Wednesday, October 13, 2010
It appears that the White-tailed Kite has left town. It has been well over 72 hours since it was seen by anyone. If you came by Stratford Point to see it, or even followed it closely on this blog, you know the kite is a very conspicuous raptor. It relied heavily on the coastal grasslands management area at Stratford Point to hunt rodents, its only source of food. For it not to be seen for more than a day is proof enough that it has left at least the immediate area.
The kite had recently finished its molt, all of the new feathers having grown in on the tail. It looked like it was in excellent shape to fly. It had also taken a few more of the extended high-altitude flights it had started over a month ago when I first thought it was about to leave. Temperatures over the past week finally fell to normal or below-average levels. Depending on where it came from, it more than likely had never felt quite so cold for such a "prolonged" (in relative terms) period. These tests apparently lead up to it taking off to warmer regions with the northerly winds after a cold front that came through early this weekend.
The White-tailed Kite remained for much longer than most of us would have imagined back on August 1. It has been a great experience - thank you to everyone who contributed photos (thanks to Kevin Doyle once again for these!), information, and sightings. We hope you enjoyed seeing it, reading about it, looking at pictures, and watching videos. I hope it is spotted somewhere else soon. You never know!
Photos © Kevin M. Doyle
Posted by Scott Kruitbosch at 8:17 PM