Date: 5/22/19 12:52 pm From: 'Bill Prather' via Colorado Birds <cobirds...> Subject: Re: [cobirds] Mystery Raptor - Fort Collins
I saw a Mississippi Kite soaring high over St. Vrain State Park, east of Longmont, Weld County on 5/10. It circles under a storm cloud, riding the updraft, without any flapping. Eventually it got so high I lost it against the cloud. Bill Prather, Longmont
From: David Wade <davespeedbump...>
To: Colorado Birds <cobirds...>
Sent: Wed, May 22, 2019 12:37 pm
Subject: [cobirds] Mystery Raptor - Fort Collins
Hello birders. Yesterday (Tuesday), while birding my favored patch, North Shields Ponds NA, I was blessed and simultaneously cursed to see what I am confident was a Kite of some kind. After ruminating and some book study, I think it possibly maybe and most likely was a 1st year White-tailed Kite but I'm not sure. I didn't have the cojones to call it that on eBird but thought I should get the word out and have a few more eyes out looking for it in case it sticks around.
This is the description I entered into eBird: "Not sure what this was, my impression was a Kite. I noticed a bird flying up the Poudre being mobbed by 2 swallows a Red-winged and a 4th bird. From the head-on view, I suspected it to be a Broad-winged hawk based on its size and pale head. Suddenly it banked and I had a good view of its underside. I noticed thin, angular and pointed wings - falcon like. The wrists and hands seemed to be nearly equal in length and width and the tips pointed. It had a slim longish body and the tail was wider at the tip than the base, trapezoidal, longish and square edged. Overall it was a pale light colored bird with some sandy tan colored hints. There were some dark parts in the wing but I failed to gather clear mental image of it. The tail also seemed pale and translucent but I did see vague sandy tan barring terminally (reminiscent of juvenile RTHA) and a darker terminal band. It flew to the SW behind some trees. I had spotty views of it from there but it seemed buoyant and skillful in flight covering a long distance with minimal flapping. The flight style was unlike any Buteo or Accipitor. After some study my best guess would be a 1st year White-tailed Kite but I am left mystified."
David WadeFt Collins, CO
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