Mississippi Kite

Ictinia mississippiensis

Order

FALCONIFORMES

Family

Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

Code 4

MIKI

Code 6

ICTMIS

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Mississippi Kite has a large range, estimated globally at 830,000 square kilometers. Native to the Americas, this bird prefers temperate forest and grassland ecosystems, though it has been known to live on arable land and in urban areas. The global population of this bird is estimated at 10,000 to 100,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Mississippi Kite is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Mississippi Kite: Small kite, dark gray upperparts, pale gray underparts and head. Eyes are red. Upperwings are dark gray with pale gray patches. Tail is long and black. Feeds on large flying insects. Bouyant flight with steady wing beats, alternates several wing strokes with short to long glides.


Range and Habitat

Mississippi Kite: Nests locally in the U.S. from Kansas, Iowa, Tennessee and North Carolina south to north-western Florida, and along the Gulf coast states to Texas. Some occasionally winter in Florida; however most migrate to areas further south. Prefers open country that supports flying insects; also found in forests.

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Mississippi Kite SONGS AND CALLS

Mississippi Kite UU1

Calls from a pair in flight.

Mississippi Kite UU2

Call is a falling, whistled "pee-pheew".

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"phee-phew"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Mississippi Kite is similar in size to the Peregrine Falcon; however the falcon can be 3 times heavier.
  • It has also been called Mosquito Hawk, Blue Snake-hawk, Hovering Kite, and Locust-eater.
  • A group of kites has many collective nouns, including a "brood", "kettle", "roost", "stooping", and "string" of kites.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X