Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mississippi Kite Release

Mississippi Kite release

From time to time, as Park Rangers, we have an opportunity to release rehabilitated wildlife back into their natural habitat. Our most recent release, two Mississippi Kites, came from Carolina Raptor Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Raptor Center wanted to have these Kites released further south since this is the time they begin their southern migration.  It is always a pleasure getting to see these majestic creatures take flight back into the world.

Mississippi Kites are migratory birds of prey that have about a three foot wingspan and a migration range from Southern US to mid South America. They are insect eaters and can actually eat their prey in flight. You will often see them in woodland areas on the edge of meadows where they can easily find prey.

Unfortunately, birds of prey are not always this lucky and sometimes become permanent captive birds or have to be humanely put down.  But, there are things YOU can do to help!  Picking up litter or not littering at all decreases the amount of mice and rodents on the side of the road. That in turn decreases the number of hawks or owls that come to hunt and may get hit by a car. A bird house or feeder in your yard offers migrating birds a place to stop and rest along their route.

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