Merlin Sound ID Finds Lifer

Mississippi Kite In HHI

We recently went to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina for a COVID-delayed visit with my dad.  The last time we saw him was in January, 2020, right before COVID hit.  Since then he’s been hunkered down with his wife in their retirement community.  Now that all of us have had our vaccinations we felt comfortable getting together.

Their retirement community borders Broad Creek, which is part marsh and part waterway out to the Atlantic Ocean.  Karen and I often take walks around the area in search of birds.  On our first day there we were heading back to dad’s place when we heard a hawkish screech.  Osprey are fairly common in these parts so that was my first thought but we couldn’t see any raptor in the area.

You might recall my overview of the Merlin App’s Sound ID function recently.  Well Karen turned it on and the App matched the sound we were hearing to a Mississippi Kite, a Lifer for us!  Since it was a Lifer we had to find it so we searched the tall pines nearby for the Kite. Sure enough, one was perched up high screeching away.


At various times throughout our stay we continued to see and hear the Mississippi Kite.  One day we were drawn out on the deck to watch two of them in flight, circling each other in the distance.  They feed on large insects while in flight so they looped around the area in search of food for quite some time, then landing in the same pine tree we first spotted one of them in.


We find ourselves turning on the Merlin Sound ID quite often.  Anytime we hear birds singing (or squawking) and we can’t ID them we turn on the App to see if another Lifer pops up.  I’m sure the Kite won’t be our last one Merlin helps us find.

Stay Safe.  Go Birding.  Take Pics. Share Here. Repeat.


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