at Lakeside Nature Center Summer, 2010.
Fish and Wildlife Services agent brought in the young
Mississippi kite from a destroyed nest site along the Missouri
river outside of Columbia. It still had down and was not
flighted, but seemed healthy otherwise. A
few weeks went by and naturalists noticed a wing droop.
X-rays showed a calcified 35 degree fracture of both the right
radius and ulna. Our veterinarian
thinks this was a greenstick fracture (a bending fracture in
young growing bones) that went undetected on initial exam and
worsened as the soft bone came in contact with the cage
while the bird was practicing flying. Such a drastic deformity
would not allow us to release the bird, so LNC has received
permission to keep the kite as our newest education bird.
Natural history notes.
Mississippi Kites aren't found in the Kansas City area, but
they are native to Missouri.
Immature kites don't look like adults at all. They
have white or buff heads and their necks and tummies are
heavily streaked with brown and black.
is a high-pitched squeak, something like a squeaky dog toy
length and wingspan of the kite and the Peregrine Falcon are
similar, but the falcon can be 3 times heavier. Lightweight
bodies give kites a buoyant flight.
overall population of Mississippi kites is stable or
increasing. However, they are still threatened in some
states by habitat destruction.
Check out this kite's
information on Mississippi Kites, check out the