Date: 4/27/18 2:59 pm
From: Angus Wilson <oceanwanderers...>
Subject: Re: [nysbirds-l] Possible Swallow-tailed Kite, Brooklyn/Queens NYC - update
The tentative identification of this raptor as kite did not sit well with
me. I think Swallow-tailed Kite (a plausible early spring vagrant) is
easily ruled out by the generally dark aspect to the body, tail and wings,
and don't think this is entirely attributable to shadow. Swallow-tails are
distinctive at all ages in the degree of contrast between the white head/
body and the black flight feathers. Mississippi Kites are darker but the
tail appears fan shaped or narrow and square but never deeply forked. A
Peregrine with one or two central tail feathers missing or damaged seems a
better match to my eyes in terms of coloration and silhouette. The
narrowness of the wings, especially at the base, might be an issue but
perhaps this is because the bird is turned slightly?

Revisiting the corresponding eBird checklist, I see the observer has now
come to same conclusion:

Fair enough but I think it's worth sharing the revision with the list so
that there's no misunderstandings about whether or not a kite was logged.
Still plenty of opportunities for either kite, especially if any are
sighted from Sandy Hook NJ where in years past examples have been seen
drifting over the Raritan Bay towards NY.

Angus Wilson
New York City

On Thu, Apr 26, 2018 at 11:48 AM, David Barrett <miler6...> wrote:

> This morning at 10:55 Gus Keri briefly saw and photographed what appeared
> to be a raptor with a long, forked-tail over Canarsie Beach Park in
> Brooklyn. View and photo were heavily backlit, into the sun, so coloration
> could not be perceived:
> Swallow-tailed Kite is one possibility and the photo may suggest some
> other ones. The bird was flying east toward Jamaica Bay.
> David Barrett
> --


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