eyes open for these lovely kites.