You may have noticed lately that many large groups of Mississippi Kites have been gathering in various locations around town. That was the case for my wife and I this past Monday night, when we counted a flock of 25-30 Mississippi Kites perched on the powerlines at Champa and School Street. Within only a few […]

You may have noticed lately that many large groups of Mississippi Kites have been gathering in various locations around town.
That was the case for my wife and I this past Monday night, when we counted a flock of 25-30 Mississippi Kites perched on the powerlines at Champa and School Street. Within only a few blocks, as our walk continued north, we observed three more gatherings of Mississippi Kites ranging anywhere from 7 or 8 up to 20 or more birds, all perched high up in the branches of various trees along Champa Street.
Don't worry, folks, they're not plotting a mass dive-bombing of Pratt area residents. Rather, this is typical behavior for the species as the birds prepare to head south to their wintering grounds in central South America.
According to Barry Jones, Visitor Services Specialist at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, most Mississippi Kites will have departed from this area by mid-September.
So, if you enjoy watching this beautiful species in flight, it's time to witness their last hurrah for the summer. Lately, especially on windy days, the skies above Pratt have been filled with many Mississippi Kites catching updrafts, soaring ever higher and higher. The birds are quite exceptional aerialists and it's a good time to see just how skillful they are.
One day, before too long, the kites will have vanished from area trees, powerlines, and skies. We'll be hearing the sound of their whistle no more, at least for a season or two.
So here's an early goodbye to the Mississippi Kites, until we meet again somewhere out on the road, next spring perhaps.