Sunday, August 07, 2011

Bird ID?

Does anyone know what kind of bird this is? It stays high in tree tops and has a piercing high-pitched two-note call. It looks reminiscent of a mini- bald eagle when flying because its head is lighter than its body and the way it flaps its wings, but it is more gray than brown. It seems to have a tiny bit of yellow on its belly and kind of a mask around the eyes. It is about the size of a mourning or collared dove but very different shape. It is a hooked beak like a parrot's. I've been hearing its call all summer in the early morning and various other times and seen a few fly high up as well, but hadn't seen the bird while calling to associate it with the call until today and to get a decent look at it as well.





5 comments:

SRM said...

Otowi-I found your message on my Birds and Nature blog just now but I am having problems with the software that handles the comments so I lost it. Now I see that you messaged me back in May about the same bird--sorry, the software didn't notify me or I would have told you then. Your beautiful bird is, indeed, a Mississippi Kite and they have that unique call you are hearing. You took some nice photos. I am surprised to hear that one has been in the Security area all summer. Though they have been appearing in more northern parts of the state in recent years, they are generally found in towns along the Arkansas River from Pueblo east to Lamar.

otowi said...

Thanks so much for the ID! There are at least two of them here - I've seen and heard both - maybe there are more.

SRM said...

If there are two, they may have nested. The young are quite vocal and loud so if you get anywhere near where the nest is located you will likely hear them. You might want to watch the video clips of fledgling Mississippi Kites that I took last year that are posted on my blog. There is a page of videos and pics at http://birdsandnature.blogspot.com/search?q=mississippi+kite

otowi said...

Thanks for being so helpful. I watched the videos and that is the call I'm hearing often this summer, sometimes back and forth between more than one bird; I wouldn't be surprised if maybe a pair is nested in one of the giant old cottonwoods around here, maybe behind my house. Thanks again.

Diana Beatty said...

Update: they were nested in the tree in my neighbor's yard, and had two young - we watched them fledge - it was great!