Odd Birds

Not odd as is in weird, but odd as in ones I wouldn’t have expected to see.

While waiting for a ride from work yesterday, I glanced up, as I often do, to see if any soaring birds were overhead. I saw 4 or 5 birds flying to my east, heading east, high enough that I could only make out general shape and patterns. The birds’ overall shape and under-wing patterns showed them to be White-tailed Kites! I have no photographic or other evidence to show you, but I know this species is very uncommon in Florida, especially near the coast. There was a documented nesting pair in the Kissimmee Preserve a couple of years ago.


Wite-tailed Kite photo taken by Andrew Baksh.

How official is official?

I’ve done some further looking into the raptor I saw over the courtyard pond at work today. Based on the field marks I saw and the shape of the bird, the closest match I can find is the White-tailed Kite. I didn’t notice the eye-color, but the white body and wings with some black near the leading-edge underwing matches little else. My perception of the size was a bit larger that what a White-tailed kite is described as, but size is sometimes hard to guage in the field.

I am not certain if I should count this as a positive ID or not. If so, it’s a lifer for me and the 98th bird species this year. I am not sure what to think.