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Birds of Prey Animal Fact Sheet
MISSISSIPPI KITE
Ictinia mississippiensis

Range:
Southeast U.S. and a small population in central South America.

While the Mississippi Kite is not an endangered species, it is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which protects the birds, their eggs, and their nests (occupied or empty) from being moved or tampered with without the proper permits.

The birds protect their nests by diving at perceived threats, including humans. Staying at least 50 yards from nests is the best way to avoid conflict with the birds. If unavoidable, wearing a hat or waving hands in the air should prevent contact from being made but will not prevent the diving behavior.


Habitat: Woodlands, riparian zones, and tree clusters.
Diet: Large insects and some amphibians, reptiles, bats, and other small mammals.
Status: Least Concern (IUCN)
Approximate Dimensions of Adult: Length of 13 - 17 inches, a wingspan of 3 feet, and weighs 7 1/2 - 12 ounces.
Lifespan: Average 8 years.
Reproduction & Offspring: Females lay 2 eggs that are incubated by both parents for 29 - 31 days.

 

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