This is one of the birds that is slowing extending it’s range into the Lowcountry. Only 3% of the species breeds in North America, most will be in South America, many in Argentina.
This one was feeding on their main prey Dragonfly’s, caught and eaten in the air.
If you click to enlarge any of these images you will see the prey is still being held in the claws (these are not great shots, but this is all about the story not my photographs).
This Kite was mixed in a group of our more common Mississippi Kites, which feed the same way.
They fly as fast and agile as the other ‘Swallow’ birds we know, except these are midsized raptors. Imagine how acrobatic they need to be to fly and snatch a Dragonfly, with their claws, in midair.
When these birds are photographed a copy of the image and GPS coordinates are reported to a tracking system to monitor their migration and new routes.
Watching them twist and turn, at great heights, is amazing.