Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Swallow-tailed Kite Migration: 06 Aug 2013

We are currently tracking eight Swallow-tailed Kites as they begin their southbound migration to their wintering grounds in Brazil and Bolivia. Six of the kites are spread throughout South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. We will document these birds' movements over the next few weeks.

Palmetto (Female) - Tagged in Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina.
Has joined other Swallow-tailed Kites in foraging flocks near the Altamaha River in Georgia.

Pace (Male) - Tagged south of Jacksonville, Florida.
Spending his days fueling up in the Wildwood, Florida, area. This is the area at the intersection of I-75 and the Florida Turnpike where you can often see Swallow-tailed Kites overhead.

Gulf Hammock (Female) - Tagged in Levy County, Florida.
Departed her Florida nesting area on July 4th and headed north to her pre-migration staging area in Dodge County, Georgia, near the Ocmulgee River. This is the third year in a row she is using this pre-migration area.

Suwannee (Female) - Tagged at the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge.
Suwannee is our first kite to leave the U.S. this year. She started heading south on July 24th and spent that night on the Peace River near Fort Meade, Florida. She roosted the next night east of Wauchula, Florida, and her last night in the U.S. in the Picayune Strand State Forest in Big Cypress Swamp. On the afternoon of July 27th she left peninsular Florida through Cape Sable and crossed over the Florida Keys at Marathon on her way to Cuba.

Day (Female) - Tagged in Daytona, Florida.
Near the St. Johns River for the last two weeks. She makes daily feeding trips to the Lake Apopka Restoration Area, where a large foraging aggregation of Swallow-tailed Kites forms every year.

MIA (Male) - Tagged in south Miami, Florida.
MIA seems to be quite the city bird. He is finding food over golf courses, city parks and other treed urban areas from Kendall to Coral Gables, Florida.