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Ictinia mississippiensis  Mississippi Kite
This kite is the diurnal raptor most likely to nest in residential areas of Louisiana. These somewhat colonial insectivores nest in tall, broad-leaved trees and thus concentrate in the bottomlands of the Mississippi/Red River Region.

immature (main photo) 1999 by Mark Swan  at Baton Rouge Zoo
adult (left) Copyright 1999 by Brian Miller 

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Elanus leucurus  White-tailed Kite
(Formerly but briefly Black-shouldered Kite) George H. Lowery, Jr., predicted in Louisiana Birds (1974) that this former native of the southeastern United States would someday recolonize Louisiana, expanding most likely from Texas. In recent years, at least one pair of these branch-nesting carnivores has nested annually near Holly Beach in Cameron Parish.

adults copulating (inset left) photos Copyright 1999 by Brian Miller 
female or male on nest (main photo)

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Elanoides forficatus  Swallow-tailed Kite
(Formerly and briefly American Swallow-tailed Kite) Somewhat colonial, these branch-nesting insectivores and carnivores require large tracts of tall, broad-leaved trees. The most extensive areas of such habitat in Louisiana are now contained within the Atchafalaya River Basin and bottomlands of the Pearl and Sabine rivers. That only 800-1200 pairs nest in the United States was a factor for including the Swallow-tailed Kite on the Audubon WatchList for North America.

photos Copyright 1999 by Rufus Harris
male(s) or female(s)