Distribution: Mississippi Kites are found through parts of southeastern and central United States and are known to migrate to central South America.
Size: Mississippi Kites are 12-17 inches long, have a wingspan of 3-3 1/2 feet, and weigh 7-13 ounces.
Diet: These kites eat mostly insects that they catch in flight and consume on the wing. They will also eat amphibians, reptiles, bats, birds, and small mammals.
Lifespan: Mississippi Kites can live to 11 years of age in the wild.
Reproduction: Breeding first occurs around 2 years of age, and nesting is typically in small colonies. In shallow, poorly constructed, bowl-shaped stick nests, 2 eggs are laid, and both parents share incubation duties for approximately 31 days. The young fledge around 5 weeks of age, but the family group often forages together afterwards.
Did You Know?
- Mississippi Kites are frequently found on golf courses and in city parks. Kites aggressively defend their territory and have been known to attack golfers who venture too close to their nests.
- The silhouettes of Mississippi Kites appear similar to Peregrine Falcons in flight. They have a similar wingspan and body length, but weigh 1/3 that of falcons. This gives kites a more buoyant looking flight.