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Mississippi Kite Ictinia mississippiensis

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The Mississippi Kite, together with its congener the Plumbeous Kite, form the genus Ictinia which is endemic to the Neotropics. The Mississippi Kite is a long distance migrant. It breeds in loose semi-colonial aggregations and forage on the wing for insects in open habitats in southern and central North America. In September, they begin to move south in loose flocks and within a few weeks they arrive in northern Argentina and southern Paraguay, where they spend the boreal winter foraging for insects. Come April, kites in flocks containing as many as 2300 birds can be seen daily migrating northward through coastal Mexico. The Mississippi Kite is very similar to the Plumbeous Kite and in poor light or from afar cannot be differentiated, and even upon closer inspection must be identified with great care.

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Two-syllable phee-phew calls

© Joe B Guinn

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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-breeding

Recommended Citation

Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/miskit