Swallow-tailed Kite Movements

by Bryce W. Robinson

Swallow-Tailed Kite - Elanoides forficatus. 11 x 17

Swallow-Tailed Kite – Elanoides forficatus. 11 x 17″ prismacolor on bristol.

I illustrated this Swallow-tailed Kite for my friend Russ. He found Arizona’s first state record back in 2012, so understandably the Swallow-tailed is a special bird to him. You can see the accepted record here:


It would be so exciting to see an unexpected X soaring high above the desert. Lately, Swallow-tailed Kites have been showing up in some odd places. For whatever reason a few birds have strayed farther north than their normal range. In this past weeks Rare Bird Alert on the ABA Blog, four separate sightings of the species were made in three different states: Illinois, Indiana, and Kansas. Sometimes birds make strange movements in great distances. You never know, you might be at a hawk watch this fall somewhere in the west and see a large X soaring in the sky. Better start scanning…