By now all the snow birds are back home in “cooler” Northern climates. The Editor and I just returned from our trip to Northern Maine to see the Atlantic Puffins and really had a great adventure. Prior to our trip I got to observe a gathering of Kites in Florida. The Swallow-tailed Kites are preparing to head south and return home for a while. Can’t blame them. It is peak hurricane season.
This time of year, the Swallow-tailed Kites begin to gather along secluded rivers and lakes in Florida and the Gulf coast before beginning a mass migration south. As if on cue, they begin the long trek along the Yucatan and across the Gulf of Mexico to return to South America and homeland forests mainly in Brazil. This is one of the most aerobatic birds I have ever observed. As they roost in the treetops in large gatherings, a few of us intrepid photographers also gather to capture the start of this incredible journey. As the sun begins to rise and warm the air a few kites would test the thermals. They then began to rise in large circular formations called a Kettle. Some would swoop down to get a drink in the river before heading out to hunt for the morning in a skimming maneuver that is a challenge to capture for even the best of photographers.
Hope you enjoy these few photos of these incredible birds as much as I did taking them. Puffin photos will be coming soon. Blessings.