Swallow-tailed Kite

Looking for a snack

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Matt was driving around looking for shorebirds and fluddles in fields. Imagine his surprise when this bird flew over the car. It was a lifer for him. He was 21 at the time and only been birding a few years. He immediately sent the photo and location to me. We dropped everything and headed there. About 10 of us drove all over the area that evening with no luck. We went out there the next morning and spent four hours waiting in the car and driving around the area. Again no luck. On the third day, Carl was getting ready to go to the dentist and what popped up on WhatsApp? Yup. The Swallow-tailed Kite was seen again. He let me know when he was on his way home. I took his camera and hat and met him in the driveway. When we got there, we were told it had just left. I think we waited maybe 30 minutes when Phil said I see it way over there above the tree line. As we briefly saw it, it disappeared. Tom suddenly said, “it is behind us!” Yes, finally, an Ottawa County bird for us. It put on a great show as more and more birders arrived. This was a first record of this species for Ottawa County, MI.

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Mike Warner

Great story about seeing the Kite! Also shows your persistence in getting that Ottawa Co. Lifer!