- Ictinia mississippiensis
31–38 cm (12¼-15 in)
- Long pointed wings
- Grey overall plumage
- Paler head, neck and underparts
- Slate-grey primaries
North, Central and South America.
A summer visitor to the eastern USA from Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas east to Georgia and northern Florida. Most common in the Great Plains but range is expanding and now occurs north on the Atlantic coast to the Carolinas, in the Mississippi Valley to Illinois and west to Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.
Open country with scattered groups of tall trees.
Their main diet consists almos entirely of insects, such as cicadas, grasshoppers, beetles and dragonflies. They also eat some amphibians.
Pre-migratory flocks form by early Aug on breeding grounds.
Click on photo for larger image
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Camelot Park, Bryan, Brazos County, Texas, USA, July 2019
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- White, C.M. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/52975 on 29 July 2019).
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Mississippi Kite. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 16 May 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Mississippi_Kite