We've been watching a pair of Mississippi Kites raise a youngster in our neighborhood again this year. The other day, Chrissy videoed something we thought others might not have ever had a chance to see before (we certainly had not) - a young kite trying to swallow feathers. Here's the description from the video:
"A mated pair of Mississippi Kites are tending their fast growing youngster at the nest in my St. Louis City neighborhood in this video recorded on July 29, 2019. In the beginning of the video, Papa Kite has fed his youngster a part of some sort of blackbird and the youngster is trying hard to swallow a black feather. Mama Kite flies in to join in the feeding with a few cicadas. Papa flies off into some nearby branches with a hunk of the blackbird that is left to make room while she feeds their young her cicadas. After she flies off, Papa returns to feeding the youngster bits of meat from this hunk of blackbird, but Papa seems to grow a little weary and hands over the entire hunk, feathers and all, to the youngster who starts to swallow it whole. Papa leaves and the youngster is alone to figure out how to swallow these long black feathers. (He eventually swallows them, but it takes him some time.)"
Video Link (copy and paste in your browser if the link doesn't work for you):
We apologize for the quality, but the nest was at least 85' up in a 100' Ash tree.
We are celebrating the young kite becoming fully fledged today, 8/4/19. His short flights and landings are amazing.