|Elanoides forficatus||Order: Accipitriformes||Family: Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)|
This shockingly beautiful predator can be seen just about anywhere in Florida from spring through fall. I’ve seen them circling on thermals over Disney World parking lot and when we’ve been driving just about everywhere in Everglades National Park. Trees in the parking lot for the Anhinga Trail are covered with Spanish moss, and I’ve even watched a Swallow-tailed Kite pluck some for its nest lining.
Swallow-tailed Kites once probably nested as far north as Minnesota, and one display at the Bell Museum of Natural History was devoted to them. I’ve seen one once in Faribault, but for decades the species was in a tail spin and doesn’t have an entry in the Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas.