Sat 19 Jul 2014
This morning around 9:00 am, Barbara and I met Marj Lundy and Jamie Godshalk at Bloom School to check out the Mississippi Kites. Barbara and I arrived first, and spotted a male and female MIKI in the dead branches of the Siberian Elm that is behind the dumpster. After a few minutes, the male flew to the southwest and the female across Grenham to the west. In about 15 minutes, after Marj and Jamie arrived, the male flew in from the SW carrying a Chimney Swift in his talons. He perched in the Siberian Elm and began to pluck the swift. Shortly thereafter, the female flew in, landed next to the male, and he passed the swift to her, then flew away again. She proceeded to pluck and eat it over the next 30 minutes.
At about 9:45, the male reappeared and flew over, circling over the female for a while. While that was happening, Barbara spotted a 3rd kite to the west. It, too, was soaring high in the sky.
No other raptors were seen while we were at Bloom.
From Bloom, we drove up to Nygren. The large flock of Am. White Pelicans was absent from the marsh, but 5 were soaring overhead. Also in the marsh were 2 Great Egrets, 6 Green Herons, 5 Great Blue Herons, and other usual suspects, like Flickers, Red-headed Woodpecker, Belted Kingfishers (2), Swamp and Song Sparrows, Willow Flycatcher (in the willows on the east side of the marsh), and 2 Marsh Wrens. In the prairie that is north and east of the marsh, we had Sedge Wrens (probably 5 heard), lots of Common Yellowthroats, and a really tame Henslow’s Sparrow that was sitting on top of a dead plant within 20 feet of us and which singing during the entire time (5+ minutes) that we watched him.